I recently got a new MacBook Pro, which left me with a surplus laptop. I bought the Pro as a business writeoff, so I still had my old MacBook, which was fully functional. Unsure of what to do with it, I asked Nicholas if he wanted it.
Nicholas sneered. “I’d rather you crouch over my sleeping face tonight and shit in my mouth.”
Somehow I’d forgotten, Nicholas hates Apple products. He hates iPods. He hates iPhones. He hates operating systems named after jungle cats. He hates iMacs and AppleTV and the possibility of a Mac tablet. He once privately admitted that he’s the one who has been slowly poisoning Steve Jobs. And when my nine-year-old niece showed him the Nano she got for Christmas this year, he had this to say:
“Apple stuff is just a bullshit piece of shiny flair that wannabe cool guys attach to their hips to demonstrate individuality and distract themselves from the grim reality of their putrid existence. If Karl Marx were still alive, he’d say iPods are the opiate of the masses.”
To be fair, his hate isn’t solely directed at Apple. Nicholas is a bit of a Luddite in general and finds the idea of gadgets, electronics, and technology toys offensive. Still, he’s a practical man, so he has adopted some technology. Just not Apple. Never Apple.
“Frankly, I was reluctant to give up my 486. I thought that thing worked just fine, especially when beefed up with Windows 3.1 When it became functionally obsolete, I figured I’d be safe just marching on down to Radio Shack and picking up a fresh Tandy any time I needed a new desktop. For some reason they stopped making those, too. So now I’m a Gateway man. The box looks like a fucking cow, dude. A cow. Pretty sweet in my book.”
Is there anything sweeter than the loving, withered, bony embrace of an old person? Sure. I can think of about 50 things off the top of my head. But it’s still pretty awesome.
Old people have been around the block a few times. (Especially old prostitutes.) They’ve seen life and the world unfold before their now glaucoma-crippled eyes. They’re fountains of wisdom and advice. They are a reminder of both how things once were and what we will one day become. They also tend to have Wether’s Original Butterscotch hard candies lying around, and those things are pretty bad-ass.
Nicholas Darrow, however, finds the very thought of the elderly stomach-turning. “Old people are old,” Nicholas once confided in me. “And they smell like boiled chicken and Ben-Gay. And frankly, they’re not very fast. Sounds like strikes 1, 2, and 3 to me.”
Hating chocolate with a hint of lemon is one thing. But hating the elderly is taking things to a whole other level. So I tried to reason with him. I told him that our grandparents are part of our heritage. That there is much to learn from them. That quality time spent with our elderly can be both fun and enriching. After I finished my spiel, Nicholas furtively glanced to either side.
“Truth is,” he whispered, “I probably wouldn’t mind those wrinkled savages so much if they were just a bit nicer to me. But old people can’t stand me. I don’t know what it is. It’s like I’m a Vorlon, and they’re all Shadows.”
I stared at him, confused.
“Vorlons?” he repeated. “Shadows? Babylon 5? Ok, let me put this in a way you can understand. It’s like I’m the Systems Commonwealth, and they’re the Magog.”
I shrugged my shoulders, still lost.
A meal just isn’t complete, in my opinion, without a bit of something sweet at the end. Personally, I’m not overly particular about what that sweet thing is. Cake, pie, Hershey bar, a spray of Reddi Whip right into the mouth–as long as it’s making me fatter, I probably like it.
Our good friend Nicholas Darrow, on the other hand, is about as open-minded as Glenn Beck after listening to a Pat Roberston sermon when it comes to desserts. One of his favorite targets is chocolate combined with other flavors. He is, admittedly, not much of a fan of chocolate to begin with, preferring coconut-based treats. But he still feels more than comfortable deriding fine chocolate desserts at any opportunity. Just the other day I gave him a rather expensive chocolate lemon truffle I’d gotten for Christmas.
After placing it in his mouth, he spat it out violently. “Vile concoction!” he shouted. I knew sharing the treat was a gamble, so I had some fresh coconut on hand to cleanse his palate. He dismissed it with a wave of his hand. “Fresh coconut tastes like rabbit scrotum,” he said. “I prefer the kind you find in a Mounds bar or on a Hostess Sno Ball.”
I looked around for anything else he might like. My eyes rested on a pack of Junior Mints.
“Don’t even think about it,” he said. “Mint is even worse than lemon.”
Growing up, I held few things in higher esteem than the Star Wars trilogy and fried chicken. Many were the days I pretended to be Han Solo, and until I met Nicholas, I assumed all boys born in the mid 70s were the same. Not so.
Nicholas Darrow hates Star Wars. “Juvenile,” “Boring,” and “Teeming with homoerotic imagery” are just a few of the criticisms he’s leveled at the films. (When pressed for examples of the homoerotic imagery, he usually cites the constantly retracting, expanding, and pulsing light sabres.)
I know what you’re thinking. Sure, the Ewoks sucked donkey cock. And yeah, it was kinda creepy how badly Luke wanted to bang his sister for the first two movies (and the third. Who are we kidding? You can’t just turn those feelings off.) And yes, it was kind of bogus that there was only one black guy in the galaxy. But over all, those movies were tits. Heavy handfuls of tits. And they also thrust this guy into pop culture.
Nicholas, however, dismisses the trilogy out of hand. He often says, and I quote, “If I’m going to watch space opera, why watch Star Wars when there are 5 seasons of ‘Babylon 5’ and five seasons of ‘Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda’ cocked, locked, and ready to rock in my Netflix queue?”
Perhaps the most troubling part of all of this is that Nicholas has slowly come around to Star Wars–but in all the wrong ways.
“I really liked those new ones,” he admitted to me recently. “Better writing, better acting. More use of glorious CGI and less use of lame puppets. And I really like that Anakin was the result of an immaculate conception. It really adds a lot of layers and meaning to the films.”
His final rankings of the Star Wars movies from good to bad?
1. Revenge of the Sith
2. Phantom Menace
3. Attack of the Clones
4. Return of the Jedi
5. A New Hope
6. The Empire Strikes Back
If you know Nicholas Darrow, then you know the guy has some unique tastes. Doesn’t make him a bad person (the fact he’s an enormous prick does), and it doesn’t make him wrong (okay, maybe it does), but I think it does require documentation. Because there’s a lot of awesome stuff in the world, and the thing that seems to tie all of it together is the fact that Nicholas Darrow hates it.
So this is a blog that will catalog those things. Describe them. Keep them organized and orderly. And hopefully after the global apocalypse, aliens will one day land on Earth and reboot the broken down power grid. And in offices and homes across the globe, personal computers will hum to life. And some alien will click around the internet and read about Nicholas Darrow. And that alien will be thinking the same thing you probably are.
What a fucking asshole.