Tempers Fugit (Sort Of)

So I recently saw The World’s End again, the third part of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Cornetto trilogy. You know how there are some movie sets you’d just love to be part of? For me, it’s got nothing to do with the idea of being “famous” or whatever; I’m all about how cast and crew get along together (and also being part of a really hands-on special-effects crew, but maybe that’s an article for another time). These guys have a job to do, and it gets done—and they seem to have real fun doing it. How frickin’ awesome is that?

Anyhoo, The World’s End is my favorite in the trilogy for the same reason The Voyage Home is my fave in the original-cast Star Trek movies—it’s the most humanistic. There’s a choice of other takeaways, which I think have a lot to do with which life stage you’re in. One of the big ones for me is about how time moves on, but often in curious ways. Like when you escape from the tiny bullshit town in which you had to grow up and return to it, only to find certain elements haven’t changed at all.

My tiny bullshit town has itself grown quite a bit—where there were once open fields and locally-owned feed stores, there are now multi-story apartments and yoga studios. Most of the people I knew growing up have escaped—but a lot stuck around, mostly because of family or because they wanted to be big fish but could only do so in a small pond. I’ve had to go back a few times (usually for family), and being there always makes my skin itch on the inside. Let’s just say my formative years were a very special kind of sustained hell, and the majority of these aging “kids” were part of it. I’ll carry the effects of that upbringing for the rest of my life, but have for the most part made peace with it.

What amuses me no end is encountering old classmates—who of course want to appear as though they’ve matured and moved forward, but clearly haven’t. Upon recognizing my many-years-older face, 99.9% of them get this terrified expression, as if I’m clutching a couple of axes and muttering to myself while glaring at them. I just smile quietly, maintain eye contact long enough to make it crystal-clear I am not who I once was, and go on with my grown-ass day.

Once in a great while, I’ll cross paths with someone who dedicated real effort toward making my daily life a minefield. It’s hilarious how little emotional progress such tiny-minded people make—here it is a generation later, and yet they instantly regress to when we were 15. Well, that shit gets shut down, right there in public, with a quickness (and no small degree of have-some-karma-sucka pleasure on my part), which always visibly stuns them.

It definitely helps relieve the itching.

Mona Treme sees a lot of evidence that [insert deity’s name here] has a sense of humor, and not just in the mirror.