Life isn't about obtaining great riches or notoriety. It's about the connections you make with other people, your fellow human beings. And I've got someone I just know is going to make quite an impression on you. I'm anxious for you to meet him, and I do not believe the two of you have met. Allow me introduce my neighbor, Fred McInconsideraton.
When it comes to neighbors, you will find Mr. Inconsideraton as great a guy as they come. He's incredible, for example, at continuing to leave his car radio on at endearingly high volumes as he pulls into his parking space long after midnight. And it didn't take me long to figure out that he is merely being altruistic! You see, his passion for either talk radio or classic rock is so all consuming that he clearly wants to share the blossoming beauty of his soul with the neighbors he so loves and respects -- otherwise why would he sit there inside his car after it's already parked and let the rest of us listen while the vituperative rant of an angry host or eleven minute AOR track comes to an end?
Let me tell you about this man's boundless affection for those who reside in his proximity. Not only, not only , does he want us to experience the radio he so enjoys, he absolutely insists that we become a part of his movie viewing experience. We feel so connected to Fred, right from the moment the big, symphonic, pseudo-orchestral music that accompanies the opening movie studio logo on a Blu-Ray comes reverberating through his floor, walls and ceiling. There's nothing quite like hearing that signature five seconds to set your nerves on high alert, waiting for the fun to come. Why, it's like he's inviting us all over to sit down in front of his state-of-the-art home theater system and watch Anaconda with him.
But Fred's regard for his nearby cohabitants does not end with solitary activities such as radio and television, no. It extends to the way he subtly includes us in the boisterous conversations he has with his charming, endlessly vocal friends. These guys are distinctive, larger-than-life personalities in their own right, and since the decibel level of their outbursts of laughter, or shouting each other down to make their opinions known, goes up in direct proportion to their steadily increasing consumption of alcohol, we get to hear almost every word of the sparkling, witty, animated intellectual exchanges that are going on above, below and to the sides of us. Actually, I think more of us in the neighborhood should take the time to thank Fred for allowing us all to have an educational experience courtesy of his erudite guests.
You might assume that a man who never stops giving to those near him would run out of ways to let everyone in on his deeper, more private ways of being. But you would be incorrect in that assumption. For just when we think Fred could not possibly find another way to welcome us into his life, he sends to us the sweetest, almost musical message that conveys so much without saying a word: the evocative, heart-rending sound of dozens of empty beer bottles being tossed into the recycling bin from a great height at five o'clock in the morning. It's almost as if the man is telling us that he feels badly about the brief period of quiet we experienced after everyone in his modern-day Algonquin Round Table had succumbed to the effects of nine gallons of India Pale Ale, and wanted us to know that he was still among us. And capable of generating a lively, innervating sonata of tumbling glass to assist us in greeting the dawn.
Listen, sorry to lay on the superlatives. I'm worried that after an introduction like this, once you really get to know Fred he might never live up to the hyperbole. And I didn't even get to talk about the thought-provoking debates he engages in with his girlfriend. But, listen, I'll let you two get acquainted. Give him time, and, as with all of us who know him, soon the only thing you will think about, from the moment you wake up to the time you're attempting to get to sleep, will be the most appropriate way to make sure he gets a well-deserved place among the angels.
James Napoli is an author and humorist. More of his comedy content for the Web can be found here.
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