I finally realized why the people raising the toddler who lives across the street let their little boy get away with murder all the time: he’s being raised by his grandparents!
Now, while his biological parents are AWOL, the elderly substitutes who have to look after the child obviously don’t love him enough to give him any boundaries or limits on his hysterically infantile behavior.
In fact, they must really detest him, because they know that by the time he’s old enough for school, he’s going to get his ass kicked–hard, and repeatedly, by numerous well-aimed feet.
Alternatively, they might just let him get away with shrieking and carrying on like Linda Blair in The Exorcist, Damien in The Omen, Rosemary’s Toddler, or some such pint-sized drama queen because they’re hard of hearing. Unfortunately, too many of the other people who live in the neighborhood are not–or at least not hard enough.
But the most plausible explanation for their non-interference with his opprobrious antisocial behavior is that as they know they’re close to death themselves, his insufferable displays can only make them yearn eagerly for the grave that waits for them with open arms and a price tag for their relatives to attend to.
I mean, who wants to be nostalgic for all the overrated charms and wonders of oh-so-fabulous life when you’re staring the Grim Reaper in the eye sockets and Jesus is close enough to hand you his business card as he rests his finger against the trigger of his snoozing Uzi?
Not me. I want to be reminded of how shitty life can get so that inevitable death feels like a reward, instead of yet another punishment, not that anyone can rule out such a possibility in this capriciously sadistic universe.
And if there is an afterlife, God, the devil, or whoever’s in charge of this demented slaughterhouse (kudos to Peter Finch’s Howard Beale in the movie Network for that phrase) we all live and die in is never going to hear the end of it–at least not until he or she has the decency to finally kill me once and for all so I can get a good night’s sleep for a change.
(I apologize for the vehemently negative tone of the above entry. I was in a less than ideal mood when I wrote the rough draft, due to sustained mortal combat with my wife, who deprived us both of Internet access for two weeks. More on why she felt the need to do so later.)