Two Sticks And Some String !

This is me, an opinionated, politically progressive Canadian Lace Knitter who's lived and worked in western Canada, and on the east coast of the USA; a multi-skilled person who's been recently re-elected to public office, has a Class One driver's license, a human services professional in direct service, middle and senior management positions, and a MOM!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Of Addicts and Assholes

What part of "No Smoking In The House" doesn't he get? Someone rents the basement suite of the house we're renting here in Lethbridge. Because I have asthma (to say nothing of the fact that expecting someone to be happy sharing the heating system in a house with a smoker is simply stupid) the deal with the landlord is that there is no smoking. Period. Doesn't matter what the outside temperature is, there is NO SMOKING IN THE HOUSE.

So Mr. Asshole (see, my mother taught me to have good manners) comes home from the neighbourhood watering hole, so drunk he can barely navigate down the back stairs into his suite, and doesn't understand the panic I feel when I smell his cigarette smoke. Not so much because of my asthma, but because he's so drunk that he likely has very little concept of into how much danger his nicotine addiction is putting the other four mammals who live in this house. I've been woken up in the middle of the night, smelling his cigarette smoke. I know FULL WELL that he's in BED, drunk and smoking.

I have so little regard for this pathetic excuse for a human being that I must admit, if he dropped a lit butt into his mattress and cremated himself, I'd say the world was slightly better off. However, in his self-induced stupor, he'd be taking my sweet man, two beautiful cats, an Alaskan Malamute and me on a trip to the pearly gates.

I do not (repeat, do NOT) "buy into" the notion that addiction is a disease. Sure, maybe the addictive substance creates a physical craving for the substance, but it is no disease. As soon as it's labelled "disease", then all those addicted idiots out there say "I can't help myself, I'm an addict and it's a disease". They have been liberated from responsibility for their actions, because, after all, poor jerks, they're sick.

CRAP. Addicted or not, every time the drunk puts booze in his mouth, he's making a choice. Every time someone drops a quarter into the VLT, he's making a choice. Every time the loser lights a cigarette, he's making a choice. Every time an abuser strikes another human being, every time a person's judgement is compromised because of an "addiction", every single time that one of us is caught in the line of fire, it is because the "addict" makes a choice.

I'm tired of addicts whining about their "disease". I'm tired of being victimized by a theory (of addiction being illness) and by those who subscribe to it. I'm tired of listening to addicts blame everyone but themselves for their pathetic behaviour.

He's sitting downstairs right now. I can almost hear his TV. Last year, he fell down those stairs and injured himself so badly that he suffered partial hearing loss for several months, and was unable to work because of his injuries. He told us he'd been mugged in the alley on the way home from the pub. What idiot walks home at 2 in the morning, in a "not great" neighbourhood, down the ALLEY and then claims he was mugged when clearly the stair-tread bruises all over his scrawny, smelly body were collected when he took that header down to his place? Twice now he has started to cook while intoxicated and has burned the food so badly that it filled the entire house with a horrid stench. The last time he pulled this stunt was in early December 2005. If it happens again, I'm calling the fire department, and then the police, and then the landlord.

Of course, his sorry lot in life is the same as all alcoholics. His ex-wife is a bitch. His daughter ignores him. His boss is unfair (yeah, he expects the drunk to come to work sober and put in a full day's work ... aww gee). He gave up everything to live closer to his daughter, and she doesn't even give him a gift at Christmas.

I've heard this song before. Carter Brent MacKay (in case you're so arrogant as to google your name and find it here). I was his third wife. The litany of complaints against Wife Number One (and bearer of his three children) was long and detailed. The Wife Number Two was just a rebound marriage. Wife Number Three (that would be me) was inadequate. He'd been "dry" for five years, but had to start drinking again because I wasn't a "better wife" to him. His description of "better wife" meant having meals on the table by 5 p.m. and allowing him to force me to have sex with him, even if it meant grabbing me by the hair and covering my mouth with his hand while he ... well, let's say it wasn't "lovemaking" by any stretch of the imagination. He loved to go on and on about how "everyone" saw him as such a hero, "taking on me and my son". Funny how I was the one who supported him as he went from one flaky job to another, how I supported him when he threw himself into bed claiming he was too depressed to do anything else, and how it was the women in his life who supported him while he wasted his life taking no responsibility for the path of destruction he left behind him. And then, like a true addict, when our marriage was over, he accused me of hiding copious quantities of money from him. This was totally untrue, as I paid off his overdraft to the tune of $9,000 with proceeds from the sale of a house that I had bought a few years previously. But he had no honour, therefore no one else did, either. Brent was so untrustworthy that he could give no one else credit for being what he could never conceive of.

Ah, the drunk just made it up the stairs and back down again. I'm sure glad I won't be waking up with his hangover. Oops, my mistake. I guess if you're always drunk, you can't possibly be hungover.

The hour is late. Responsible working folks need their sleep. (umm, that would be me). With any luck, the drunk downstairs will fall asleep for the night, and I won't be woken up at 3 a.m. in full asthma attact because of his stupidity.


  • At Fri. Mar. 17, 05:16:00 a.m. PST, Blogger Scoutj said…


  • At Sat. Mar. 18, 12:23:00 p.m. PST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Amen sister! I totally agree with you!!


  • At Sat. Mar. 18, 01:01:00 p.m. PST, Blogger Rosemarie Buchanan said…

    Rick? Is that my knitting buddy Rick?

    Been there, done that too, eh?

    This is a way better place, isn't it?


  • At Sat. Mar. 25, 07:46:00 p.m. PST, Blogger Tallguy said…

    You don’t have to put up with this kind of stupidity! No one should.

    Get rid of the idiot. Inform the landlord that he has to go. Or you do. Why should you have to move, if you like the place – but show the landlord you are not going to live in that death-trap with that jerk below you. Start looking for a better place, and make sure the landlord knows you are serious about this. No one should have to put their own safety and the lives of their family in jeopardy. It’s just that simple.

    You deserve better – so go and get it!

  • At Thu. May 18, 06:04:00 p.m. PDT, Blogger Opal said…

    Definitely get rid of him. You don't need his poison in your life.

  • At Fri. Aug. 28, 12:28:00 p.m. PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    SUCH a relief to read this rant from another progressive. In my case it's a meth-addled neighbor who makes life hell for everyone. It's like a form of suicide-as-social-power: "I decide to fuck myself up bad, right to the edge of death, then I get free medical care, because I'm SICK and have a DISEASE, and YOU ALL HAVE TO ENABLE IT. Because I'm SICK and have a DISEASE!"

    It's a totally thermonuclear passive aggression. When I try to vent with other progressives they reassure me that how these idiots wreck others' lives is really OK, because they're SICK and have a DISEASE.

    No, sorry, you make bad choices, and I'm sick of dealing with the consequences!

    I hope you got rid of that renter. Thank you so much for your rant. An old friend told me that I couldn't set this sort of boundary with addicts and still be a progressive, but I think that's just wrong.


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