Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"I'm Gonna Have To Get Zombie On You Bitches?" By Fred Rogers

I guess it's going to jump off like Night of the Living Dead with some of you people, huh? I guess you're going to come home, sit down, take off your shoes one at a time, and then notice me standing behind the curtains with a maniacal grin and a moldy cardigan, right before something absolutely horrible happens to you. You're going to try to reach that bat under the bed in time? I don't think so, friend. I think you're gonna be a walking Tastykake.

Not all of you. Many of you are cool. Keep the good memories. You're always welcome in the Neighborhood. But I see people yakking on their cell phones while some poor clerk is trying to help them - like the guy on the other side of the counter doesn't even qualify as a human being, because he's got a nametag. I see you treating waiters and neighbors and employees like they're garbage, like they're invisible. I see you driving like you're the goddamn Road Warrior.

You know what breaks my heart? It's partly because you've got too much friggin' self-esteem. And it makes me think that's my fault. I spend my whole life trying to make the world a better place, and you nasty ridiculous people are the result? No. Fuck that. Because I will rise from the grave, and I will take you bastards out. One by one. I'll come after you, Crow-style.

Let me explain something some of you missed about what I was doing, okay? You're special. You really are. But that doesn't mean you're the golden holy center of universe. They're not the same thing. Other people are special too. There was a whole country of special little kids I was talking to, and now they're doing your laundry, or washing your car, or typing your memos. And you need to respect them.

You're important, because you have a suit and a job and money? Nope. Let me tell you the secret. Your salary, your title, your club membership, and whatever else privileges you - it's nothing. It's just the way you have of being a teensy, tiny little part of a system no one really controls. There is no freedom there. No individuality. Some day you will shit the bed, and the people will put another jerk into your corner office, and that jerk will play the exact same part you play right now.

The closest you come to true moral freedom in your day is when you're dealing with a stranger. Some counter guy, some woman who gets your coffee. Some voice on the phone you don't have to be polite to, because they can't fire you. Then you can be yourself. Then you get to decide whether to be good or not. It's the time you're truly special. I thought you'd understand. You're grownups now. The world is what you make of it. I did what I could, but my time is over.

Some of you get it. As for the others... shape the hell up, or I'll be crouching in the closet, waiting to chomp your skull open like a Cadbury. Call it my last public service.

(Note: Photo is a copyright image downloaded from Wikipedia. My (and their) fair use rationale and rights information is here.


  1. Wonderful. Mr. Rogers is the man, and I think he'd agree with everything you said.

    1. Thank you. I think he'd be nicer about it, and then he'd talk to me about my swearing and get me to tone it down in a nonjudgemental way. Guy was a hero.


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