Patrick J. Dalton's monthly series takes us on a tour of life's varied deceptions and disappointments in the form of a travel guide. Our first destination is also the last place we all end up: Death.
“No time like the present
To get ripped apart” - Mark Arm/ Mudhoney
Welcome to Dead Dad, home of world famous behavioral disorders and the third most common destination in life for people of all ages and fields of study. Throughout your stay in Dead Dad, be it a week or a layover, you're bound to visit depths in the human psyche which make ol’ DD truly unforgettable. Dead Dad will be with you until the bitter end.
During my second holiday in this void of depravity during the summer of 2017, I jotted down some key attractions and fun facts in between rage-inspired hangovers to heighten the experience of even the most seasoned explorer. So, drop your humility, grab a sharp object and let's climb right up the bowels of humanity to Dead Dad!
First Things Last
Preparing for the unexpected and supremely inconvenient visit of any Deceased-area destination can be taxing on your organizational skills and your liver. So, here at The Casual Misanthrope’s Guide to Humanity, we've compiled a list of what you'll need to bring to make the most of your stay.
Cliché condolences and cringe worthy memories are widely accepted.
Awkward silences, vulgarities, outdated insults and passive-aggressive diatribes round out this multilingual powder-keg
When to go
That's not up to you
From the smallest of travel budgets to the luxury of top end amenities, nothing is more essential than the numbing of the senses. Since Dead Dad is generally a once in a lifetime journey, why not splurge on a top shelf bottle? Even mid-range selections are acceptable for the most petulant of palates when served in plastic red cups. Or settle for the misery of canned domestic ocelot urine if that's your creature comfort. Plan on spending $50 at minimum on beverages as no one can rightfully eat around these fucking people.
There's no better way to validate your potentially life altering ordeal than by posting sympathy-yielding updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Tinder
NEVER ABLE TO UNSEE
This list of local legends is what makes Dead Dad the unrelenting and nausea-inducing Capital of our space-time continuum. From Animosity to Revisionism, this roster of the commensurate Never Able to Unsee destinations is quite possibly the most dim compilation in The Casual Misanthrope’s Guide series. As avoiding these gems during your time in Smoky ol’ DD is nearly impossible, it's best to make the most of them by immersing your very being in their fetid offerings.
Arguably the most coveted yet unavoidable attraction in the entire Deceased-area region, Animosity lies deep in the heart of Dead Dad like a stent through which all resident toxins pass.
This “can't miss” haunt is a favorite of natives and tourists alike and is operated by lifelong self pity enthusiast, “DJ”. A man of few faces and expressive capabilities, DJ has owned Animosity for almost 50 years and has no plans of relinquishing this den of disgust anytime soon.
This family institution has been passed down through the generations like a genetic disease and fully embraced by the mouth breathing community. DJ is a natural at childishly avoiding relatives and logic, having reigned supreme in a mute parallel world since grade school. This self-loathing underachiever has gone decades without any honest contact with anyone at all, circumventing tangible relations as he does reading or critical thinking.
In Animosity, you'll be treated to copious amounts of misplaced anger and displays of delusional indulgence. From witnessing the use of Listerine as a portable potable to the act of a grown man losing his cell phone privileges granted by his estranged wife, anything can happen here! After all, what happens in Dead Dad stays with you like a traumatic head injury.
Generally the second stop for any traveler in Dead Dad, Hospital sets the tone for the entirety of the DD experience. This juggernaut of the role-playing industry exceeds the standard tolerance for sociopathy, allowing for an immersive encounter rivaled only by Regret.
Governed by the Succubus of Sao Paulo, Mulher Fatal, your actions will be recklessly scrutinized and dictated at Hospital under her bloodshot watchful eyes. Historians have long credited MF for being the most pivotal architect in the overall direction/ demise of DD and what makes it unmistakably surreal.
Sitting like a regal vulture in the venue's only chair designed for seating, MF keeps watch over the babbling man in the bed next to her just as a Cerberus would the gates of Hell, her former position prior to arriving in DD. As she balances micromanagement of the Hospital staff and Facebook comments, you'll be sat in the front row of an often repeated and regrettable performance known charmingly as “Deathbed”.
Act One of “Deathbed” is a far from groundbreaking endeavor as the viewer is subjected to the sporadic misfirings of the lead’s near cadaverous neurons whilst being stroked on the arm by Animosity’s own DJ. DJ’s antiseptic-soaked brain has convinced him that this action was an appropriate vigil for his dying father, seemingly curated by MF herself. As Hospital provides no contact with the dying due to the proximity of these desperate scavengers, intermission is a welcomed respite from the coached molestation of the 70 year old man fading away amongst tubes and monitors.
Acts Two and Three are redundancies of the first, save for the position of the sun provided by Hospital’s panoramic window. As you're ambushed by bushels of false hope and misinformation spewed forth by Mulher Fatal as she reinterprets sound evidence given to her by medical specialists, the parking lot seen through that window is the closest you'll come to serenity.
After you've been eviscerated for endless hours at Hospital by the imaginations of a disconnected she-demon and her drunken sidekick, you'll frantically seek any semblance of reality, even purchase a $9 bottle of artisanal iced tea sold at Hospital’s concession. However fruitless that quest may prove, a sliver of contentment can be found upon exiting. Albeit, a brief one.
No tour of Dead Dad, guided or otherwise, would be complete without dropping in for a bit of corrupted memories and fact desecration at Revisionism. This is the place to be when both the past and the present are properly upended and selectively edited.
Revisionism is the sister establishment of Animosity and is managed ever so carelessly by Dead Dad’s unofficial mayor, DJ. The premise is quite appealing to the more simple palates of those who may be uncomfortable with shared tangible reality; change it by employing heavy-handed assumptions and interpretive inferences. After all, we couldn't possibly be responsible for our present affairs in life, could we?
Here at Revisionism, the focus is on the insignificant aspects of events dating back four decades ago, such as elementary school and childhood Christmas gifts, often through the former mindset of the soon-to-be interred.
If, perchance, one was a frequent summer school flyer due to poor intelligence, Revisionism can explain that the budding genius was merely bored and prone to atom-splitting reverie. Any blame for their chronic failure can be easily transferred onto other people by inserting creative circumstances and scenarios, excusing their present position on society's bottom rung. After all, anyone with a solid semester of Community College under their belt should be Empire-building from the corner office.
When half-assed attempts and dissolved dreams are the order of the day, Revisionism has got you covered. Once the authority on history can no longer speak, anything was possible.
What would Dead Dad actually be without the “great equalizer”? Commonly, Death is mistaken as the last point of interest prior to heading home, but no matter where it falls on the itinerary, Death is not the end. Rather, it pervades through the very genetic material that binds all of the fine establishments on this list.
The anticipation of Death is understandable, especially after experiencing the amenities provided by Hospital, but that does not expedite matters for every visitor. Death keeps its own calendar and could easily extend a weekend getaway to Dead Dad to a four month ordeal. So, keep that beverage tab open.
The illusive finality of Death dissipates soon after the vehicular procession vacates that fresh hole in the Earth. Before that mound of soil can settle into a proper patch on which to piss or decorate, it is realized by many that it was merely a detail in a lengthy contract that shackles the fabric of the survivors for an unforeseeable amount of time to follow.
Death creates mirages of reconnection, righting the wrongs of the past, and sometimes an imagined change in the familial hierarchy. The outcast is now the center and we'll shower them in rose petals as we dance around them in adoration and praise. Fuck no, that's the Death talking. Every existing distance between each other only widens in its wake, open wounds meant to fester, not heal.
You may be all too eager to leave Death and Dead Dad in the rear view mirror at this point, but what fun would it all have been without a lasting souvenir?
Regret offers a spectrum of memorabilia from alcoholism to violent outbursts, or some police participation for the big spender. Regret is your one stop shop for that gift that keeps on taking the toll of Dead Dad for a lifetime.
After pondering your encounters at Animosity and Revisionism, Regret can accommodate any deficits one may possess. No matter its manifestation or how intense the pain, you'll come away from Dead Dad with either an internal tattoo that you'll be rarely fortunate enough to avoid or an untreatable variation of Would've, Could've, Should've. Why not spend the rest of your days contemplating an insufferable question? Why the fuck not?
Other visitors have opted for the Finger-pointing selection offered by Regret, merely trying to summon the Force in an attempt to place their dismal vulnerabilities upon others, which instead creates a vacuum into which everyone in their reach
is sucked in. Although there's no known discount for sharing such weighty items with others, the havoc unleashed is priceless.
It's at this point that you may not know if you've actually ever left Dead Dad and in reality, some never find out. Dead Dad can be a dead end if one isn't careful. Once you're able to itemize your stay in hindsight, it's easy to see where you could've been more frugal and apply that wisdom to future destinations. And it should be said here that the return trip is exponentially better if you leave everything you've brought to DD in DD. Luggage fees aren't always measured in dollars.
Patrick J Dalton
All images ©2018 Daltoxic73