Monday, March 4, 2024

Gone But Not Forgiven

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, lawyer, funeral, TED talk, Party of the First Part, country song, Rejoice

This past week, I have found myself in the uncomfortable position of having to decide whether I'm a hypocrite or an asshole. And the verdict is that I'm not a hypocrite.

The situation is this: for years I've had a Bucket List somewhat different than that of most people. Visiting Paris? Climbing a pyramid? Swimming with dolphins? Nope. My list consists entirely of people whom I want to see kick the bucket before I do. Being on the list seems to bring no harm to those named, as they tend to cling to life like withered Democrats who refuse to give up office after half-centuries or more of (ahem) "service."

But even the occasional scratch-off Lotto ticket produces a small win from time to time, and several days ago I learned that the person at the top of my Bucket List is not long for this world. Indeed, this person may be room temperature by the time you read this, though I wouldn't expect that condition to last long if you take my drift.

Something I should make clear: I struggle with grief every day and I would never want anyone to suffer. But dropping dead? Well, we all do it eventually, which seems like a waste of effort if no one is made happy. 

In this case, the individual is a lawyer who made my life miserable for years. A person who cost me and my family tens of thousands of dollars (and perhaps significantly more) while actively trying to sabotage my career for no discernible reason. This person was also not a very good lawyer and cost their (and my) employer literally millions of dollars in lost court cases. 

But as is too often the case, this lawyer continued to fail upward into other positions, some of national prominence and newsworthy incompetence. This person even did a TED talk about the secret of success: "being nice to the little people." A sentiment so far from their actual behavior that I'm amazed a lightning bolt didn't strike then and there.

Still, I'm not a heartless bastard. I have human feelings and strive to find forgiveness for those who have not only trespassed against me but taken a steaming dump while they were on my lawn. Which is why as a peace offering, I wrote the following song to commemorate this sad occasion.

Sorry, that was a typo. I meant sadly delayed occasion.

That lead singer sure is a good-looking guy...


DaleFlannery said...

I think everyone would love to hear the full story.
(Unless you're working on a movie script).

Anonymous said...

Time wounds all heels.

rickn8or said...

Stilt, we've ALL got our little list of people's funerals we'll gladly attend.

Me, I've got that, plus an additional list of people whose grave I intend to "moisten".

And Popeye is a sterling example for the rest of us.

Jay Dee said...

I notice the quotes around the word service. Are you perhaps using the word service in the same context as when a farmer refers to a bull servicing a cow?

On another note, I recently read Robert Sutton's book, "The No Asshole Rule" and found it quite revelatory regarding people I've encountered or worked with over the years. It sounds like the person you are anticipating assuming room temperature would rate high on the ARSE scale.

Maoz said...

"Still, I'm not a heartless bastard. I have human feelings and strive to find forgiveness for those who have not only trespassed against me but taken a steaming dump while they were on my lawn."

You're a better man than me, Gunga Din.

As the old saying goes, you can only turn the other cheek so many times before you run out of cheeks to turn.

Anonymous said...

Stilt, I understand the feelings you have regarding especially lawyers and sometimes other unethical individuals.
I will say, at 83, I think my bucket list of these people is smaller as I am "hanging on" as they are assuming room temperature. This comes from being "set-up" and fired from a job I loved. My position was filled by their close pals being brought into the company.

Anonymous said...

That song is hilarious! Genius! Shop it around!

Kerry Soileau said...

I confess that I am guilty of the same malady. A person I used to work for recently lost his wife, and my first thought was "Too bad it wasn't him instead."

Sadly, we are human and very falljble.

Best wishes!

Dastardly Dan said...

No, Sorry, you're not an asshole.
You're a human. You've gotten dumped on from time to time.
So have we all.
You have a list of people who you want to see dead before you.
I have a list of people I will help die, if given the chance.

Anonymous said...

As long as a lot of Democrats are on that list.

Anonymous said...

NWPA Ray says
2% of all lawyers make the other 98% look bad!

Kerry Soileau said...

I agree. My brother is a real estate attorney and is one of the best people I know.

Bobo the Hobo said...

Hypocrite? No. Asshole? Um …… maybe? but I can respect that; I can’t respect hypocrisy.

FlyBoy said...

Anonymous: I believe that it’s the other way around….98% of lawyers make the other 2% look bad.

Andrew Smith said...

The good thing about this lawyer being not dead yet (if I read things correctly) is that you still have a chance to sit him down and ask him why he did the things that he did. You get further robbed when a person dies as this then is no longer an option.

In the end you still have to forgive, otherwise you suffer a second time as unforgiveness hangs on to its 'my precious' and devolves into bitterness. Forgiveness is the only escape route, and you can't expect God to forgive you if you aren't prepared to forgive others.

It's difficult and it's crappy, but resolving things and pursuing freedom through forgiveness is the only real way forward. Best wishes for making it through the toothpaste tube of life.

Anonymous said...

"I Have Never Killed Any One, But I Have Read Some Obituary Notices with Great Satisfaction". Variously attributed...

McChuck said...

"I'll be glad when you're dead, you rascal, you!" - Louis Armstrong

Henk Vandenbergh said...

I understand your hatred towards certain lawyer scumbags.
My ex kicked the bucket 27 years ago. My three kids still suffer from the pain caused by her and her lawyer. I'll stick around waiting for her lawyer to join her in hell. And will celebrate.

ruralbob said...

As Stan Laurel said, "If you cry at my funeral, I'll never speak to you again." May you live a long and happy life, Stilton. I'm right there with you as far as that bucket list is concerned.

Elbarto said...

Don't be a hypocrite. As Mark Twain once observed, "Some people bring joy wherever they go, and some people bring joy whenever they go."

BobHe said...

“I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”
- Mark Twain

Neighbor Dave said...

Great song!

ed_in_upstate_ny said...


Rest assured you are neither Hypocrite nor Asshole, you are a genius, and the reason I know you are a genius is that you think like me! Joe Biden's (p)residency has incentivized me to stick to a daily health improvement regimen the end result of which will be to outlive him by enough to piss on his grave. Win-win. Not an easy task at age 78 but I think I can do it.

Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

Love you Stilton and I will be learning that song to sing in my mind over a few- especially some of my own family.

I am also in grief everyday.

Love to you and yours always,

Kathe Houston

TrickyRicky said...

Forgiveness is laudable and often very soul cleansing.
On the other hand, schadenfreude is freaking delicious!!

I absolutely love the song. Really, as mentioned above, copyright that sucker and bask in the royalties when it hits number one on the country charts!

Bobo said...

Would that “handsome lead singer be someone who just happens to be you?”


Anonymous said...

Does your bucket list include travel to urinate on headstones? Like you, I to am a dreamer.

Doc said...

Sounds like y'all get your bucket from the same hardware store as a lot of us.
Keep up the good fight my brother!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- I'm glad to see that the prevailing opinion is that I'm not a horrible person. Or at least not an unusually horrible person. And as a timely addition to today's post, it has been confirmed that the lawyer is not simply pining for the fjords, but has officially joined the choir eternal.

As I'm currently enduring the dreaded Covid fatigue (and still have a honking cough that is drawing horny geese to my yard) let me give a few bullet-point replies instead of hitting every individual comment:

• Oh yeah, there's a LOT more to the story. Maybe for another day.

• I'm glad folks like the song. The lyrics are all mine and the rest, rather remarkably, is AI. And yes, @Bobo, the "handsome lead singer" in the sadly-blurry pictures is me most of 50 years ago.

• I know that not all lawyers are bad people. My grandfather was a good one, my personal attorney is a trusted friend, and two days ago I sent a congratulatory gift to another attorney friend to celebrate a job advancement. But the bad ones can be really bad.

@Andrew Smith- Events happen quickly and there's now no communicating with the lawyer that won't involve a Ouija board and being billed in 15 minute increments. But there really was no mystery to resolve. This was a corporate attorney who simply believed I was earning too much and so literally lied, cheated, and stole to take away my money and try to force me out of my job. Having a final heart-to-heart with this person would be like getting into the water again to ask a shark why it bites.

@TrickyRicky- What a relief! My song was just a Schadenfreudian Slip!

@Anonymous- Yes, I have a separate list of graves that I want to visit with a full bladder.

Oldarmourer said...

This is a large part of the problems facing us today, evil people do evil and then insist that they need to be 'forgiven'.
Bullshit, they need to be be held accountable and made an example of in the same way they try to use their victims to make the other 'littkle people' cower in fear of receiving the same treatment if they dare speak up.
Forgiveness is for someone who truly repents of their sins and sincerely tries to atone for them, it is most assuredly NOT for someone who just got caught and is now trying to squirm out from under the consequences of the actions they willingly undertook.
As we said in the Service, "Fuck 'em all and feed 'em beans".
They knew what they were doing, let them reap their just rewards, not just the rewards they expected to take.

Oldarmourer said...

I believe the most appropriate saying was from Mark Twain "I won't be attending the funeral but I highly approve of it"

Oldarmourer said...

Prolific today :) I really should wait five minutes before hitting 'send' so I can do it all in one go.

As usual, a song immediately popped into my head after reading this.

You analyze me, pretend to despise me
You laugh when I stumble and fall
There may come a day I will dance on your grave
If unable to dance, I will crawl across it
If unable to dance, I'll still crawl
Unable to dance I'll crawl...

Maoz said...

What Oldarmourer said (at 9:54).

Jess said...

I've seen some damaging fires and was happy they were extinguished. I think it's the same with some people.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

A dead lawyer? Well, it's a good start...

“I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” -Clarence Darrow

Joe Drypowda said...

You're not an asshole, you just have a bully pulpit the rest of us wish we had. Great song!!

JustaJeepGuy said...

@Stilt, don't feel bad that you're not unhappy this guy croaked, as long as he knew you're outliving him.

Gary said...

Great song, and loved the lyrics as well.

I wouldn't feel bad for one second about wishing an asshole lawyer like that to move on to whatever special hell is reserved for lawyers. Some people are just evil, and some get licensed by passing a BAR exam to be legally protected and evil.

I'm sorry you had to deal with a toxic person like that. Life can be difficul, and is too short to have to some filthy lawyer make it even more difficult.

I'm sure that you and your employer are not the only people on the list of people the lawyer screwed over. I'm guessing it will be a very large funeral, because everyone will want to show up to make sure he is dead...

Anonymous said...

There was a local architect who passed away some years ago. My boss (also an architect) attended the funeral, being not a friend but associated with the local chapter. At the funeral, he found a building contractor which had an especially bad relationship with the deceased, butting heads on common project. When my boss asked why he was there, the contractor said "I just wanted to be sure the SOB was really dead."

Anonymous said...

Movie THE SHOOTIST quote:

Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: The day they lay you away, what I'll do on your grave won't pass for flowers.

Kentucky Packrat said...

It's a balancing act. Mr. Smith is correct, from the Christian point of view, forgiveness is a virtue and God does forgive us in the same fashion as we forgive others. However, there can be no forgiveness without contrition, without being truly sorry.

People conflate this with Paul's admonishment to not let the sun go down on your anger. God says to give Him the anger and the desire for vengence, He will take care of it.

I personally try to practice "aggressive forgiveness", because I am human and can't let go of the anger without forgiving as well. There are people in my life who are too narcissistic to be contrite (had a person look at me square in the eyes and tell me how they never liked my late wife, for example), but I am giving God the anger and trying to stay past it.

If they happen to be in Heaven when you get there, they'll apologize and you'll have all eternity with their perfected version to get past it. And if they aren't, then justice was served.

The Inukshuk said...

Mr. Cheese,
Posts like this make me think you are getting back to your fighting weight. Perhaps thrice weekly posts might return here to join Jonny Optimism.
What is the difference between a dead skunk in the middle of the road and a dead lawyer in the middle of the road?
There are skid marks in front of the skunk.

How do you get a lawyer out of a tree?
Cut the rope.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@OldArmourer- I believe that in some cases it makes sense to practice forgiveness purely for one's own well-being. Hate is caustic and you can get burned carrying it. So whether or not the offending party shows contrition, I can usually muster forgiveness (or at least an "Oh, screw it") if their failure was an act of human frailty. But pure assholery doesn't get a free pass from me, this being a case in point.

@Jess- "a damaging fire extinguished." I love that. I wonder if the attorney has an "in memoriam" page set up yet?

@M. Mitchell Marmel- I love that quote from Darrow.

@Joe Drypowda- I'd feel like a jerk if I was sharing my feelings with people who knew and maybe even liked the dire departed. But given the fact that nobody here knew the person I feel okay about celebrating.

@JustaJeepGuy- I'm sure the lawyer neither knew nor cared if I was still alive. I think people who get screwed remember it a lot longer than those who screw everyone reflexively.

@Gary- It's true; into every life some toxic people will fall. They just show up out of nowhere, hateful, and try to screw with you (or worse) for no logical reason at all.

@Anonymous- If the attorney's funeral was within easy driving distance, I'd consider going just to savor the occasion.

@Anonymous 2- Now THAT should be a Hallmark card.

@Kentucky Packrat- Good advice and actually what I try to practice, albeit clearly not perfectly. And if I get a chance to chat with the lawyer in the afterlife, I have real doubts that we'll be in Heaven.

@The Inukshuk- I wish I was getting back to my fighting weight, and I also wish that I'd post more because I love interacting with everyone here. But politics frustrates me so much these days that I genuinely have to limit my intake. Additionally, I'm currently discovering what "Covid fatigue" really means - I can't walk across a room without running out of breath and needing to rest.

That being said, a post like this was fun to write. Perhaps I just need to find a (mostly) non-political jumping off point for this blog where I can joke or complain about other things in life.

Julian said...

I loved the song and the sentiment- and it reminded me of a song that the late, great Tim Wilson might have come up with. And btw- if you never heard his song about the First Baptist Bar and Grill, here is a slightly censored version for you=

JustaJeepGuy said...

@Stilt, speaking of Covid Fatigue, I just caught your YouTube video of that song!

For anyone who may have missed it, look here:

Beans said...

I don't wish to water the flowers on someone's grave. Nope.

I want to dig up their grave, drive a wooden stake through their ribcage where their heart should be, put holy wafers on their tongues and eyes, chop the heads off, expose the bodies to sunlight for at least 6 hours, set fire to the bodies and heads and spread the ashes on opposite sides of swift-flowing waters.

You know, just to be sure.

As to hating, well...

When my father-in-law was buried, I fully expected the lowering winch to keep going and going and going and... finally to stop, a rusty door open followed by a blast of heat and a rather satanic chuckle come up from the hole welcoming said FIL to the unhallowed halls of Hell. No, don't hate him at all. I was surprised that when he entered the church for his daughter's wedding that he didn't catch on fire from lighting bolts. Nope.

Long list of people I'd gladly see having kicked the bucket. Or get found out and get their just rewards on this mortal world before meeting their final cruise director.

Bones said...

Funeral services for some people are just so the people wronged by them can be reassured of their passing.Been to a few of those.

Oldarmourer said...

Once upon a time, a few years back, one senior manager who had done much more harm than good to many Officers and who I'd locked horns with on more than one occasion, gleefully making him look like the pompous, uninformed fool that he was in the process, went to his reward.

In death, our custom is that we pay respects to anyone who wore the uniform, no matter how badly.
I dutifully went to the viewing and looked into the casket then nodded and left.

One of my co-workers came up to me the next day and said he was surprised to see me there.
I replied "just making sure, hope they bury him upside down so the trip's shorter"

Oldarmourer said...

Off topic a bit, but maybe not by so much...

So the SC punted the ‘removed from the ballot’ vote and left it up to Congress to decide if they approve who the opposition is allowed to run as a candidate or in this case, to choose who they want.

We shall soon see who the quislings are both in the House and the Senate and given that some have already said they’d ‘never vote for Trump’ it might well be that comrade nikki gets the nod to act as the new *resident, getting votes from both sides but acting as a dem once (s)elected.

There’s a reason she’s staying in, even given the supposedly insurmountable odds, when you get more support from dems than from your own party the fix is already in, just from a different direction.

It’s going to be fun to see just how many delegates Trump ends up with and who he asks them to vote for if he’s removed, not nikki for sure, is there anyone else who can still declare their candidacy, or have they all dropped out and handed their party over to the dems ?

Lee The Voice said...

That lawyer must have really messed you over. Remind me not to get on your bad side. But I love the song. If I were still programing country radio, you know it would be on my play list.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Lee The Voice- Just to confirm your suspicion, the lawyer REALLY messed me over and with malicious intent. But hey, a fun song came out of it and I'm flattered that you like it!

Anonymous said...

Amen to that Andrew!

Anonymous said...

One of my bosses was the biggest jerk I ever met. I couldn’t wait for him to die so I could write in his obit “he was the biggest jerk I ever met.” This SOB made it to 93! I decided not to post any comments but I’m glad he is gone

RPL said...

I can respect your position, Stilton. In case you've never heard it, here's the I-95 Asshole Song.

Alfonso Bedoya said...

Loved all the comments, and came away with the soothing thought that it's okay to not "forgive" those who don't deserve it in the first place.
At this point, I just pour a tall, cold, stiff Margarita, toast the anointed one, and fogeddaboudit, so as to get a good night's sleep. Leftist politicians are NOT included!