Bitchbusters

Bitchbusters

A Story by barleygirl
"

my b***h quotient escalates . . .

"

We’re all familiar with dealbreakers. When Sam falls madly in love with Suzy, they’re in the throes of online raptures for months until he visits her in person for the first time. Easing sensuously toward a score, Sam swaggers down the hallway and spots several shedding sheepdogs sprawled across two-thirds of her bed, all baring their teeth and snarling as he walks by. Sam suddenly decides it’s her bathroom he needs. Spotting the laundry room, he silently eases out the door as he blocks her number.

Careful sixty-year-old Ethel finally summons the nerve to send a nude selfie to her first long-lasting online suitor. Victor’s the vice president of a bank, after all, plus he’s sexy in a gentlemanly way. Ethel wasn’t born yesterday and she knows the score about safety: from the neck down and from the waist up. What could go wrong? Within minutes of sending her first sext, her phone rings and it’s Victor: “could you redo this thing and position your hands to where you’re holding your tits up and together some?” Evidently the chump didn’t realize sixty-year-old women wear sixty-year-old tits. Ethel’s too dignified to do cheesecake poses nor will there be a do-over when it comes to nude selfies. She swiftly quits the call and blocks the chump.

Some dealbreakers are mind-boggling lapses of basic expectations. Rick and Ruby know each other from way back, imparting a false sense of ease, as if they are more familiar than they really are. Rick looks up Ruby on Facebook after so many years, but he claims to be afraid she might mistakenly get the idea he’s hitting on her. So Rick sends Ruby a photo with his first text. It’s a provocative pose of his apparent girlfriend, one-third his age and scantily-clad. Ruby doesn’t believe dorky Rick with red hair and freckles in high school, now bald and stodgy. He probably doesn’t even know the young lady in the picture. Further, she suspects Rick is painting himself as a man of virility. Clicking “block” becomes a reflex.

Dealbreakers are an unavoidable part of surviving in the jungle. Ooooh baby baby it’s a wild world: such is life, when we partake of global connections galore. Now that I’ve mellowed with age, I can “block” a garden variety buffoon with as little emotion as swatting a fly.

However, beneath my affable demeanor dwells a dormant raging b***h. I spend my life taming the shrew within and I do pretty well most of the time. But sometimes life sends me a string of aggravations to bust up my carefully cultivated decency. Lately, I’ve been slammed with some bitchbusters.

Some lady misnamed Joy sends me a friend request on Facebook. Evidently we worked together way back when we were twenty. Joyless includes a photo of a card I made for her and there’s my neat childish printing: “let’s keep in touch!” Nobody heeded that advice and now I can’t remember a thing about this biddy. But Joyless assists my bad memory by sending me a full-length resume via Facebook messenger. I get a bad taste in my mouth when anyone leads with a list of college awards and advanced degrees. Especially at our age, why tout the old glory days? Are dusty accomplishments the only way to define oneself?

I write several one-line replies until I can appraise this narcissist. Joyless eventually throws lukewarm shade on my posted poetry, but only as a prelude to what she really wants to say: “your poems are okay . . . but I’M a professional writer, I’ve been published and you should check my postings.” The next day I do. There’s a lengthy self-absorbed diatribe posted every single day, bragging on great stuff about herself and her life. Nary a “like” for the past two weeks.

Another day passes and I continue our texting with a self-revelation that turns out to be my last: “I was a technical writer for thirty-plus years.”

Her immediate reply: a long-a*s windbag of a story describing how she quit a job in outrage when her boss told her she would have to do technical writing instead of being blah-blah-blah of engineering. She concludes her tirade asking me rhetorically: “Can you imagine ME doing technical writing with all MY advanced degrees!?!?!” Hitting “block” feels like popping a butt pimple, but my b***h quotient escalates dangerously.

I reconnect with another friend from high school named Henry. At this point, I’m not overly excited when old pals show up on my Facebook doorstep with a friend request. To make a long story short, a few years ago I had surgery to fix my busted neck. Doctors warn I may never walk again. After being unable to walk for a year, it takes two more years for me to walk on an intermittent basis. After a month of being home from the hospital, my ten-inch neck incision is still oozing and healing. I get a message from Henry with a tirade accusing me of being a wimp. He can’t see why I’m milking this disability to the hilt. After all, his boss has fibromyalgia and never missed a day of work. (I have fibromyalgia, in addition to this neck injury). He blocks me after his verbal assault, before I could block him.

Over the last few years I become familiar with a guy my age when he stops by these parts every so often. Eventually George gets up the gumption to ask me out. Early in conversation, driving to a restaurant, he trips my “dealbreaker” switch by admitting to having been divorced seven times. He commits the regrettable blunder of launching into a long diatribe about one of his ex’s getting into a fray with another of his ex’s at some recent holiday get-together. Up so close for the first time, I realize George dons his bushy mustache to camouflage the fact that he’s got fewer teeth than divorces. But he’s a nice guy and dining together is fairly copacetic.

It’s a long drive to take me home out to the boondocks where I live. George tells me the dramatic story about his sister being raped by their stepdad when she was a kid. George plays the hero in this tale, helping his sister thru rehab to kick her drug addiction. They both get weight-loss surgery and eventually lose hundreds of pounds together. His dad, sister and George still live together. Emboldened by such candid sharing, I tell him some of my own story, being repeatedly raped by my father as a little girl. My mind’s boggled into a bender as I watch George’s toothless mouth form these words: “why didn’t you make him stop?”

At that point, I ask him to pull over because I need to pee. As George obliges, his car teeters on the edge of a steep rocky embankment. Stumbling in the dark, gentleman George comes around to open the car door for me. I give that scrawny toothless jerk a solid whack with the car door and watch him tumble head over heels down into the tangled stickery ravine. Scooting over to the driver’s side, I take the wheel and spray gravel as my inner b***h hits full throttle.

© 2018 barleygirl


Author's Note

barleygirl
You can guess how much of this is taken from my true life . . .

My Review

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Featured Review

Wow, these are true tales of terror my friend. I’ve had a few of my own, and this brought them walloping back in HD! Great writing, presentation and character depiction in this story. You are such a talented prose writer and poet. Your years of professional skills are very evident in the construction of your story. “Joyless” is described to a point of brilliant absurdity, and the guys are drolly described as the feckless wonders they are. The ignorance and callousness of George’s remark and the image of you knocking the toothless wonder out of the car is a true hall-of- famer! Your sense of humor is so honest and so awesome. Let your “inner b***h” roll Margie- a girl has to defend herself in this world doesn't she?! ((You))

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Year Ago

Your fulsome response tells me you can relate! *smile* I actually had to sort thru a longer list of .. read more



Reviews

We are definitely descended from the same tribe...and I salute you (secret handshake...okay, the bird!) my sister in thought and deed. This is a "bitter pill" hidden in the more palatable peanut butter that some folks need to "get it". But, chickie, you had me at:

"Evidently the chump didn’t realize sixty-year-old women wear sixty-year-old tits."

It was all the "foreplay" I needed to thoroughly enjoy this gem to the last word and now I'm off to smoke a Kool and drink some coffee...like all respectable, conflicted and tortured artists do.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Carol Cashes

1 Year Ago

By the way, I know I was "out" for awhile, but your work seems to have a different "flavor"...hmmm.... read more
barleygirl

1 Year Ago

I'd forgotten about writing this. And now I'm seeing the parallel to some of your brilliant rants. I.. read more
Carol Cashes

1 Year Ago

*snort* Yeah...horseshit's heavy...
Dear lord. What a great and funny twisted tragic tale. We chuckle cause many of us have been somewhere in the vicinity of all of these places. Most of mine are of the last guy variety, and end somewhere between a never again and punch in the face. The most telling is the vapid empty "friends" from the past. If you were nothing to me don't friend me now, and if you were my bully don't friend me without an apology. I have better things to do. People constantly want to compare their "success" to your "failures" in an attempt to elevate themselves. Keep bitching. It's beautiful

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Year Ago

Back in the old days (about 5 years ago) I would put time & effort into these interactions well beyo.. read more
I don't have that much trouble on line. I haven't been single for long time, so I don't have romantic encounters on-line, and I'm quick to tell people to go to hell. Maybe that's why. I did have a very obnoxious "Mansplainer" after me for a couple of days. But the block button solved this nicely. Enjoyed your story, waiting for the next.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Year Ago

When I had a severe neck injury, I was physically limited, so I spent more time online with people I.. read more
Oh, I truly enjoyed this. Being, it seems, of the same generation as you, I understand where you come from. And the awful guys I've dated. It triggered 'me too' reaction which is what a writer wants.

The voice is humorous and, once more, sardonic like your last story. The thumbnail mini-stories are clever and concise. The pithy physical descriptions are perfect. Just enough to spark a vivid mental picture. The 'over-the-top' presentation was well-judged. This was always going to be a funny story and it worked. Calling your woman 'Joyless' was also a clever idea.

Your colloquialism are fine, though this is definitely for an American market. Some of the expressions I don't know, but can guess.

One jarring note was the word 'copocetic'. I have looked it up, but it did hint of um... showing you know lots of obscure vocabulary. Unfortunately I reminded me of coprophagic, just what you don't want!

So, good quality writing. Look forward to some more.

From Alec/Marianne


Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Year Ago

I love the way you ponder & observe . . . thanks for sharing so many interesting tidbits. I know my .. read more
Alec Shrimpton

1 Year Ago

Oh no, the colloquialisms are what you want, Margi. These make the characters vivid and alive.
read more
Ahhhaha make sure you don’t keep her on too tight of a leash. Fewer teeth than divorces! I snorted for that one. Lol!


Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Year Ago

To get a snort is the ultimate accomplishment! Thanks for sharing that! *smile* Fondly, Margie
I'd hate to get on the wrong side of you! If I did I'd be nursing my balls with bruises!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Year Ago

What you describe is the #1 reason why I've live alone most of my adult life. I must take care to ke.. read more
What an enthralling and brilliant write Margie. Your characters in full technicolour. Your talent shines through with this piece of wonderful prose. Yeah, after being online for 8 years, I've got a few of my own to tell! Never know what you are letting yourself in for. Three cheers for your inner b***h.

Chris

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Year Ago

I actually pared this list down to a few, but I’ve got many weird stories to tell about meeting pe.. read more
Christine Anne Shaw

1 Year Ago

smiling back at ya girlie.
Been on both sides of this one Margie, and have been known to block people for merely being associated with online asshats. Best thing that ever happened to me was being blocked by someone I cared about, for her own deluded infraction of what I allegedly said but didnt. It was an excuse that allowed her to move on without letting me know, and it completely changed my already negative impression of the picture people paint of their selves online.
It helped me see through her bullshit and now no one gets past the added armour of protectipn.They pretend because they arent nearly capable in the real world, face to face, so become a caricature of themselves. I include my online self in that too.
There are just as many a******s in real life, but we dont notice when we have our face on our phone screens permanently.
Plus, life doesnt come with a block button. Well, not unless youre willing to bury it :)

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Year Ago

I love that the electronic world has a “block” button. There was one guy in my 20’s who kept c.. read more
They always say, there's nothing as queer as folk.
But in the online world, the byword should always be, beware.
Don't send pics of yourself, unless you want to be posing around the world.
Never get in contact with old friends. If they were friends you would be drinking with them.
(This obviously changes if you need a Kidney.)
I would pay to see toothless George tumble down the ravine. lol.
Now we all need to know. Did he ever get out of the ravine? Any chance a bear ate him.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Year Ago

One of my hardest lessons in life: DON’T go back & look up old friends. What you say is exactly ri.. read more
The experiences you have had makes you a hero in my books. One thing I am pretty sure is you can teach the likes of toothless George a lesson or two they will never forget. You keep your readers on the edge of their seats Margie, Once I start your stories , anticipation takes over and I race to the end of the story ... it is always brilliant.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Year Ago

Thank you so much for being a wholehearted supporter! It really means a lot to me. I don’t tell pe.. read more
Mrudula Rani

1 Year Ago

I follow the same policy of walking away form insufferables. I agree with you life is too precious .. read more

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Added on June 4, 2018
Last Updated on June 4, 2018

Author

barleygirl
barleygirl

Central Coast, CA



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