Monday, April 30, 2012

A Huff Post

This is me, shamelessly Riding the coattails of the Pulitzer Prize awarded to the Huffington Post.

Here is my own Huff Post.  I am writing it after coming down from a fit of annoyance at my boss, who may or may not have some severe hearing loss and / or mild brain damage. I don't even think he noticed I was annoyed, which itself is annoying.  I need to improve my level of Huffiness.

When my wife gets huffy, everybody knows it.  She huffs and puffs, and then lectures start leaping out and grabbing you.  You had better hope you weren't on the way to the bathroom, Mister, because she's got a good twenty minutes of Huff Lecture with your name on  it.  My children are quicker than I am and scatter when the huffing starts, which leaves me as the only dumb sucker in the room available to be trapped by The Lecture.  Often I am trapped in a Lecture that is all about what the children just did before they escaped, because I am the only idiot left in the room.  I can hear my kids high-fiving each other from their bedrooms while I weather the Huff.

I typically just go off in a huff by myself.  Perhaps I will slam a door so everybody can be warned that I Am In A Huff.  But then I feel bad about it and my Huff loses its steam.  Within about ten minutes I've read something brilliant or funny and I run back out to share it with someone in my family and they will look at me with this expression that quietly says, "Oh, look who's back from their little Huff already?" and then I feel small and lame because I forgot I had gone off in a Huff in the first place.  I am not a very good Huffer.

My 13-year-old daughter is Absolute Queen of the Dramatic Huff.  She's nowhere near as scary as my wife, but I can see that with practice she will someday become quite effective at it.  She's at her best and most creative when she crafts her Huffy Defensive Excuses: "Well, I was going to start the project like I told you, but my friend Darrel has the notes and he lost his phone and his email doesn't work and he said he would email me back once it came back up so obviously there's nothing I can do right now anyway so would you please both get off my back because I am trying my very best and it's never good enough for you!"

 My son is somewhat left out of the mix because he doesn't get huffy.  He gets snooty, which is annoying and maddening.  But this is a post about Huffs.

How effective is your Huff?  I'm not talking about sniffing glue or paint, but how righteously indignant you might get when you see someone sniffing your glue or your hard-earned paint.  Do people care about your indignation?  Why or why not?  (Explain, in 100 words or less.)

Things you can do in A Huff:
Stomp off
Storm off
Stalk off
Walk off

Things you cannot effectively do in a Huff:
Hop off
Sidle off
Dance off
Eat the last of the pudding.

Clearly, the most effective Huff involves a dramatic exit and plenty of bluster.  If you do it right, you stomp off / storm off / stalk off with the sense of satisfaction you get from knowing you just left behind a bunch of fools who stand slack-jawed where you left them, looking guiltily at one another in a tense hush.  If you do it wrong, then you look back during your dramatic exit to find those poor fools laughing at you as you leave.  

Don't look back.  Just exit.

Ineffective Bozo Prize for Ineffective Huffs goes to my dog, who feels she is a Very Important Person, and when she feels slighted will *sigh* angrily and slink off to her bed in a huff.  This is not as impressive as she'd like it to be.  Clearly if she could she would be shouting, "NOW you've gone and done it!  Your apathy and inattention has just COST YOU THE LOVE OF YOUR DOG!"  


And then she flumps dramatically into her soft bed and curls up into an angry little ball of seething self-pity, which really affects nobody.  The thing is, she knows this.  Clearly, she is aware of her own ineffectiveness but can't think of anything better.  When she's flumped down in her seethe ball and you go near her, she burrows a little tighter into herself and attempts to avoid eye contact.  You can almost hear her say, "Go away - can you NOT see that I am slunched here because I reject you because you cannot recognize a Good Dog when you see her and someday the Great Dog of the Sky will descend and BITE YOU because you neglect me?"

I have promised myself I will never slunch off in a huff.  I will know they're laughing even if I don't look back.