Punch Drunk 

The 30 People You Meet in Hell.


The day this column hits newsstands (Sept. 25) is also the day I turn 30.

I don’t feel any particular angst over it, so I won’t bore you with some grand “turning point” soliloquy on what it means to be a Gen Y, middle-class American in a time of recession and strife and blah blah blah. A simple Google search will turn up hundreds of those. Coming-to-Jesus spiels about how at 30 they finally learned how to “let themselves be loved and loved in return,” or “embrace change,” or “quit injecting black-tar heroin into their eyeballs, arose from the gutter and finally reconnected with family.” You know, real schmaltzy, softball B.S.

That sort of talk is not for this guy. Go hit Lifetime TV for that fluff.

I will, however, make an awesome list, because everyone loves lists.

I think it’s because lists involve very little reading comprehension, which GED-equivalent felons and crack-addicted, yet heart-of-gold hookers — the bulk of my readership — love. Also, it requires very little work on my part, which is just gravy.

And with that I present: the 30 People You Meet in Hell. Happy birthday to me!

30. Guy who drunkenly clipped my car in the Fan last weekend and then sped off without leaving a note. You’re a real bag of dung, you know that?

29. People who say, “It’s a little early to start drinking, no?”

28. Interstate 95 Confederate flag-planting, pot-stirring, museum-protesting “activists.” They say it’s heritage, not hate. Listen, we get it, but drivers from other states might not, you backwards, inbred, pig-diddlin’ honkies. Just do us a favor and keep your opinions to yourself and the other Klansmen.

27. Truthers.

26. Birthers.

25. Deathers.

24. Tan Mom.

23. Joseph Kony.

22. The jerk stores who created Rumple Minze liqueur. Die, you bastards.

21-20. Both candidates for governor. Usually I’d take this opportunity to rain hate all over Ken Cuccinelli. But let’s be honest, Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe is turning out to be quite the sleaze himself. What politician isn’t accepting gifts and cash in Virginia these days? What will we find out next? That first lady Maureen McDonnell, Shaka Smart and Rodney the Ram were involved in some sort of VCU point-shaving, stolen-gun-running, potluck orgy?

19. Goldman Sachs chairman and chief executive Lloyd Blankfein. Nothing against him personally. I just hate Big Bank and all the hidden fees and other thievery it pulls. My money is too hard-earned to keep getting nickel and dimed. Might be time to go to the mattresses. Meaning I’m going to start putting the tens of dollars I have in my mattress.

18. The creators of the gas-station gastropub for continuing to ply me with quick, easy deliciousness. In my best “Brokeback Mountain” twang: “Dammit, I wish I knew how to quit you, Sheetza.”

17. Chris Brown. Sorry homie. I still enjoy your music though.

16. Kanye West. Same thing.

15. Those gang rapists in New Delhi, India. Seriously, what the hell is going on over there?

14. Rapists in general.

13. Hitler, because, why not?

12. That toothless guy or gal from Florida who did that ridiculous, drug or alcohol-fueled thing. Figured I’d just encompass all of Florida in one fell swoop.

11. My drug dealer. He’s a real sweetheart once you get to know him, though, I swear!

10. Ariel Castro. “I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here,” as Charles Ramsey said. “I barbecued with this dude!” But seriously, it’s a shame Castro was able to commit suicide. He deserved so much worse.

9. Vladimir Putin. Russian Man of Steel, part deux. Although he wouldn’t take his inclusion on this list as an insult. That guy is like a buff version of Dr. Evil. Google image search “Putin Shirtless Fishing.” That’s how you lead a nation. By fishing shirtless. Oh, and strong-armed repression of human rights. He uses that too.

8. People who sit there with a blank stare of resignation on their faces while their little angels go ape in restaurants where nonkid having adults are trying to enjoy a meal. I joke, I joke! You aren’t going to hell. I’m sure that once I decide to have children — and before I run away from those responsibilities to begin a new life in Argentina as a gringo, cab-driving, English teaching, hit-man-for-hire — I’ll probably just give up and let them run around all crazy like the wild, Ritalin-snorting demons and banshees they’re sure to be.

7. That pickled-livered moron who forces me to stay out past 10 on weeknights.

6. That complete and utter waste of perfectly good bar stool who makes me decide to hit a late-night club or some random basement instead of throwing in the towel.

5. That prescription-pill-popping, morning-shakes-having, overflowing bag of gin and devilish charm that forces me to make really bad decisions.

4. That hardheaded, stubborn kid who won’t admit to someone when he’s wrong (and she’s right) and continually tries to sabotage something great.

3. That 20-something guy who never said the things he should’ve said. The same guy who made me act like a pretentious little shit to members of an already very small family to begin with, before it was too late.

1. (Tie) Justin Bieber, The Devil.

OK, maybe I can be a bit schmaltzy too. Guess turning 30 is making me soft. Ah well.

Might be time to grow up anyways.

Connect with Richmond bartender Jack Lauterback at bartender@styleweekly.com. Lauterback also is co-host of “Mornings with Melissa and Jack” on 103.7 Play, weekdays from 6-9 a.m. On Twitter @jackgoesforth.


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