Sad Ricky Figures It Out: The Grid
Ricky Peters was coddled as a child and well into his adult life, which has lead to a deluded sense of self-importance throughout his later years. After moving to Honolulu and being on his own, he began to realize there are many things in life that we don’t inherently know. For example, what is The Grid? How did he get on it? Better yet, how does he get off it? Looks like it’s time to Let’s figure it out.©
[THIS WAS SENT FROM AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION]
As most of you probably know, it’s already October! This is a stressful time of the year. Holidays, etc., whatever. They’re coming. It’s stressful. I’ve been feeling especially stressed out. I’ve got big black bags under my eyes, and two weeks of my laundry is in big black bags next to the washing machine. That’s right, dirty.
Still, I started to notice that not everyone looked like I did. There were some stress-free looking people. And I had to know their secret.
Living in Moiliili, I saw the majority of these stress-free people lounging around their tent encampments as I rode my bike past them to work. I read an article which claimed that the number of tent encampments around Honolulu has spiked up 12 percent since 2008. Maybe these guys were onto something.
I struck up a conversation with one of the guys as he was setting up his tent for the night. I simply asked him what his secret was. He looked me straight in the eye and told me that he saw the movie Tron when he was a young adult, and ever since, nothing made sense to him. He held his arm straight out in front of him and told me to look.
I stood by him, looking at his outstretched arm.
After a few minutes of this, I realized this was the extent of what I was supposed to look at, and I thanked him and told him I wished I could stay longer, but was late for work.
Halfway through my shift, I started to think about the movie Tron. Something about the plot of that movie and looking at the man’s outstretched arm made me realize that I didn’t need to work or pay rent or even buy food. I could live for free, and I could do it today.
I was going to join these allies in their battle against The Grid.
Not only that; it was time for me re-watch Tron. Even the new one. And, even though, technically, Jeff Bridges’s character was actually the one who created The Grid, I imagined myself as a younger, cooler Jeff Bridges, but one who didn’t give a shit about The Grid. Or, better yet, as a young Jesse Bradford, with his “don’t care” attitude in the movie Hackers, a favorite amongst the youth a while ago. Except, I would “don’t care” about technology, unlike him.
No, I realized: neither character really fit. I would have to create my own. And then destroy it. I set out to get off The Grid the only way I knew how: I had to destroy all evidence of me.
PHASE ONE: PEOPLE WHO KNOW YOU
I began by quitting my job. I said goodbye to my manager and told him to remember me, but then told him not to remember me, because I was going off The Grid.
I made a Facebook status that read, “Fuck tha grid,” and then deactivated my account, because I don’t think you can actually delete it? After that, I took my phone, deleted the contacts from it, and flushed it down The Grid toilet. Sayonara. See you in another digital world.
The hardest part about this was having to break up with my girlfriend, and since I still don’t know if I am actually committed to this Off The Grid thing or not, I skipped that part.
PHASE TWO: YOU
This part was a little more difficult for me than I originally thought, but mostly due to poor planning. Learn from this! Cut your credit cards last!
I was about to cut them first, but needed scissors, and realized I had to use my credit card to buy the scissors (I had already burned all of my cash). I then cut the credit cards IN FRONT OF the cashier as a statement—before I had paid for them (whoops)—but still needed some other supplies and was thusly without money or credit cards.
Got my job back for a night, then quit again.
Here’s the take.
I bought salami and tortillas and a box of Gypsy Cold Care tea because all of the stress from my old life started to make me a little under the weather.
Since I couldn’t think of anything else, I burned the rest of the money. Then I thought of beef jerky, so I guess another takeaway is don’t burn your money ever and just hang onto it.
I had a book on “Survival Skills”, which I thought would be useful, as I would need skills to survive in the strange, off-Grid world I was about to enter. I also had a book on “Avoiding the CIA When You Really Need To”. Both warned of bugs, the former suggesting you shave your head so they don’t get caught in your hair.
Wish me luck out here. My MacBook is almost dead.