The first traffic light after I leave work has someone in the left lane that cuts all the way over to make a right turn right in front of a cop. The cop keeps going and meanwhile, the car, which has now cut in front of me as I’ve turned, suddenly makes a left turn from the right lane, and heads back towards the intersection. I get it, you’re lost, but the road isn’t the place to find your bearings. Why not find a parking lot and turn around there?
But the world is full of people like this.
My smoke detector died last night so I need a battery for it and I might as well change out the other one, too. So in the store there are people just milling about, seemingly just as lost, and blocking the aisles. Now, this is a grocery store that is one of the better places to get sushi in town. I know how that sounds, but they have fresh ingredients. For the most part, the people working there are great, hang onto that thought; I’ll be right back with it.
Now this is a great day because they’ve got free Sushi samples and I would really like to speak to the Sushi Chef because I’m interested in how much it would cost to get a few rolls made up special. But wait, there’s this mouth breathing Stuffy Smith overall wearing baseball cap covering a mullet haircut redneck that’s standing there telling the Sushi Chef, “I ain’t eating no raw fish. We call that bait where I come from boy! That makes me sick to see people eating raw shit like that.”
Well why not just go away? Why not go back to your double wide and watch Miley Cyrus? Isn’t there anywhere else on earth your opinion could be well received, like a Klan meeting? I don’t like pickled beets but you don’t see me over in the beets aisles running my mouth.
So Goober goes away, cussing under his breath about the foreigners over here that ain’t speaking American and to my horror I realize that the sushi is contaminated. Instead of getting something that is clean and fresh and good they’ve concocted to put, of all things, French Onions on them. They’ve managed to turn something pure into junk food. It’s a disgusting combination akin to getting Indian food with a side order of fries.
I see Goober in the aisle where the spices are yelling about how salt and pepper was good enough when he was growing up it ought to be good enough for everybody else, too.
The thing that is bothering me the most is I had this idea for something I was going to write and it slipped away before it formed. It was there, right there, about to appear, like the flickering of an old television set and now there’s not even the tiny white dot. My mind is polluted by the people around me who are poisoning my calm.
It occurs to me that throughout history we’ve seen blacks, Jews, Witches, natives, and all sorts of other people oppressed and murdered but there has never been any sort of pogrom against stupid people. There has never been angry mob going from house to housing dragging out the stupid and killing them. Why, if we did, Congress would be reduced to a tiny fraction of those holding office. And Wal Mart would be empty except those who work there.
I’m not kidding you a bit. Remember me making mention of how great the people were at this store? Well, I get up to the cashier and the guy bagging the groceries asks me, “How do you want your groceries bagged?”
I want them put into the bag. So I tell him just to put everything in the same bag.
No, leave one or two items out, and surprise me. Yes, thank you, everything in the same bag.
“Even the meat?”
Yes, put the meat in the same bag with everything else, when I was shopping everything was in the same bag, you too, can pull this off.
“What about the bread?”
Put it on top over everything else.
“What about the wine?”
Move. Just get out of the way and let me do it. Here, heavy stuff on the bottom, crushable stuff on top, takes about two minutes, yes, I have done this for a living before WHEN I WAS A DAMN KID. It’s not rocket surgery. It’s something Goober could do, but he would rave about the wine not being American. But you’re over thirty. You’ve seen this done before. There are fewer than ten items. How. Hard. Can. It. Be?
But this might be this guy’s bag, no pun intended. Feigned helplessness, clearly, is a great way to get other people to do your job for you. He’s not out anything in this. He gets a free lesson in how to Tom Sawyer someone into working for him while he’s getting paid.
But them I’m out of the store and I head back through the Mall parking lot to keep from having to make a left turn back onto the main road because so many people try this and they wait until everything is clear from where they are to the Florida line. I realize that I spend a lot of time and energy avoiding left turns, avoiding people in the stores that are mouth breathing aisle blocking obstacles and I wonder, really wonder, why it is that I have to be the one who has to navigate around the rest of the world.
But I have wine. Today has to be better.