Monday, September 22, 2014

Feeding The Stupid

Like the tide, stupidity seems to rise and fall depending on what time of the day it is. In the wild, getting food is a matter of life and death for animals and it is deadly serious business. Those animals who have to kill to survive have to kill animals who have to avoid being killed to stay alive. Someone is going to die. And usually, the stock of animals, one side or the other, often both, is improved by death and by life. We humans have taken life and death totally out of the obtaining food to the point that it’s a given, in some places, that people will be fed with little or no effort on their part whatsoever. In fact, I would go so far to say that some of the people who are getting fed are putting negative effort into getting fed, that is, they’re actually working against those people who through no fault of their own, have become responsible for feeding these people.

I know better than to go to the only grocery store in town after eleven in the morning and before six in the afternoon. If I get there early enough then there are fewer people, most of them in a hurry, and rarely do the stupid greet the sunrise. I’m not saying that the stupid are lazy or the lazy are stupid. What I am saying is that early in the morning I run into fewer of either category.

Sometimes I get trapped into going to the store at an odd hour because I’m already in town and I don’t want to make the round trip back just to keep from having to deal with these people. Sunday afternoon I was coming back from a writer’s meeting and it was Prime Stupid Time; just after three in the afternoon. They would be there and there would be a lot of them there. The parking lot was full. Yes, they would be there but it was either go in or come back later.

Cover me, I’m going in.

I try to park as far away from the door as I can and still be inside the parking lot. The closer to the door you park the more likely it is you’ll get trapped by those people circling the front of the store looking for one of the closer spots, or worse, those people who park right in front of the door, waiting for someone stupid to finally come out. Yes, that word has popped up once again. It’s stupid to park your car right in front of a door and make other people walk around you, coming in and leaving, and as you pull out you have to go through those same people you’ve already inconvenienced. There’s two of them parked nose to nose when I arrive. Someone is going to have to back up to go forward. I should video this in case there’s more than one person killed here.

For reasons that escape me I keep going in even though it’s crowded. This will end poorly. I don’t do shopping well and I don’t do crowds well and clearly the stupid in the parking lot cannot be kept out of the store.  And it can’t. We have mouth breathers wandering the aisles aimlessly following the person with the buggy and they can’t all walk single file, no, they have to stumble and shuffle side by side to block other people who are walking faster than a zombie snail’s slide. There’s a four year old racing up and down the aisle with no clear parental attachment. Because Sunday is stock day there are guys trying to stock shelves and stay out of the way, but they are losing that battle all day long and twice on Sunday.

Because Sunday is usually slow they have scheduled two cashiers. One of them is being confounded by a woman with a shoebox full or coupons from various salespapers, smoke signals and the internet. The coupons sent my smoke signal are only slightly worse than those off the net. . Everyone else has migrated to the other line which is moving as slowly as you’d expect if you expected it to move as slowly as it could. The woman ahead of me has a buggy full of High Fructose Corn Syrup stuff. I judge people by the health content of their carts. She’s also buying a huge ass chocolate cake that looks good but there’s enough sugar in that thing to kill. “Happy ‘sevendy seventh’ Bill!” is written on the cake and I’m better ill won’t notice.  She put the cake on the conveyer belt but she leaves the rest of the stuff in her cart. This bodes ill.

So she gets up there, the cake gets rung up, and the woman takes one item at a time out of the cart and puts it in front of the cashier, who dutifully rings it up. Why she hasn’t already unloaded her cart is well beyond me. So she puts the last item on the belt, stops, digs through her purse, finds her phone and makes a call.
“Where you at? Bring me them green peppers! I’m ready to go you got to bring me them green peppers” and she hangs up and waits.
The cashier keeps going like nothing has happened, rings up the last item, and asks the woman if she’s paying by card or with cash.
“He’s coming with them peppers now” the woman tells the cashier, but she pulls an EBT ( Electric Benefit  Transfer )card out of her purse and swipes it. She gets the PIN wrong. She tries again. Again the PIN is wrong. So she digs through the purse, finds the phone again, and makes a call.
“Put Reesi on the phone, no put Resssi on the phone, I ain’t got time for that you put…Reesi, what that number, no that ain’t what you told me, that ain’t what you told me, you done told me wrong, hold on, dammit, okay, that’s it,” and the PIN is right. She stands there and looks shocked, in fact she looks appalled, the cashier has just totaled her out. The cashier hands her the receipt with a smile and starts on my stuff.

“I ain’t waiting in line for no green peppers!” the woman exclaims, “He’s comin’s with them peppers!” But the cashier just ploughs on ahead. The woman is forced to give ground so I can swipe my credit card. The bagger pushes her cart out of the way and suddenly the woman has no claim to the line at all.
She digs through her purse and produces the phone. “Where you at? I want them peppers!” and she stalks off towards produce.

I have to cook five lunches on Sunday. I prepare a big batch of something that will last me through the week so I can eat fast, eat well, and eat healthy. I can’t afford to eat poorly. I cannot afford to eat lunch in a restaurant. I rarely have time. And honestly, I cannot afford to antagonize people in public because that really harshes my mode. I try to keep my temper even and consider that some people aren’t really stupid; they just do not know any other way of life. That’s the problem. We’ve allowed enough people to de-evolve to the point they’re working against us.

And that, is stupid.

Take Care,



  1. People should be more courteous but NOT because you help pay for their food. That condescending attitude will only drive your blood pressure higher.

    When I was working nights I'd hit the market on the way home. The store would be pretty empty so there was only one cashier. I'd have a cart full of groceries and people behind me who were picking up some coffee creamer or pastry on the way to work. I could hear muttering and feel daggers. ;o)

    1. I don't care why they do it I just think they should.

      But clearly they won't no matter what.

      I do not miss working nights.

  2. How about those mouth-breathers that leave their cart in the middle of the aisle so no one can pass... "Hey you! Clearly I am coming down the aisle and there is NO ONE else in the aisle. I do not plan to stop and look at the item right before yours. Mind Your Cart!" That's my gripe at my store.

    Thanks Mike, that made me feel better!

    1. Just stocking the shelves, Scoakat, just stocking the shelves!

  3. The fact that most people are too stupid to know how dumb they really are is the fabric holding our society together.