Patience. I’m gonna admit here and now that, the older I get, the less I have of it for morons.
Or, to put it another way, I don’t suffer fools gladly. I don’t even suffer fools glumly. I just suffer.
In the past few days, here’s what I’ve seen.
Three days ago, I stopped in a local ice cream place on Highway 2 called Scoops. If you’re ever heading from Oshawa to Bowmanville (or, you know, Bowmanville to Oshawa…either way works), stop in there. They’ve got great ice cream. Anyway, I pulled in, parked the truck and headed in for the goodies. When I came back out, I was just getting into my truck again as another guy pulled in beside me. Well, he sort of pulled in beside me.
Let’s just say the parking job was so ubelievably bad that I actually had to get back out of my truck to take a look. So, picture this if you can: I’m parked in a space, nicely between the lines. He’s parked on enough of an angle that his front passenger-side tire is well over the line. The rear end is pretty much just as bad. Now, add to this that he’s at least half a car length from being in the spot. Yes, what you’re picturing is right. The rear end of his car is hanging out at solid half-car length into the lane.
This is what I saw when I got out of the truck to look. He’s walking away from the car (and not staggering drunk…trust me, I checked). He looks back at me, looks back at his deplorable parking job, then back at me. I give him the okay sign with my hand. “Helluva job there, buddy,” I said. “You nailed it.” And what was his reaction? Well, to steal a line from Don Henley, he just looked at me uncomprehendingly, like cows at a passing train. All I could do, as I manuvered my truck around the trainwreck, was laugh.
Yesterday, we went to the movie theatre to see Hangover, Part 2 (which, by the way, if you liked the first one, you’ll like the second one). There’s an absolutely insane line for tickets. But, glancing over at the automatic ticket teller things (the ATMs of the movie world), there was one with only two couples at it. Great, I think. This won’t take any time at all. I’m so stupid.
I entered that line of two at 7:10. My movie starts at 7:30. While we’re waiting, I send The Wife and The Kids off to get the food. I wait.
And then, when I’m done with that, I wait some more.
Ast Tom Petty says, the waiting is the hardest part. There’s a point where curiosity gets the better of me and I rudely angle out of line to look at what the morons at the kiosk are actually doing. Knitting a sweater, perhaps? Contemplating the infinite cosmos in limbo? Trying to define the universe and give three examples?
Seriously. It ain’t rocket science people. You choose the movie, choose the time, choose how many tickets, decide on food if you must, then friggin’ pay. It should take only slightly longer than it did to read that last sentence.
So, why am I still standing there, with another couple in between us and those at the kiosk, almost ten minutes later?
Well, the one reason is, the line up is still insane. And everyone else was smarter than me and went to one of the other three kiosks.
After a solid ten minutes, I say, loudly, “What the hell?” The guy and his date in front of me look back at me in commiseration. He says, just as loudly, “This is his fourth go at it.”
He keeps stabbing at the buttons ineffectually for another minute or so, then gives up, leaving the guy in front of me to have to first cancel out his unfinished request before he can start his own.
This guy’s just as bad.
At this point, the woman behind me says, “I feel like I’m being punked here.” I laugh and nod. That’s gotta be it, right? Somebody’s going to come out laughing, put their arm around my shoulders and point at the hidden camera, and we’ll all have a big laugh before I rush into the movie.
Nope. The guy in front of me, perhaps trying not to look quite as stupid as the last one, gives up after three tries, and cancels it out for me. He mumbles sorry as he moves off. Of course, I’m going to feel really stupid myself if the kiosk is acting up.
It’s not. I blow through the sequence, setting a new land speed record and within about a minute of hitting the first button, I’m catching the tickets being v0mited out the little hole at the bottom. It works flawlessly. My tickets are finally in hand at 7:27.
So, I feel redeemed. But I also feel fear at the average intelligence level I’m sharing with those around me. Because seriously? I ain’t that smart. I remember someone sarcastically telling me years ago that you needed an IQ of at least 25 to bark. I don’t think these guys make it.
Then, finally, today, we’re at a market, grabbing some groceries. And we all know how much I enjoy getting groceries. And though the aisles are all wide enough to accomodate two average-sized humans side-by-side, time and time again I found myself trapped behind someone who would stop in the middle of the aisle, and if they weren’t quite blocking it all the way, they’d put their cart at such an angle as to fully block it off. This didn’t happen once or twice, it happened at least five times. I had one woman coming in my direction stop. Look at me. Then carefully and deliberately angle her cart into the aisle. And you can say “excuse me” all you want, these guys won’t move. They just won’t.
So after a while, I just took to grabbing the cart (like little Miss I’m Deliberately Blocking You), shoving it out of the way, and walking by them. As they give me the hairy eyeball, I smile and in my sweetest voice, say, “Excuse me.”
Morons. Why do we have to suffer them?