This post is all about you

“I pledge allegiance to myself
To me, myself and I”

All About Me – Drowning Pool

Does anyone else out there get the distinct impression that, as far as most people go, it’s all about them?

Seriously, in the past few days, I’ve noticed—more than normal, and believe me, normal is bad enough—that so many people don’t give a flying shit, a rat’s ass, a good goddamn, or even a lowly crap about anyone else other than themselves.

It’s Monday morning as I write this, but this is what I’ve seen only since Saturday.

First, I’m at a four-way stop. I do my usual, drive up to the stop sign and stop.  Because, you know, that’s what you’re supposed to do at a four-way stop. Then I watch some kid, looks maybe seventeen, with someone who could be his mother in the passenger seat.  He approaches the stop sign.
stopI see him look at me, look at his own stop sign. I see this. And I also see him, with absolutely no slowing down, blow through the stop sign, making a right to drive right by me. I also see him smiling and the mother figure actually laughing as I yell, “Nice stop, asshole!” Laughing. Yeah, because that’s funny as hell, right?

Between Saturday and Sunday I count around eight people driving—well, three of them were driving, the other five were more approximating driving than anything, sliding all over the road as though Ray Charles was at the wheel—as they carried on their obviously Highly Important Phone Conversations. Obviously more important that all the lives they endangered and the $155 fine they were never going to get.

Okay, sorry, that was an insult to the late, great Ray Charles. That man could easily have driven better than these dicks.

You wouldn’t think I’d meet an all about me moron walking my dog, would you? Yeah well, you’d be wrong.

I walk my dog every morning and every night. I can’t tell you how often I’ve experienced this scenario, and I again experienced it Saturday evening.

We’re walking along the sidewalk, me listening to an audiobook, my dog scanning every tree and telephone pole to mark (as though he hasn’t had the chance to mark that particular one in any of the eight years of trips) and some asshole in a car goes zooming by and then cuts into a driveway in front of me.  Now, I’ll concede the point that they likely didn’t see me initially, but everyone of them does see me as they sit in their car, firmly parked right over the sidewalk. I know this because I stare at that driver as I approach, making it very obvious that I’m damn near ready to crawl right over their goddam pedestrian-blocking vehicle. And in every case, including Saturday evening, I see the driver turn their head and look directly at me.

At this point, they have three choices. First, they can back the car up four feet. I’ve had a couple do that. Second, they can sit there like the moron they are and mouth an embarrassed “sorry!” as I give them the stink-eye on the way by. At least they acknowledge me. Finally, they can look the other way and pretend I don’t exist. If they aren’t looking at me, I can’t see them and we never acknowledge each other. Sorry, that one just doesn’t fly for me.  And that’s what Saturday’s driver chose to do.  So I chose to do what I feel is necessary in those circumstances.  I cut around the front of the car—so they can watch me—and I thump my left hand roughly and firmly on the hood of their car. Sometimes I get a lackluster, half-hearted “sorry” then, but more often I don’t. To finish with a flourish, as I cut back down the driver’s side, I’ll flip them off.
flip-the-bird

On Sunday, I took the Wife to see the last Twilight movie. Don’t judge. God knows she’s sat through enough of my movies, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy and all those superhero movies with all the dude in spandex. So I could go sit through some lovelorn bloodless vampires for a couple of hours.

BD2Now, much as I don’t care about the movies or the story, I know the Wife truly does. So, obviously I want her experience to be a good one. And I’ve never understood the person that drops $25 – 35 between the ticket and the popcorn and the drink, only to go in, sit down, then talk through the entire friggin’ movie.  Why the hell do people do that?

So when the group of teens sat down directly behind us, I had a feeling. When the movie was playing less than fifteen minutes and they’d already tossed out some comments, I got more and more pissed. I know how excited the Wife was for this movie and I didn’t want some pimply-faced, popcorn-eating high schooler ruining it for her. When a phone rang on screen and one of the quick wits behind me shouted, “hello!!” I knew I was done. With the next comment, I turned and, doing my best to be both polite (only for the Wife’s sake) and show my annoyance, and said, “All right guys, enough. Dial it back.” That earned me a nervous squeeze on the leg from the Wife.

To their credit, they shut up until the last minutes of the movie, when it really didn’t matter anymore. Which is good, because the next time I turned around, all the polite was going to be gone.

Finally, there’s the one that absolutely pisses me off. On Saturday, I went into the local No Frills. I grabbed exactly five items, then headed for the 8 items or less aisle. The woman in front of me was just finishing loading up her thirteen items. I put the little separator thingie behind her items and set my five items down. Then this absolutely harried woman came up behind me, grabbed the other separator, plunked it down behind my things, then loaded item after item after item onto the belt. I couldn’t help it. I laughed out loud and finished it off with a “Jesus!”

The woman looked at me, looked at her load of groceries, then said to the cashier with an aren’t I silly giggle, “I might have a bit more than the eight item limit.” To which the cashier said that it was okay.

express-lane-is-THIS-many

Why? Why is it okay? Why, when there’s a clearly marked sign that says, in effect, THIS LINE IS FOR PEOPLE WITH VERY FEW ITEMS AND IS DESIGNED TO GET THEIR ASSES OUT FASTER THAN THE REST OF YOU THAT HAVE NINE MORE AISLES TO CHOOSE FROM, SO IF YOU HAVE NINE OR MORE ITEMS GET YOUR SORRY ASS OVER TO ONE OF THE OTHER DAMN AISLES, why is it okay that this stupid counting-challenged asshole blocks up the aisle? Why is it not okay for the cashier to tell her to have some common courtesy…or hell, some uncommon courtesy and get her items to another aisle?

Regardless, that’s not what happened here. Instead, she said it was okay. Unable to shut my stupid mouth, I said, “Yeah, it’s obviously okay, because everyone breaks that limit.”

The woman looked at my five items and said, “Well, you’re playing by the rules.”

And I said, “I didn’t think you’d notice. I didn’t think you could count, because you’re not even close to the limit.” At this point, I notice a small smirk on the cashier’s face as she runs my five items through, but I’m still pissed with her.

The woman, by this time, is now looking back at her items. I figure she’s trying to count them now. I figure I’ll help her out as I finish paying for my stuff.

“Twenty-six.”

“Pardon?”

“You have twenty-six items. In an eight items or less line.”

She stared at me disbelievingly. “You counted my items?”

I lean in slightly toward her. “I always count,” I say, pointing to the 8 items or less sign. “Always.” Then I turn, grab my stuff, and leave.

Seriously.

Wouldn’t the world be a much nicer place if, just once in a while, everyone followed the do unto others ideal?

Even just once in a while?

By the way, just after that, I went into another store, and someone with two handfuls of bags came my way. I held the door open for them. They didn’t even look at me, much less thank me.

Sometimes I weep for humanity. Sometimes I think the Mayans may just be right.

mayan

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10 thoughts on “This post is all about you

  1. See, as someone who drives almost everywhere, my biggest pet peeve it people ambling into the street when crossing, headphones blasting and eyes fixed to a phone screen. It’s only when I come to a screeching halt 8 inches from their shins that they think to look up. The ones that tsk me, I could happily kill. It used to be just the teens, but now it’s everybody. People have forgotten to look both ways before crossing and that they do not, in fact, have the right to cross anywhere they want whenever they want.
    Also, you like Drowning Pool?

  2. I haven’t really experienced that. Must be more of a Montreal thing, but I can definitely see it happening. Nature’s way of thinning the herd, Mike.

    And yes, I like Drowning Pool. Unless it’s Rap, Country, Bieber-style or Gangnam-style, I’ll probably like it. Everything from Sinatra to Godsmack, Alice in Chains to the Eagles, the Beatles to Glass Tiger…I’m all over the map.

  3. See Tobin, this is one reason why I love you….you say it like it is and with a sense of humour. I would have thought all those things but I would not have said anything…maybe. I’m always worried the hidden rage inside of me will emerge when I least expect it. Then the world shall really end.

    My pet peeve you ask? People who post of FB about how they’ve just baked this, or cleaned that or how sick they are or their kids or how wonderful they are…etc, etc. My understanding of any social media is to teach, enlighten, share wisdom or even vent (as you do). They should stop calling it FB and call it Ego Booster.

    I’m tired just thinking about all the A-holes out there Tobin. However, don’t stop being the good samaritan. The world needs people like you…to set the others straight.

    • Oh, I’d release the Kraken a lot more often, but Karen won’t let me. She keeps saying I’m going to get one of us killed some day. And I’m right there with you with the whole FB thing. I’ll go you one better. The ones that ACTUALLY TAKE A FREAKING PICTURE of what they’re about to eat for dinner. I mean really. You’re life is truly that empty? I’m afraid you and I will be sick for quite a while, because assholes just don’t go away…they multiply.

      And that pisses me off too.

  4. I hear your pain. I’ve been there – but can honestly say I’ve never confronted those 26-items-in-an-8-item check out. I stare hard at them, and make a big show of my 8 or less items, but cannot for the life of me figure out why they feel entitled? Wouldn’t you love it if just once the cashier said to them, I’m sorry you’ll have to take your 9 items to another check out. Next please.

    • Hey Mary. Quite a while ago, I used to work for a guy who was imposingly tall. Like 6’9″ or something crazy like that. Someone you wouldn’t mess with. He used to get in line and, if he saw someone with a ton of items, he’d count them all in a loud voice, then say something like, “you lose!” and step in front of them. No one ever stopped him. I wish I had that much courage.

  5. Ok, see I actually thought you were writing a post about me, so initially I was a bit put off when I found out it wasn’t. But, having read your blog, about you I might add, I had a good chuckle. 😉
    The stop sign thing drives me bonkers too. Apparently there is a growing population of drivers to whom the signs don’t apply. I have seen, more often than not, a car roll up to a stop sign for a right turn and the only reason they stop is that there is oncoming traffic, otherwise they would have kept right on trucking.
    I do have to say, though, that at this time of year when everyone is pushing and shoving, I ramp up my good will efforts. One might say I go overboard just to piss off the ignorant. I won’t argue that. But, I do have hope in humanity because I do get waves for letting people in or holding doors etc. Quite often nothing, but there are still a few, like you, out there.
    Great post, Tobin, even if it isn’t about me. 😉

  6. I’ve been at the check out line when someone clearly knows they’ve got 50 items in their basket and they try to be all cute and fluffy saying something like “they’re small so they round out to about 8…WTF? Oh, you mean if they’re small items they should count as “half items” or better yet, quarter items. Drives me nuts. Love the post…because it’s all about ME and what I like!

  7. Pingback: Shop the madness! Or, grocery shopping etiquette in 11 + 2.5 easy steps | My Dysfunctional Life

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