Chastised

Shrew

I took shit twice this week, and both times from a woman….  Wait, I’m a male, and I’m married – that statement is redundant.

I took the wife to a grocery store that we don’t normally patronize.  Once you’re in, they give you all the room in the world, but, worried about ‘shrinkage’, they funnel you in, and funnel you out.

Finished with our shopping, we joined the mule-train heading for the exit.  Suddenly, the two women with carts ahead of us, came to a complete stop.  I waited for a few seconds to allow someone to put change or coupons in a purse, but when a minute had passed and we still weren’t moving, I looked to see what the holdup was.

Three women had entered the store, one, 5 to 10 years older than me, and what seemed to be her daughter and a friend.  The daughter was treating her like she was senile, and giving minute instructions – go here, look for that, don’t buy this, etc., etc.  The problem was, they’d stopped her when her cart was crossways to the access aisle.  If the two in front of me wanted to stand there like sheep, I’d play herd-dog.

The old gal wasn’t leaning on the cart, so I grasped the front and slowly, gently turned it 90°, till it was against the wall, and out of everybody’s way.  The senior’s hand and wrist moved with it.  Now the two dreamers woke up and headed out of the store.  The darling little old lady looked up in surprise and said, “Oh, was I blocking the aisle?  I’m so sorry.  I apologise!”, because that’s what thoughtful, well-mannered people do.

Suddenly, like a fireworks display, the daughter started popping off.  To the friend, “Well, isn’t he aggressive?”  To me, “What’s the matter?  Are you so busy that you couldn’t wait a minute?  She’s an old lady you know, and she has mobility problems.”  At which point my wife hobbled up to the corner with her forearm crutch, where the bitch could now see her, and blasted right back at her.  “I’m an old lady too, and I also have mobility problems, and it causes me a lot of pain to have to just stand there and wait!”  Uh…yeah…well…  She was still trying to close her mouth when we walked out.

Later in the week, I went down to my usual supermarket.  It sits on a five-lane street, the center lane for left turns, everywhere except at the supermarket’s driveway, where the roads crew have painted a swoop and stop-line.  I must turn left into that store, and oncoming traffic must turn left into the side street for the EuroFood market.

I pulled over and stopped for oncoming traffic in the other lanes.  I looked up and saw a pair of seniors, older than me, coming at me.  They want to go in on the side-road….  Whoa!!  No they don’t!  He wants to go on past me to the entrance at the far end of the strip-mall.  He managed to get the car stopped just before he hit me, and then they sat there gesticulating at me.

When it was safe to do so, I pulled past them and made my left, but as I did so, the sweet little, 80-year-old wife rolled down her window and offered some verbal opinions.  I’m glad I had my windows rolled up.  When I got home I had to buff scorch marks off the passenger side of the car.  I think a taxi driver had to pull over and catch his breath.

I saw the kind, round, old Germanic face, and heard (faintly) what was coming out of it, and all I could think of was the subservient, aproned haus-frau who curtseyed, and opened the counter-weighted gate for Goldfinger, in the James Bond movie – who went all Valkyrie, and pulled out a Schmeisser machine gun on him when he tried to escape.

Entitled without being attentive, opinionated without being informed, judgemental without the faintest shred of suspicion that they may be in error – I begin to understand how wars, and jihads, and feuds, and murders come about.  It all comes back to the Ego and Insecurity.

Has someone taken you to task for something you were innocent of??  How did you handle it?  😕

While I’m asking questions….like the occasional debate as to whether to call carbonated soft-drinks Pop, Soda, or Coke (even when it’s obviously not)….I only referred to them as ‘carts’ in the body of the post, but I tagged it ‘shopping carts’, which is what I call them.  I have heard them referred to as ‘buggies’, which I think of as a baby conveyance.  At a couple of stores, I’ve heard the teenager paged to ‘go bring in the wagons.’  What do you call them?

#466

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Bear With Me

If any of you read the name of my blogsite and expect something like Ward Cleaver’s den, or Father Knows Best den, (just dated myself again.) forget it!  No comfy sweaters with leather elbow patches here.  This den belongs to a grumpy old bear who is roused occasionally by folks doin’ stupid stuff.  Then I shamble out and growl and wave a front paw to show my displeasure.  “You damned kids get off my lawn!”

I thought when I started this, that I might be like BrainRants, but I soon realised that I idled at a much lower R.P.M.  Perhaps it’s the extra 25 years of immunity and experience.  I’ve come to realize that continuous ranting doesn’t accomplish that much.  It’s like Charlie Brown used to say, “It’s like peeing yourself in a brown suit.  It gives you a nice warm feeling, but nobody notices.”  Not that Rants, or anyone else should stop ranting.  The world CAN be changed, slowly, a bit at a time, but, any single rant, no matter how loud, can do little against the inertia of billions of unthinking, uncaring fools.  It’s like two elephants having sex.  There’s a lot of noise and dust raised, but nothing actually happens for a long time.  It takes a Ghandi or a Martin Luther King or a Winston Churchill, and even they had to fight against strong currents.

I was heartened to see the thousands of Occupy participants, and in so many cities.  They are still few, compared to “the Establishment”, and they are/were fragmented and un-led, but I hope that some of the more astute politicians and businessmen see the writing on the wall.  They are the canary in the coal mine.  The tipping point is still far off.  It’s not quite time to storm the Bastille, shouting, “Off with their heads.”, but, it was a warning, so keep ranting.

Be nice to your fellow man.  Go a little out of your way to make his/her life a little better, a little easier.  Oh, I’m not talking to the small, select group who actually read my stuff when I get around to doling out a bit more unexciting pap.  I’m talking to the huge, imaginary readership I wish I had.  In a production seminar, the instructor stressed the importance of “ready for the next user”.  This applies whether it’s the next guy on a production line, or the next person you meet (or, perhaps never see) at a supermarket.  Rants and I have both recently posted about the importance of THINKING.  Think about who will be affected by anything you do.

Supermarkets and parking lots seem to be where I witness most of the, Man’s Inhumanity to Man, that I see.  That’s probably because that’s where large groups of people inter-react with each other in a concentrated space, usually badly, inconsiderately, selfishly.  The driving and parking of some (most?) people, both inside and outside, just drives me berserk.  Both my wife and my daughter are semi-handicapped.  We rate one of those blue and white wheelchair cards for the windshield, so handicapped parking spaces are important to me.  If I’m alone or with my son, we never use them, even though I’ve got the magic key.  He and I can walk in from the back if we have to.

Shopping carts and what to do with them after you’ve loaded the groceries into your car.  DON’T stick them in the handicapped parking spot!!!  Really!  People do that!  Back when I was working, I had a week of three to eleven shift.  I got up one morning and rode my motorcycle down to the nearest plaza.  I got off the bike and was divesting myself of helmet, gloves and jacket.  As I stood there doing this, a smartly dressed young woman near the end of the row loaded some stuff into the back of a hatchback and pushed the empty cart across to the next row and shoved it into a handicapped spot.  Not across the top of the spot, or up the side of it so that a handicapped person might still be able to get into it, but smack-dab in the middle of it.  As she walked back to her car, I yelled at her, “Hey! don’t leave it there.  That’s a handicap spot.  Put it in the cart corral where it belongs.”  The corral was three spaces towards me.  “I’m busy.” she replied, and kept walking.

While she got busy, getting into her car, starting it and getting her seatbelt on, I got busy with the cart.  I quickly grabbed it and walked it straight at the back of her car.  I turned it sideways and walked back and leaned on my bike.  She came slithering out of her car with her Medusa face on.  If looks could kill, I’d have been a puddle on the parking lot.  I smiled, looked at my watch and said, “I don’t have to be to work till three.”  You know, she wasn’t as busy as she thought she was.  She had the time to take that cart and put it where it belonged, out of everybody else’s way.  On her way back to her car for the second time, I noticed, hanging from her neck, a beautiful 3 to 4 inch silver crucifix with jewels.  I’ll expound on “good Christians doing only good deeds” in a later post.

I always try to make the life of the person “next in production” behind me a little easier.  Sometimes I can offer a bit more, sometimes a bit less, but it is always a pleasant surprise to see how, even a little consideration for others can evoke such happy reactions.