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One fine day at the grocery store

Usually I go grocery shopping before the sun comes up, when dumbasses don't yet crowd the aisles. I was perilously low on pickles and ice cream, though, so there I was at 2:00 in the afternoon.

People were pushing their carts 1/10th of a mile an hour, blocking the aisles as they always do, or standing exactly where I wanted something on a shelf. Getting just a couple of items took five minutes, and along the way there were two 'moments' —

First, a smiling little blonde girl with silly decals on her forehead was sitting in a shopping cart's kiddie seat, smiling and waving at people. “Dang, she’s a cute one!” I said, not to the kid but to her mom.

This was intended as a nice, neighborly thing to say, but soon as I'd said it, suspicions were running through that mother’s mind, and I saw all the stereotypes that fit my appearance. Hollywood would hire me to play a pervert or pedophile — I’m an old fat disheveled-looking grey-bearded white man.

Offended by such unflattering, unfair characterizations of plump sloppy gents everywhere, but also unwilling to explain all this in the store, I what-the-helled it, and wiggled my eyebrows at the kid's mother. She was furious and/or frightened, and hurried away. 

Yeah, I probably ruined that woman's afternoon, and arguably she didn't deserve it, but I claim the right to say that a cute kid is cute. If that's worrisome to a kid's mom, well, enjoy my wagging eyebrows, lady.

After grabbing my groceries, the “express line” was my next stop, and I was third in line. A white dude at the register needed some smokes, and the cashier was away, fetching them, because the cigs are stored in a locked-off, employees-only area behind the cash registers.

When she returned, the cashier had the fancy imported brand he'd asked for, but not the exact esoteric flavor. The man said something like, “No, not the apple-mint clove, the apple-grape clove,” and she turned around and went back into the cigarette room to look again. When she was out of earshot, he added, “Why do they hire damned Mexicans?”

I was then not in a good mood. Thought it over for a second, and decided I’d be angry with myself if I didn’t say something, so I said, “Have you always been an asshole?”

He looked at me and, “Yeah,” is all he said. That’s the whole story, though. There were no witty retorts or fisticuffs.

It was an honest question, too. That guy said he’d always been an asshole, and I believe him, but some of us, me for example, become assholes more and more as we get older and crankier.

In younger years, I would've walked away from that kid's mother without a word, and let her think whatever she thought. Or even apologized to her, but it wouldn't have mattered — she'd instantly decided I'm a pervert, and nobody could talk her out of it.

I might've said nothing to the racist at the register, because younger me would've been afraid of getting slugged. And I was — afraid, that is, not slugged. I’ve only seen punches thrown a few times in my entire adult life, though. Good odds, so I spoke up, and survived unscathed. 

That's me, evolving into an asshole. I'm too old for this shit, but I've decided it's OK to say something kind to or about a child, and it's simply good citizenship to tell an asshole he's an asshole.

9/9/2021

itsdougholland.com 

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12 comments:

  1. I like your good citizenship, not so sure about wagging your eyebrows. Fun read tho.

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    Replies
    1. I've second-guessed it myself. All the eyebrow-wiggling accomplished was reinforcing the stereotype in her mind. Which sucks. I could've walked away without saying anything, but where's the fun in that?

      Tell me what you would've done.

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    2. You got me there. I don't know what I would've done. Walked away without another word, probably, but its Catch22, she's still going to think 'perv'.

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    3. The 'safe' and expected move would be never saying "Cute kid," but I'm unwilling to censor myself to prevent offense from random nincompoops.

      Delete
  2. Alexander the Great was accidentally buried alive. Scientists believe Alexander suffered from a neurological disorder called Guillain-Barrรฉ Syndrome. They believe that when he died he was actually just paralyzed and mentally aware!

    How terrifying is that???????

    That's your weird fact for today

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    Replies
    1. One of my favorite childhood nightmares. Thanks for reminding me.

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    2. Heres another intresting tid bit for you

      President Zachary Taylor, have you heard how he passed away?

      Picture it, the 4th of July 1850. Old Zach was enjoying cherries. Then he enjoyed more cherries. Well we could say that Zach had an unnatural taste for cherries

      Word is he literally died of a cherry overdose. which he chased with a glass a milk

      He died on the 9th of July 1850 from gastroenteritis

      The acid of the cherries combined with the milk made a super laxitive and the poor man literally shat himself to death.

      Delete
    3. Faskinating indeed.

      I ate cherries from a tree all afternoon once when I was a kid, and learned that cherries are an explosive laxative, with or without milk. Dairy is a laxative for me too, since I became laxative-intolerant, so I wonder if old Zach was also lacto-no-no.

      Great way to go, though. Jeez. Did he literally die on the shitter?

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    4. History doesnt know.

      One last one.

      Russia ran out of Vodka after celebrating the end of WWII. When the very long war ended there were so many Soviet street parties. However, after only 22 hours all of the Soviets suppy of Vodka had been drank. The parties lasted for days.

      The end,.

      Delete
    5. Great stuff, and appreciated. You should publish a blog.

      "Weird Facts for Today," by Brandon.

      Delete
    6. That would imply I have time to do so lol

      Some day

      Delete

๐ŸŒŒ Don't be a jackass, unless you're also funny while being a jackass. ๐ŸŒŒ