Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dealing With Strangers

 I am in a bad mood…
 Why are people such rude little monkeys?
 When I say “people”, I lump myself in with the lot. I know that at one time or another, some random stranger as looked upon some act I committed with irreverence toward their presence and labeled me in their minds a “rude prick”. No doubt, it is a part of the human condition.
 Lately, however, I am trying to change. It is not some altruistic calling for the betterment of my fellow man. No, in fact it is because I am getting more and more frustrated with the people around me, and I do not want to be a hypocrite. It is the little things that have been annoying me. For example, we in Ft. Wayne are currently experiencing roadwork, an insane amount of roadwork; expansions, re-routing, re-surfacing, etc. It’s made for traffic nightmares, although it will supposedly result in smoother traffic flow (personally, I just see it as another more involved roadwork project in the future, when we try to repair all this “improvement”). Now, we have been at it for several weeks. People know where the construction is. And, even if they do not, or they suffer some bizarre form of short-term memory loss, there are signs posted some 200 yards from the actual construction telling folks which lane to get in.
 Yet, without fail, five or six cars are always sitting just in front of the construction site, unable to move further forward in their lane, their blinkers on trying to get into the proper lane of traffic. Either they failed to look up from the little bubble they live in and take note of the traffic until it was too late, or they purposely strolled to the front, knowing someone who is less a prick than they are will let them in, because where they have to be is more important than where the rest of us have to go. So, screw us folks who had the sense to change lanes some 300 yards back and have been waiting in line for 20 minutes.
 You know, I bet it is the same bunch of morons who any other time cannot find their turn signal and just change lanes whenever they feel a bowel movement and shift to compensate.
 It’s not just traffic that gets me going. I find super markets to be a real joy also. It’s not just the shopping, the people letting their brats run where ever they like, or how outrageous the prices seem to be, it’s the lines at the front of the store.
 Here’s my thing. If I am purchasing a weeks worth of groceries plus little knick-knacks that I “hafta-have”, I know that the self-checkout lines are not for me. I know the express lanes are not for me. I know they are there for the convenience of those people who have only a few purchases to make. Even without this innate knowledge, I am aware of the signs near these checkouts which clearly outline the parameters for using them. “12 items of less”, “cash only”, “must be this high to ride”, you know them by heart.
 Why are we, the ones who see some of these rules as common sense in place for our convenience and obey them, the minority? Furthermore, why are we not enraged when some clown inconveniences us by not obeying them?
 I know why they do it. I am a total stranger to them, so there are no repercussions for my inconvenience. That is what I find so staggering.
 I am a total stranger, stranger than you might know. I might decide to follow you to your car and chuck a can of cream-of-mushroom soup through your window. I might be an axe-wielding maniac, and you just caught my attention. I might just be the kind of prick to get out of my car and ask you, in front of your girlfriend, if you’re the kind of ass-clown that can juggle too.
 You know, I am all for getting over on the system. Get what you can from the man. But, when it comes to your fellow human-beings walking the street, just trying to get through their day with as few complications as possible, show a little respect. If anything, you’re an example to all the real idiots out there; people who will steal from your car while your in the shop, who piss on phone booths, people who have absolutely no respect for their own humanity, let alone another’s. They do what they do. We are all strangers to them, and why should they give a shit if you don’t until it happens to you?
 What really set me off is this. Driving to work today, a woman was walking across the street. She wasn’t at a crosswalk, or even a corner, so we already have a problem. However, the real winner was the sterling example of our social condition in the van in front of me. Seems this winner of a future Nobel Prize thought it was high comedy to swerve suddenly toward the woman, then away. The move was so sudden that traffic all around slammed on their collective breaks. The woman actually jumped back into oncoming traffic. It was over that fast, with a lot of horn honking and cursing. The idiot simply sped away.
After all, why should he care, we are all just strangers to him.

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