Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, August 07, 2005

You Can Dress Them Up

There are times when I regret having to spend my Saturday mornings working―yesterday wasn't one of them. It could be so much worse. Stopping for a second tank car full of coffee yesterday, I happened upon this little scene.

A frantic woman frets at the counter, getting in the way of everyone's day as she, without much success, tries to absorb anything several people are telling her about the correct route to an Antioch park at which her son and two of his buddies, who didn't look over 9 years old or so, were to compete in a skateboard event.

I am so amused on so many levels I actually begin laughing out loud, much to the mortification and then anger of this suburban pedigreed bundle of nerves.

This was the same small town I grew up in. What were Saturday mornings like in 1960? We poured our own cereal, slugged a little Kool Aid (or generic version of) and out we went. We had our own paths to follow, our own fields to play ball in, our own games to play from the tops of the trees. We made our own push cars and raced them in the neighborhood streets and in the empty lots. We knew every square inch of the woods. We rode bikes, without helmets, and every one of the thousand in my elementary school survived the oversight. Come afternoon we fidgeted through a couple of innings of the Cubs and off we went again.

We tiptoed out, careful not to wake Mom and Dad. Wake them for a ride somewhere? Not on your life!

Now, this 30ish mom, no doubt having been chauffeured throughout her life, is utterly clueless how to get somewhere, as are the growingly impatient DVD-immersed passengers in the back seat. In the air conditioned, leathered luxury of a massive Suburban Assault Vehicle they're throwing a shit-fit, and mom's starting to look as frantic as a Shi Tzu in a thunderstorm.

Eventually she begins to realizes the ditz at the counter is similarly geographically challenged, and with some trepidation she slowly turns toward my evil self. "Do you know where this park is?" she asks.

I give it the Gary Cooper, "Yep."

"Could you PLEASE tell me how to get there?"

Well, there's please and there's please. This here please had the sound of "Will you PLEASE not talk during the movie?" or "Will you PLEASE park with all four wheels on the cart path. Eye to eye, I realize that my bemused little grin is making her all the more furious. I live by the Golden Rule as much as possible. Ninety-nine out of a hundred times I would give someone the directions they need, and damn good ones. I know how to get to this park, I know the entrances to each parking lot, and I know the side streets for those entrances.

And I know that in any other circumstance this blonde Duchess of the Conservancy of Hidden Pond by the Willows of Easterbrook by the Painted Lake of the Live Oak on the Pleasant Prairie Preserve would have nothing to do with me. In any other circumstance those green eyes would be averted, as such ne'er-do-wells like myself are to be summarily dispatched with affectations of confident disdain.

"Well?" she insists. Her anger and frustration have stripped away any such veneer.

"Don't those tanks come with navigation systems?" I'm still giggling.

Like one of those music video morphing montages, her face rotates from confused to angry to inquisitive and then pretty much lands on angry. For a bit she begins to explain how she doesn't get all that technology before she realizes that she's conversing with an untouchable, and that she has an urgent mission and she's getting nowhere. All exhaust and "Support our Troops" stickers she storms off, gets in the "car" and roars out of gas station―headed the wrong way at about four miles per gallon.

Like I said, normally I'm Mr. Helpful―and not just for the ladies, if that's what you're thinking. I guess I have my limits, and this little act was just too pathetic.

"Fuck her," I thought, "and the horse she rode in on!"


At 10:37 AM, Blogger JD said...

You are truly evil...

I know where I get it from.


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