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

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Four Bit Drama, Minus Change

So I'm in a mega Mobil station in Kenosha, minding my own business (well, for a while anyway). While searching through the coffee, cappuccino and cocoa machines for the cream for my coffee, I hear the dulcet screech of the local dialect thusly:

The signs say two dollars and twenty four cents, but the pumps all say two dollars and twenty nine cents. Now, I just want to know, which one is it?

I'm thinking at this point, "Why don't you go try pumping some gas out of the sign, moron?" cause there's something about the tone that is pissing me off already. The clerk takes a more polite approach and tries to explain to this self righteous, indignant twit that they have been attempting to change the pump prices, but they are having trouble getting the computer to manage it. She is sorry, they did not realize that the signs had changed over. At this point the manager comes out and gets the gist from the clerk. She asks if the clerk knows how to run a credit for the price difference for the customer, she will be happy to show her how.

I wonder if this will actually be so easy, as it is obviously the same computer and operator we're dealing with here.

It doesn't matter, because before the the manager's words, or anyone else's words, can be finished to the point of being half understood our little squiglet is strangling the second verse:

Well, I haven't pumped the gas yet. I just need to know, which price is the right price?

The manager again:

I am supposed to reduce the price by five cents, but the change didn't take. I'm working on it, but in the meantime I will be happy to issue a credit for the five cents.

It's obvious to me that the manager is a bit green to be up on the workings of the minds of the indignant EVERYBODY IS TRYING TO SCREW ME class represented so gratingly here, and so she doesn't realize, like I do, that there is no way in hell the customer is going to figure out that she can just go out, pump the gas at the higher price, and come in and get the discount. Sure enough:

So, if you're saying that the price is really two dollars and twenty nine cents, I don't have to get gas now. You best believe I can stop on my way home if the price is going to be five cents cheaper, for sure.

That last part she squeals quite proudly, snout skyward with Miss Piggy pride at such a clever assertion.

An eerie silence falls over the room as the manager looks at the clerk, and the clerk looks at me, and I look at the clerk, and the clerk looks at the manager, and then we all look at the customer. Wow. The customer gets that little "hey, what am I missing" tilt and then walks out, gets into her Toyota whats-its and drives off.

At the end of the day, and if her Toyota is really empty, she will be proud to have saved ... about forty five cents. And all of this in a blustery lake effect snow squall!

Oh, the inanity!

But this says so much about the brainwashed masses of post-911, homophobic, xenophobic, agoraphobic, androphobic, coitophobic, phonemophobic, erotophobic, noctiphobic, scopophobic, verminophobic and generally phobophobic misfits that populate our landscape. The hot button issues blare away, sound bite by sound bite, headline by headline, and rationality is impossible. Oil and the Middle East and oh, my God how is one going to get through it all and there isn't enough time in the day and the next thing you know, that someone is spending fifteen minutes of her precious time making sure that only ten minutes more spent later in the day will save her forty five cents!

And they vote for Republicans cuz Republicans mean business in the WAR ON TERRORISM. That's really important to them because they are TERRIFIED of everything and at least someone will do something about it. Republicans yuk it up as they devise ten or twenty ways to suck the blood out of these zombies, giggling with themselves as they write speeches about the TERRORISTS AND THEIR EFFORTS TO OBTAIN WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION oh, my God, oh, my God!

As if terrorists are over there, right now, drawing maps of Kenosha in the sand. Lunacy! As if the world weren't always a dangerous place!

They don't think, they can't think. And when the mind is blown there is only one salvation, faith.

One shining path. One God.

... there is no God but one ...

One heavenly light.

The new gray.


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