Sometimes a mere smirk can set you off.
I recently went into a hardware store as it was located near a car wash and I needed to get change of a $20 to get myself the $6 drive-thru special. The task of making change, though technically not the duty of the hardware store teller, didn’t seem like too big of a deal in the middle of the afternoon on a Monday. Furthermore, since carwashes never have anyone that actually is onsite to assist with things like change making or clogged coin depositories, I had to go elsewhere to get the proper assortment of small bills.
Of course the greeting I got was a polite, “can I help you?” Unfortunately, the way in which I needed help was not the kind of help he was willing to give as I got a combo of an eye roll and a smirk that I would assume is usually reserved for Jehovah’s witnesses and people looking for contributions to a charity.
To make a long story short, I got the change, a 10, five, and five singles, and the transaction took a total of roughly 43 seconds. As I was waiting, I noticed a small white picture that was roughly the size of a piece of notebook paper, that someone had obviously been forwarded on the Internet and printed it out for the office.
It had a large black circle, and the phrase: “If stressed, bang head here repeatedly.”
I laughed to myself, and after getting my change, thanking them at least twice, and offering up a truly sincere “have a good day”, I heard the one gentlemen say to the other, “you might need to use the stress page.”
It got me thinking, if making change for someone is enough to make you want to bang your head repeatedly off a thin black circle on a piece of printer paper, we are all in need of some serious medication.
It’s not like I was trying to convert him to Judaism or sell him a magazine subscription, I was merely trying to get some small bills. It set me off on quite a tangent the more I thought about it. Then I was cut off in the parking lot, and was then caught behind someone going 19 mph for the large part of my drive home. I was suddenly Bruce Banner ripping through my old flannel shirt and becoming the Incredible Hulk, so to speak.
I heard a comedian say once that all the road rage and anger that everyone in the world has is somehow channeled and is dumped safely into the Middle East. Which, I guess would explain some things.
There are lots of things in this world that you CAN get upset over, and there’s definitely some things that you SHOULD get upset over, but it’s just amazing what people CHOOSE to get upset over.
For instance, last weekend, in a stroke of something that most certainly will go down as one of the genius moves of all time, the town of Ocean City (or perhaps in their defense the State Highway Administration) decided that Cruiser week was the perfect time to tear up Coastal Highway and make it look like a nice mixture between Bosnia and Baghdad.
It looks really good to the tourists coming down to show off their cars when they leave with parts of the highway either on their car, or parts of their car left on the highway.
Why do construction when many of these folks care about the paintjob on their car as much as the paintjob on their houses?
It is something that boggles my mind, much like why Bruce Springsteen’s new record will get less radio play than people that you never heard of, and won’t hear of after this year.
We should be upset about some things, like how the US dollar is now worth the same as the Canadian “loony” or how Dubya has promised to veto a bill that would give $35 billion for children’s health insurance.
What we get upset over instead however, is that they kept “Lost” on TV for another season, that there were some illegal immigrants serving Chinese food in West OC (which I feel was less about green cards than it was about bad Low Mein) and the fact that there might be something that we are eating that will inevitably kill us or give us cancer, and yet we drink till we’re blind and smoke till we cough.
When did we become so cynical that we have essentially turned into a bunch of New Yorkers when dealing with each other?
And I know for a fact that people from “Bal-more” don’t want to ever be like New Yorkers.
I thought this was below the Mason Dixon line where everyone drank Sweet Sweet Tea and called people “mam” and “sir.”
I realize that the real estate market is at a stand still and it’s looking about as grounded as planes in a blizzard, and I understand that we all are trying to make a buck and feed our families, even if you are now driving a cab rather than selling million dollar condos.
Hopefully, the people in charge will throw us a proverbial bone and not pull some more of their pure genius like last week when there were actually people in town and have enough common sense to know that ripping up the highway during a car show, is about as beneficial for local business as replenishing the sand on the beach in July.
Yet, to be fair, and realizing that I am just a feeble columnist that gets easily agitated, I will plea politely.
Dear Decision Makers:
If you’re going to do that again, at least have the courtesy to print us out a couple of “stress pages” so we can have a target to hit when your decisions make us all want to bang our heads against a wall.
Dom Spino and the rest of the town.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.