Snap Judgments

July 12, 2010 at 12:40 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

Ahh, the cool weather returns. Let’s hope cooler heads return as well.

I’m blaming it on the heat, but I’ve noticed an uptick in bad manners lately. When dealing with hundreds of people a day, hearing them state the obvious comes with the territory. “”Jeezus, it’s hot out there!” “The bus is three minutes late!” “Man, I wish it would rain!” Et cetera. I nod in agreement, continue the small talk if the person is cute or interesting, but mostly I let the comments pass. How many times in a row can you reply mindlessly? I try to be tolerant, but things drop to a lower level when the tone becomes defamatory or insulting.

Let us start with the price of cigarettes. Master P’s prices are high, compared to the Asian market on the side of the road in NoPo. When people ask about the price of Newports, and I tell them, I frequently get a return bellow, “HOW MUCH?”

I repeat the price, slowly, like I’m talking to a special-ed person. I don’t raise my voice much, just enough to let you know that I CAN FUCKING HEAR YOU! Yelling at me seldom gets you what you want.

I don’t take things like that personally. Or when folks see the pile of Busted! newspapers on the counter. “Oh, you’re a horrible person for selling this magazine. It exploits the poor people who are targeted by police because their views are different.”

What? They are dumb enough to get arrested, but *I’m* the bad guy for selling a profit-making version of something you can see for free online? Sorry, but I’m sleeping soundly tonight in spite of the fact.

All that rolls off my back. But when it gets personal? Then it gets, um, personal.

While unloading freight the other day, a young man entered the store and stood at the counter. I had an armload of stock to put on shelves, I nodded at him and said, “I’ll be right there.”

“Hello? HELLO?” He was acting huffy, and like I should drop everything and run to him. Since customer service is my business, I put the precariously held boxes in the middle of the aisle and walked toward the counter.

“What can I get you?” I asked as I approached.

“I need smokes.”

I’m a mind-reader. “Knowing what kind might help,” I told him. Since he was in a hurry, and all.

“It smells like balls in here.” Here we go with the offensive pronouncements. I ignored it.

He was persistent. “Did you hear me? IT SMELLS LIKE BALLS IN HERE!”

I was at my spot behind the register. I gave him a patient look and said, “Maybe it has something to do with the folks standing around in here.”

“I’m telling you your store smells like SHIT!” He looked so proud, so tough.

“Okay, then there’s no reason for you to stay. Get out.” I pointed at the door. He’d pushed my buttons. I felt like Scotty on Star Trek. “Ah, Cap’m, when he insulted the Enterprise, well, then it became personal…”

“Do you know there is a store across the street? I can shop there!” He was getting smug now.

“Well, that’s good, because you ain’t getting nothing here. Get out!” I raised my voice for the ‘Get out’ part.

“Suck my dick!”

“Nope, not my thing.”

“Fuck you, you fat faggot cocksucker!” He was moving toward the door.

So was I. “Now you’re drifting into hate-crime territory, asshole. Keep talking…” If I caught him, I was gonna hurt him…

“Fuck you, FAGGOT!” He jaywalked across the street. His friend who had been waiting outside followed, wondering what all the commotion was about.

“How do you know what balls smell like, anyway?” I shouted, much to the delight of the bar patrons smoking on the sidewalk. And when the offending ball-smeller returned to the gay bar half a block away? I had the answer to my question.

By the time Dr T returned from the bank, I was ready to kill things. A retelling of the adventure got us laughing. He’s still lucky I didn’t catch him.

As I rode the MAX to work yesterday, I listened to an old couple’s conversation. She was complaining about the overpaid MAX drivers. “They get FULL medical benefits and make $27 an hour! Why in the hell do they pay them so much?”

I resisted turning to say, “Do you really want some methed-out high school dropout to be driving this thing for minimum wage?” I kept quiet.

The husband replied, “They get full medical? Look at that fat fuck!” An older TriMet driver with some heft was walking past.

I turned to look at the old man name-caller. Well now…

I just want to say, calling a six-foot tall, three hundred pound man a “Fat fuck” when you are 5’6″ and 250 lbs is a bit hypocritical, don’cha think?

Ya Fat Fuck.


  1. John 'Doh! said,

    I’m 45 years old and what is this?

  2. godzilla's scaly dick said,

    Bet that old couple complains all the time about the drugs their Medicare won’t buy them.

    The kind of abusive language whereof you write is, it seems, what happens when people get too PC, or their society demands that of them. The only way to deal with it is to laugh and give it right back.

    When this empire falls, Busted! will be our Rosetta Stone.

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