Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I shouldn't have been surprised, really...

Out running errands yesterday.

I picked up all the non-food stuff at Target, but I'll confess to having become a total foodie snob hipster douchebag when it comes to bacon, and so I went across the way to Whole Foods where I could get my swine wrapped in paper rather than vacuum-sealed in plastic.

Into the cart went bacon, a dozen eggs laid by chickens that had been allowed to run around and eat bugs, little wedges of Gouda and Manchego by way of treats, and a copy of National Geographic because apparently being in Whole Foods does that sort of thing to one. Before I got the urge to save any rain forests or mail a check to Al Gore, I pushed my five (Count 'em!) items to the 10-Items-Or-Less lane and prepared to leave.

My departure was delayed, however, because the full-sleeve-tatooed checkout hipster had to bag the entire shopping cart of the woman ahead of me in line, who either could not read or could not count, or perhaps both.

As she pushed her cart towards the exit, I drew a laugh from the cashier by muttering under my breath "It's okay, honey, that sign didn't mean you," while staring daggers at her back.

I completed my transaction ("Oh, wow, this issue is so cool," said the cashier, referring to the Nat Geo, "The article on redwoods..."
"No spoilers!" I yelped, warding him off with upraised hands) and wandered out to the car with my bag of yummy in my hand and a song in my heart.

Putting the Zed Drei in reverse, I started to back gingerly out of the parking space, in the manner typical of a little roadster with iffy rear visibility surrounded by SUVs and minivans, only to see the Mercedes ML in the spot directly behind me suddenly start up, shift into reverse, and head for my rear fender.

I tapped my horn to make them aware of my presence, and the Upscale Explorer shuddered to a startled halt. Since I was halfway out of my spot, I resumed backing, only to see the lights on the Benz come on again and it resume its implacable course, now towards my driver's side door. I tapped the horn again, yelling "I know those things come with rear-view mirrors!" Apparently Captain Solipsism didn't need mirrors, though; all you do is throw your vehicle into reverse, hit the gas, and trust the world will get out of your way...

At the exit to the parking lot, the ML320 pulled up next to me, and guess who was in the driver's seat, giving me a good finger-wagging with one hand while clutching her iPhone with the other? That's right, Little Miss Entitled Innumeracy from the 10-Items-Or-Less lane.

It must be nice to be the star of the movie; I can tell you it's no fun being one of the extras sent over from central casting to play "Other Shopper", though.

66 comments:

Matt said...

Life's a bitch, then you run into her in the grocery store.

Then she returns the favor...

fillyjonk said...

This is why, if I could get grocery delivery in my town, I'd never leave the house. Well, except to go to work.

I once had someone with 32 items in the 12 items or fewer line (yes, I silently counted, it passed the time) turn to me (with my carton of milk and bag of spinach) and say "I can count, honey, I'm just really in a hurry."

I wanted to say - but my mother raised me to be too deferential to the aged - "Oh, HONEY, did it not occur to you that I might be, too?"

Pakkinpoppa said...

One of the drawbacks of smaller vehicles...dealing with people who have bigger ones who don't care about you. You'll move.

Discovered that the hard way in my Civic...but it took the 4x4 Dodge with it.

The Decline of Civility has increased in speed, I fear.

I am amazed how many Dooshnozzles driving expensive vehicles assume you're merely going to move because your life isn't as important as theirs is...and how Darwin gets thwarted so often due to attentive folks not wanting to waste their day with paperwork.

Glad the Zed Drei didn't end up a bumper ornament for said Dooshnozzle's Land Yacht.

Joseph said...

I'm 43, great, cheap insurance and drive 12 year old cars that are paid for. Let them come.

JD Rush said...

I, too, am invisible to other drivers. In my tiny Silverado. In the drab color of fire engine arrest me red.
Maybe the Jeep-cedes (at least the newer ones are) has a backup camera designed to not show BMWs to its owner.

ProudHillbilly said...

Oh, yeah. The entitlement crew. And then there are the stupids - like the one that sat on my bumper waiting for me to back out of the space while seemingly unaware that he was too close for me to do so.

Ajdshootist said...

I miss my old 740 volvo for that reason heavy bumpers made of steel not plastic on shockers could take out most modern junk.

Angus McThag said...

Tam has to be lying.

There was no gunfire or blood running the Whole Foods scuppers.

That's what happens when gun people have trouble with traffic, I saw it on the news!

Jay G said...

Heh. Whole Foods.

My one and only experience with Whole Foods involves sitting in traffic for two solid hours on Storrow Drive (because it flooded in a rain storm; who needs proper drainage on a major artery into and out of the largest city in MA?), and finally being able to pull into Whole Foods so that my two small children could use the bathroom.

The hominid (I refuse to use the term human) in the Audi that attempted to ram me because he thought he had a god-given right the parking space I had been waiting (not really) patiently for didn't realize that inside the drab grey *JAPANESE* SUV (I didn't have the proper upbringing to drop $75K+ on a German one) was a shaved head biker looking guy who was REALLY unhappy about traffic and two small children that desperately needed to use the bathroom. And writes really long run-on sentences...

Apparently I got out of the Honda with such a look of incredible malevolence on my face that he stopped flipping me the bird, put his Audi in reverse, and left the Whole Foods parking lot at a speed approaching Mach 1...

I can look menacing? Who knew?

ASM826 said...

Just because she's serving it, you had a whole plate? Why? Call them out in the 10 item line. Make a scene. Talk loud and stupid. Annoy them enough they can't keep living in the bubble.

The parking lot issue is harder if you like the shape and size of your car. but otherwise, I think Kathy Bates offers a solution in Fried Green Tomatoes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXZs3mjGlQU

Tam said...

ASM826,

"Just because she's serving it, you had a whole plate? Why?"

Because patience, politeness, and self-possession are the hallmarks of adulthood; there was already one entitled child present.

That, and I don't feel like potentially escalating situations when I'm carrying a gun. Somebody needs to be the grownup in that situation; it might as well be me.

It didn't really bother me at all at the time. I amused myself for the extra minute or two I was inconvenienced by thinking about how 3,000+ people around the world were going to be laughing at her the next day.

Cormac said...

And there it is, served chilled on the blog.

Thank you, Tam. :)

og said...

Way cool.

In these instances, I like, when I can, to be the Agent of Schadenfreude. Often, an opportunity presents itself as if on cue.

og said...

They let the chickens eat little wedges of Gouda and Manchego by way of treats? man, those eggs must be expensive!

Bram said...

I avoid Whole Foods despite working down the street from one.

I have noticed in NJ that nobody of the female persuasion has made the 30 second commitment to sync their smartphones with their Mercedes.

ASM826 said...

At the register I might choose to be silly, but as you say, carrying turns everything up to 11 and you did take the mature approach.

Firehand said...

I've been to the WF in OKC three times, twice with daughter when she was looking for something. Learned why a friend calls it Whole Paycheck.

Daughter's pissed at them: apparently they decided to build a store here, but made it a lot smaller than all the other stores, and so it carries less. That makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

Joanna said...

They cut you off in traffic; you honk; they give you the finger. These are the same people who, in high school and college, constantly said they hated "drama" while being the primary cause of it.

Ambulance Driver said...

Should have let her hit you, and then fallen out in the parking lot, screaming, "My nose. MY NOSE! Aaaaauugghhhh, my nooooooose!"

Seems to work for lots of my clientele.

Anonymous said...

Heh.

As a big man (6'7" 250lbs) who drives older & smaller cars, I get the "oh, never mind" reaction from time to time too.

Is it just me getting older or are traffic manners actually getting worse? I have daily fantasy's now about starting "Mr. Fred's Traffic Etiquette School" and getting the state to mandate EVERYONE getting a refresher course every 1o years after their license.

The class would cover some items as:

Red Lights.

Priority at intersections.

Use of signals.

Use of mirrors.

Avoidance of rude hand gestures and loud expletives.

Why your ownership of a 5000lb or 75,000$ vehicle does not make you King or Queen of the road.

Why 4wd does not actually assist in STOPPING under lousy conditions.

Why stopping in the middle/double parking on the road to drop off or pick up the slowest passenger in the WORLD is considered obnoxious.

Why walking 200 yards to your parking space is not actually a big deal. So chill.
etc..

I'd teach all this with a video game and a cattle prod build into the seat of the testing lab.

(No signalling? XAAP! Lost your patience? XAAAAAAAP!)

Like I said, my little nazi fantasy.


I need help with the curriculum, but I figure stampeding the legislature won't be too hard.

Tim Ellwood said...

I have been avoiding grocery stores for many years now. I moved from Ft Lauderdale to NC at the turn of the century to take over as the retail rep for the area for S&W. After a few months I was in a town I had not been to before for a early gun shop visit. As with all gun shops in the US, you show up early, you bring glazed doughnuts. I stopped at a Food Lion and ran in and bought a couple dz and ran to the line ( I was running late). Although I did not know it, I must have cut off someone else going to the same line. As I dug for money, I felt like I was struck in the back with a sledgehammer, I staggered forward a step and boom, here it came again, I turned and was hit a 3ed time , this time sending to the floor ( I was 6' 2" about 230, not easy to knock down) I looked up from the floor as I was reaching for the 6" 25 in the x15 I was wearing and saw a 75 year old "Madeia" winding up for the kill shot with a purse the size and weight of a small German sports car! The thoughts of allowing a couple of 45 colt magsafe's to leave my muzzle were great, but digression being the better part of valor, and the headlines my employer and I would receive, made me crawl away from her reach as quickly as possible. Catcalls from the other shoppers of "kill that cracker" had the manger help me up , give me the doughnuts and tell me to leave. Take away from this, always be aware of the store you enter in a strange town, Never , never cut in front of Medeia looking old people and FREE doughtnuts.

Blackwing1 said...

We were coming back from Sam's Club (the geometric opposite of Whole Foods) and were waiting at a stoplight to make a right turn. Waiting, since I needed to go across three (3) lanes of traffic to make the necessary left turn to get on the freeway.

Immediately behind us was a BMW-brand SUV, impatiently waiting (I could tell...he just kept burying his lights under our bumper) for me to JUST GET GOING, DAMMIT, despite the flow of traffic that had the green light.

I got a break, and started out, with the left-turn signal on to indicate that, yes indeed, I'm going over to that far side lane. The guy was in such a hurry that instead of waiting maybe 100 milliseconds for me to get out of the way, decided to go around me...on the LEFT-hand side. I just kept moving over, and sure enough, he ended up going around on the right-hand side, accelerating all the way up to the (already) red light at the next intersection. When he finally realized he was going to rear-end the car in front of him waiting for the light to change, he had to slam on the brakes (hard enough to engage his anti-lock), and come to a stop.

Final bit of hilarity: He then flipped us off, and proceeded to mouth obscenities (okay, I don't read lips, and can't actually say that they were obscenities) at us until we got our green arrow to make the left turn, and get the heck away from the maniac.

I'm not sure what kind of thing motivates that type of self-destructive behavior. Bad day at work? Bad marriage? Upset tummy? Whatever it was, it almost resulted in him rear-ending another car, and for exactly zero gain in time. Weird.

Tim Ellwood said...

While this just came up in a forum I was on, I tend to be overly nice on the road, after hearing about the Gary Fadden story years ago.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit to the occasional brain cramp while driving, and unintentionally making someone angry. I've often thought there should be a universal apology gesture -- the inverse of flipping someone off.

Comrade Misfit said...

There is an old story about a 20-something in the "ten items or less" line at a grocery story in Cambridge, MA. The kid had a lot more than ten items in his buggy and he clearly was one of the Snowflake Students ("my daddy pays $50K for me to go to school" type).

The cashier looked him over and asked: "Sonny, do you go to MIT and you can't read, or do you go to Harvard and you can't count?"

Lots of chuckles from other customers and checkers. Kid slinked into a different lane.

Woodman said...

My 12 year old Chrysler Minivan is covered in invisible paint.

The only reason I'm not in accidents on a regular basis is because I yield my right of way and I'm already looking for an idiot doing the wrong thing.

That, and when I'm the idiot doing the wrong thing I'm really lucky.

This morning I decided to take sprout with me to the gas station to get myself some rocket fuel and made it back to the house behind the bus. I was stopping at the next bus stop down the street to let her off when I notice there is a kid actually walking onto the street in front of me, before I actually stopped. He stands there two feet from my bumper as I slam on the brakes and drools some. I think I literally scared the brains out of him, and his mother standing in the yard.

Brian Turner said...

I've had to dial back the sensitivity setting on my doucheometer. Makes life much easier in California. And some of these weirdos working at Whole Foods are genuinely good people.

I've got no patience for the slow-poke "artisanal" sandwich makers there though. In my experience, true artists flat out get-it-done.

NAVIGATOR said...

"Q" BRIEFS 007

"NOW PAY CLOSE ATTENTION OO7 TO THIS NEW FEATURE THAT OUR BOFFINS HAVE DEVELOPED AT GREAT COST TO THE TAXPAYER

BY LIFTING THIS PANEL IT ACTIVATES THE HEADS UP DISPLAY ON THE WINDSCREEN

BY PRESSING THE LITTLE YELLOW BUTTON THIS WILL CAUSE A MASSIVE ELECTRIC FAILURE AT A DISTANCE IN ANY OPPOSING VEHICLE AT RANGES 5 OUT TO 100 METRES

BY PRESSING THE LITTLE RED BUTTON IT VAPORIZES THE TARGET

TESTS HAVE PROVEN IT USEFUL IN AVOIDING SERIOUS CONFRONTATIONS IN CARPARKS OF CERTAIN COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS

BUT YOU WILL BE CAREFUL 007"

IT ALMOST MAKES ONE WANT TO DRIVE AN ASTON- MARTIN

Anonymous said...

As far as the checkout goes, oftentimes stores I frequent with express lanes will let people with full carts in, if there is nobody in line....better to keep the cashier busy.

And even though I drive large vehicles (2 Superduty F350's, a Ford Expedition Superduty, and a Dodge RAM, depending) and being a larger than average American gun carrier (6'3, 250 or thereabouts) I seem to be invisible to the "obliviasses" out there too.

But, the vehicles have large push bars and step bumpers, and if someone REALLY wants to test them out, bring it on. In fact, however, I haven't had a traffic accident in thirty years, and that one was someone running into me.

Stretch said...

Witnessed a similar incident at the local Wegman's. "Lady" in a Range Rover took advantage of a departing car to slide into the space while the man who was waiting was blocked by the car leaving.
She gave a little nod to the fuming driver as she walked towards the store entrance.
The man parked several slots back, reached into his glove compartment and made a bee-line towards the Rover.
He saw me watching and held up the object in his hand. I started to laugh as he proceeded to cover her Obama 2012 sticker with a "Democrats for Romney" one.
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

rickn8or said...

Angus, I was wondering the same thing. Surely Tam had her Mighty Engine of Death in plain sight, thus intimidating Ms. SUV to the point where she'd never make rude gestures in parking lots.

But I also knew Tam would do The Adult Thing in any case. (Did you smile sweetly at her in response to her vulgarity Tam? You can tell us.)

RWC said...

Tam,

Might just be me, but I got a warning that your site contains malware?

Something about papaya palace. The warning came up and asked if I wanted to proceed anyway.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Glad you kept your cool, Tam. Just read a story where during the Black Friday Silliness, some couple got shot fighting over a Parking Space.

Nothing like living during the Collapse of Western Civilization.

Tam said...

RWC,

I have no earthly idea.

This is Google's site. I am using the same bone-stock template from Blogger's files hosted on Blogger's server that I have since 2005.

If there's malware here, Google put it there and hid it in such a way that it doesn't show up in the HTML source code, at least in a way that I can find it.

tanksoldier said...

I love shopping at the Whole Foods in Boulder.... but as you can imagine it's a whole town full of the very people you describe. Too busy saving the Purple Spotted Porcupine or whatever is this week's cause de juor to pay attention to anything as inconsequential as the human beings around them. Pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers all wrapped up in their own little worlds and oblivious to anything else. I've often wondered what the accidental death rate is there...

RWC said...

Tam,

OK. Just wanted to let you know. It was the first time I have seen it come up.

Patrick H said...

@ Anonymous 10:17

It is definitely getting worse. Manners go out the window when people get behind a wheel. They are completely inconsiderate and obnoxious while driving. They will drive 35 in a 55, then when you try to pass them, they speed up to 75 so you can't pass. Because how dare you not want to go the same speed they are. (That just happened two nights ago). Eric Peters calls them clovers, so I've adopted that too. I'd love to force them into your proposed school.

Critter said...

i'm so glad you're feeling better. makes the morning read more enjoyable. :)

Scott_S said...

Tam -

May I suggest a modified horn?

I've owned several BMW's and I find the horn to be just a little on the muted side.

I also did this on a Triumph 675 with excelent results.

Jumpthestack said...

The same thing happened to me once except the woman kept backing up and hit me despite me being halfway backed out before she even started and me leaning on the horn the moment she started. My advise would be to just immediately get back in your spot. This type of person doesn't see people in their way, so they probably won't hear them either.

Anonymous said...

Buddy of mine put a set of truck horns on his Beetle. No one could say they didn't hear his horn.

Brighid said...

There are more than a few of those drivers in Cali...even here in N Cali...
I drive an old beat to heck Explorer... Since I put that "big" green & white sticker that says "I LOVE GUNS & COFFEE" on the back window...they are being alot better about messing with me.

Lergnom said...

We call it the Jewelry Store or Whole Paycheck interchangeably. The GF and I bring cloth shopping bags, mostly because I don't want a cubic meter of scrunched up plastic bags in one corner of the kitchen until we remember tro take them to recycle. My pride and joy is a welder's toolbag made by a seamstress friend of ours about 35 years ago. It's been around and shows it. I always start out apologizing for the dirty bag, and the checkers always make a huge fuss over the thing, especially when I tell them it was patterned on a Wanamaker's shopping bag.

Andy said...

Whole Foods near me now has growler stations. That makes it far more...palatable.

Anonymous said...

"Manners go out the window when people get behind a wheel. "

My dad, a wise man, once stated: "Cars are 3000lb amplifier of manners, specifically, _bad_ manners."

Funny how as I get older my dad gets wiser, damn fool didn't know bugger all when I was 18. Sigh.

Ygolonac said...

Full-size 1975 Chevy van. Absolutely turned invisible once I painted the roof white to help reflect some sunlight instead of collecting it.

Eventually, it got totalled out when the fella in his full-size Dodge Ram didn't see it and tried to turn into the alley... which was actually about 25 feet further on.

Van had the left-rear quarter planel and driver's door caved in, and the mirror on that side was smashed; otherwise it'd been shoved about ten feet up the street, and was still functional. Pickup took minor body damage, broke off his fancy brushguard and the right-side step, and he lost the corresponding mirror. He also had to be towed off due to his power steering experienceing a catastrophic failure afterwards.

I kindly didn't point out to the responding office the "Calvin peeing on the Chevy bowtie" decal. Kinda felt a little unfair to the (unimpaired, even) driver.

There's some powerful stupid out there on the roads... Trust No One.

Anonymous said...

After 27 years of driving in L.A., I could tell some tales which would make your red hair turn grey(or was it the other way around?). I've been the lunatic a few times (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea MAXIMA culpa) but I try to drive charitably. I really wish here were a cattle prod in the seat of all cars, going on when someone forgets to use turn signals.

Sigh.

Ulises from CA

NotClauswitz said...

This is the absolute worst driving season. All I see everywhere is Crazydriver, SHe is out there in the early morning glare or darkness or skidding in the wet or blinded by ultra halogens in the evening dim crosswalk - and the pedestrians aren't much better!

Buzz said...

I wish clerks had the green light to embarrass those that think quantity limits don't apply to them. I REALLY wish I could take a sledge hammer to the vehicles that park in fire lanes.

I get beckoned to the express lane at Menards all the time and I refuse, unless there isn't another shopper in sight to check out. I know that, inevitably, a legitimate express shopper will get in line behind me and be appropriately annoyed, so I don't let it happen.

perlhaqr said...

Is it just me getting older or are traffic manners actually getting worse?

Hard to say, since I'm getting older too... but I think they really are getting worse. I think it's the cell phones.

I had a 6 year hiatus between motorcycle wreck, and motorcycle rebuild. And maybe I wouldn't have noticed if I'd been riding the whole time, but the sudden jump was pretty exciting. I mean, I know that on a bike, they're all out to kill me, but holy fuck these people are all out to kill me!

Joseph said...

I'm pretty sure this was the story "You're Another" by Damon Knight, about being the comic relief in a livie...

Anonymous said...

She rode the "special" bus to school. She was in the "special" class at school. All her life she's been told she was "special." Can she help it if she actually believes she's special?

Mrs. Knitebane said...

I once stopped at a Walgreens around 7:30 PM. I forgot what I was there to pick up but I had barely made it into the store when a woman who wasn't paying any attention to anything but her phone physically ran into me. She didn't apologize and gave me a dirty look. It wasn't like I had teleported to right in front her to make her look stupid. I paid for my stuff and headed out to my little 86 toyota pickup truck. I loved that truck. Guess who came flying out of Walgreens, still on her phone and ignoring everything around her? As soon as she was out of the way, I pulled out of my spot and took off towards the exit when I see her still on the phone, didn't even look in her rear view mirror and PUNCHED IT. I hit the horn and slammed into reverse trying to get away but she slammed into me pretty hard. She then accused me of already having the damage on my truck since it was so old. People are great.

Justthisguy said...

"I tapped my horn to make them aware of my presence."

This.

Our Tam understands the proper use of the horn. Some others seem not to understand that, and sound the horn to try to convey messages like, "I am an impatient asshole!"

Justthisguy said...

Oh, Tam? An oldy but goody you can yell at the doodah drivers:

"MY car has turn signals. See?"

John B said...

Grenades! Because people like her so dearly deserve it!

Spud said...

Just think, After SHTF it will be open season with no tags required, as I'm sure the " Entitled " will be the first with their hands out.

Anonymous said...

Driving around Los Angeles, I really miss the M61 20mm Gatling gun my F4 Phantom had.....

Robert said...

A Ferrari convertable cut me off without signalling while I was driving around Honolulu on business one day. We ended up beside each other at the next traffic light and it was nice weather so his top was down and my windows were down. I looked over and said "Nice Car" and he said "Thanks". Then I said "It's too bad you couldn't afford the turn signal option package" and he just roared off when the light turned green a second later.

DaveFla said...

Two points: first, I must here applaud an auntie who was an H2 owner at the height of the "Hummer Hater" craze. People would fly the bird; in response she (being a grandmotherly type) would shield her eyes, squint, and begin smiling and waving as if she'd recognized the offspring of another grandmotherly lady... As she puts it, "maybe they'll wonder if they really DO know me, and feel guilty."

Second: I will sometimes use the 15 or less self-check with 25+ items in the cart, so long as no one's waiting. There are always duplicates making up the bulk of the order (remember the days when a human cashier could swipe a barcode once and then enter a quantity? Good times!) and I'm always accompanied by at least two other family members. If someone should ever object, I intend to offer to run a separate transaction for each person present in our group...

Bob said...

Had a cartoon in the counting room of the commissarry where I worked. Cart with lots of groceries nex to the sign t3n items or less. Heading was "A math major who can't read or a literature major who can't count"

Will said...

Tam,
Get a set of air horns, and hook up the relay to activate from your regular electric horns. The delay due to the spin-up of the little compressor allows you to tap your horn button for a normal "beep", but staying in it longer causes a "big rig" to materialize in the offenders blind spot (or so they imagine!). I once had a deserving moron drive off the road, when he nearly squashed me on my Guzzi. The fact he was going to require the services of a tow, to extricate his car from the ditch he drove into, had me chuckling for a few miles.

Tango Juliet said...

Vintage Tam! I love it!

Crotalus said...

This is why I'm looking for train horns for my car. There are some people that just should be made to change their pants.

benEzra said...

"I have daily fantasy's now about starting 'Mr. Fred's Traffic Etiquette School'..."

PLEASE add a class or two on "if you're not passing, get the $#!^&! out of the left lane" to the curriculum. Too many people appear to think the left lane is the SUV/pickup lane, the VIP lane, the cell phone lane, or the Self-Appointed Speed Limit Enforcer lane.

Jim Dunmyer said...

Back in the 1950's, I saw a cartoon at the movies that was appropiate then and now. Some say that folks have become less courteous while behind the wheel, see what you think of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZAZ_xu0DCg