I used to pay little attention to the world’s little idiosyncrasies, but now they seem ever present. And it’s more than slightly annoying.
I can’t be the only one.
When I was getting change back from the fast food drive-thru recently, it all became clear. The world is against me.
The lady was nice enough, but she handed me back my bills, coins, and receipt in one big wad. Then she looked at me while I sorted it out. I put the money in my wallet, my wallet back in my coat, and the receipt in my shirt pocket. It was if I was expected to vacate the drive-thru with the same expediency that she had foisted my change and receipt at me.
This is nothing new. It’s been happening for years, but it was gradual. What happened to counting out your change?
“Thirty makes six, seven, eight, nine, and 10 is your change, sir. And thank you for dining at the Cardiac Cafe,” used to be the routine. Now, it’s, “Here. Thank you and move along, please.”
Granted, I’m on the OCD side, but what’s wrong with wanting to count your change (since they didn’t), place it neatly (all bills right side up in order of denomination) in your wallet, the coins in your pocket, and your receipt in your shirt pocket where you can find it later?
Or another drive-thru scenario is the, “Sir, would you mind pulling your vehicle up about a quarter of a mile? We’ll bring you your order when it’s ready.”
But it isn’t just how your change comes at you. What about people who use the world as their cellphone audience?
“Yeah, I’m in the doctor’s office waiting my turn. Boy, this boil is certainly something. I’ve had them before, but this thing’s the size of a Buick. Not sure if he’s going to lance it or not.”
And the whole time, they’re on speakerphone. Chewing gum. And smacking.
That’s another one. Smackers. Smackers are the ones who eat for the world’s approval. It’s almost as if they’re saying, “I’m sure enjoying this chili cheese dog. I hope you’re enjoying my chili cheese dog too.”
Smack. Smack. Smack.
You feel like reaching over and, smack, smack, smack.
And then there are the textperts. Textperts are people who refuse to answer their phone. They will only text you.
(ring, ring) “Hi, this is Bill, I can’t get to the phone right now, and I never check my voicemail. The best way to reach me is to text me.”
But before the message you’re trying to leave him even finishes, Bill sends you the auto-click text reply to your call, “Can I call you later?”
Bill will never call you later, because Bill doesn’t call anyone. He just texts. And then he’s unhappy if you don’t text him right back.
Whenever Bill texts me, I usually wait a bit and text, “Sorry, Bill, I’m talking on the phone with someone else. I left you a voicemail.”
The other phone peeve is people who never look up from their phone when you’re trying to talk to them.
“Well, hey, Bill. Long time no see. How have you been?”
Bill is texting someone and mumbling, so I click on FaceTime and call Bill. When he answers, I say, “Sorry I missed you, Bill, did you get my voicemail?” And then hang up and walk away.
And then there are the people who feel completely at ease beginning a comment with, “Hey, no offense, but…”
If someone says, “Hey, no offense, but…” They’re going to offend you.
“Hey, no offense, John, but that tie is something else.” It’s no different than when a woman at church says, “Well, bless your heart.” Both indicate they think you’re stupid. Stupid enough that you don’t realize they’re calling you stupid.
And then there are the french fry thieves. French fries are not community property. Houses, boats, cars, and ROTH IRAs are community property.
Just because I have my fries spread out doesn’t mean I’m offering samples. Samples are what the little old ladies offer you at the booth in the grocery store when they’re trying to sell flavored beer or some new trail mix.
My french fries are mine. Besides, I had to deal with a lady who wads up my change and receipt to get these.
And then there are the whiners. Those who feel like everyone wants to hear about their problems. Especially their medical maladies.
“Yeah, my colonoscopy didn’t go as well as they’d hoped, so I’m getting another one tomorrow after he does something with this boil.”
I guess I’ve become my father. But that’s not such a bad thing.
Hey, I need to go. Some kids are on my lawn.
©2022 John Moore
John’s new book, Puns for Groan People, and his books, Write of Passage: A Southerner’s View of Then and Now Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, are available on his website – TheCountryWriter.com, where you can also send him a message and hear his weekly podcast.