The Girl Scout Bullies

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Pushing Product

“Wanna buy some Girl Scout cookies?” asked the intimidating 8 year old girl, as I approached the grocery store entrance.

“No, thanks,” I responded.

“Come on,” she persisted. “It’s freezing out here. Buy some thin mints.”

“I really can’t. I don’t care for thin mints,” I said.

“Who doesn’t like thin mints? An idiot, that’s who.”

“What did you say to me?” I said, shocked at her accusation.

“Have a nice day.”

“No, you called me an idiot.”

“What? No way!” she responded. “I’m just a little girl. Mom, this guy thinks I called him an idiot.”

The mom narrowed her eyes at me, so I hurried into the store as fast as I could, relieved she didn’t follow. Continue reading “The Girl Scout Bullies”

Diminishing the Jean Pool

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Denim Confinement

“Hi, I’m looking for loose fitting jeans,” I mentioned to the store employee at The Gap. “Where are those located?”

“1996,” he responded.

I could appreciate the sarcasm in his voice but not the fact that he was also telling the truth.

It’s been several years since I’ve been able to walk into a mall store, find a pair of comfortably fitting jeans (the kind that don’t cut off blood flow to the lower legs), pay an exorbitant price (okay, that part can still happen), and leave feeling satisfied. Continue reading “Diminishing the Jean Pool”

A Useless Tool of a Man

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Hammer time?  Unlikely

I don’t like using tools. I don’t really know the difference between a socket wrench and a monkey wrench. When I’m forced to use a screwdriver, I have to repeatedly tell myself, “Righty tighty, lefty loosey.” I don’t own a stud finder or a level, my hammer is as old as I am, and I have no idea why they are called Allen wrenches.

More to the point, I find Home Depot to be a very unsettling place. Every time I have to ask a question of one of those employees, clad in their Oompa Loompa aprons, I know they are looking at me with utter disdain as I attempt to explain my dilemma using charades. Words don’t suffice, because I am incapable of using appropriate terminology that they would understand. Therefore, they inevitably recommend a 3/4” something-or-other and send me on my way. Before I get into the checkout line, I swing by the battery and lightbulb aisles, because I at least know what I need there and that feeling empowers me. Continue reading “A Useless Tool of a Man”

Early Departures: A Tale of an Early Arriver

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“Is my plane on time?”

The employee behind the desk stared blankly at me. “I’m not sure,” she said. “Your plane hasn’t left Las Vegas yet. Your flight is 5 hours from now.”

They say the early bird gets the worm. If that’s the case, I’d get there before the worm was even born. It’s always been this way for me. I can’t help arriving early, to everything. Continue reading “Early Departures: A Tale of an Early Arriver”

Salad Bar Injustice: A Civil Heights Violation

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I’m a tall person. In the past, this has worked to my benefit. I can reach stuff on the top shelf, I’m really good at being the monkey in the middle, and the general feeling of superiority I have in the elevator is addictive. In short (no pun intended), I’ve quite enjoyed the vertical advantage I have had over a majority of our society. Today, however, that all changed.

Up to this point, it had been a normal day by most standards. I went to work, looked at some papers, cavorted with my coworkers, and drank copious amounts of coffee. At lunch time, I deviated from my regular routine of staying on campus. It was a Friday, and I decided to pay a visit to the local grocery store. It was a grand opening, and I had heard rumors that this chain’s salad bars were pretty near top of the line. At my age, these things excite me. Continue reading “Salad Bar Injustice: A Civil Heights Violation”

Tucked into Purgatory: Life in a Tucked in Shirt

 

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Tucked in Terror

Every weekday morning, I think to myself, “Today will be the day I revolt.” Inevitably, however, my attempted coup is violently put down by society’s authoritarian rule. Even the thought of maintaining a shred of freedom and autonomy is wiped away. Once the polo shirt falls down over my shoulders, or the last button of my dress shirt is cinched, the final act of my appareled betrayal is complete. In short, I am tucked in to the expectations of society.

And just in case I get an idea to make one last stand, the belt arrives. The belt, once a beacon of seamless transition, is now revealed to be nothing but a brutal enforcer of rules, a true destroyer of individuality. Continue reading “Tucked into Purgatory: Life in a Tucked in Shirt”

A Trivial Pursuit in Frustration

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Empty Pursuits (Photo courtesy of Chip Maust)

I stared blankly into space as I asked her to repeat the question, this time in English.

“Who was Howdy Doody’s brother?” she asked again, confident we would not be able to provide an answer. Not many questions had involved answers up to this point, and this one would be no different.

The night, until now, had been fun. It had started with a dinner among six close friends, all members of the esteemed Generation X. Food and drink, a warm fire in the fireplace, and ‘90s music blaring from the speakers had coalesced to make for a fun Saturday evening. It was good to be with close friends, carousing after a long week of being semi-functional adults. I’m not sure who had suggested we play Trivial Pursuit, or why any of us agreed to do so, but the snowball was rolling downhill and it would soon engulf all of us in its avalanche of ignorance pretty quickly. Continue reading “A Trivial Pursuit in Frustration”