Archive for August, 2015

Forward: An Apology.
                                    I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize for the coarse language and terminology that follows in addition to it’s title and content.   The inspiration for this work, as you will see, is a direct quote from someone.   It’s simply safe to say that the expression “Giving a fuck”; and all it’s varietals (Giving a fuck, I-don’t-give a fuck, He/She/It doesn’t give a fuck and so on) is a big part of the modern vernacular.   It trumps “I don’t care”.  It’s more aggressive.  It goes beyond not caring.  That is not to say that fucking always trumps caring. I’m quite fond of caring, being cared care givers, care packages. Come to think of it though, I’m also quite fond of fucking…but I digress.
I wanted to write what was hopefully a humorous piece about the importance and the varying levels of giving a fuck.  The pitfalls of giving too much of a fuck, and an analysis of…well…”Fuck…Giving?”
My primary intentions are to make others think as well as smile at the many absurdities that are contemporary living.  I’m not trying to be crude, crass or sound tough. I’m also not trying to offend anyone.  If this kind of language either written or spoken offends you, then it might be best if you stopped reading here.  if you decide to read beyond this carefully constructed warning and pre-apology, AND you get offended, well, then I’m afraid I just don’t give a fuck.
I understand all too well that there are times and places for no-no words, and especially the Godfather of Swears: “Fuck”.  I don’t use them around people I don’t know, around children, and very seldom at job interviews.   My late-mother; an English lit major as well as having a law degree carefully drilled into me that swearing is often the refuge of the unoriginal and uneducated.  She was right.  I’d also like to think that she’d understand ( and approve ) of the spirit of this particular pile-o-words.
Four Words: An Apology:    “I’m really quite sorry.”
Giving A Fuck:
“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”.  Rhett Butler- Gone With The Wind
“I HATE You”
“Yeah?, Well you’re not my favorite person right now either”
Me. Age 8 ( In the midst of a donnybrook tantrum over something or other)
Mom. Age 25
What can I say? We were both kids.
                                                        Yesterday at work a customer whom I am quite fond of began to tell me and his co-worker/drinking buddy about being “spoken to” at work.   Most of us can relate to that.   I’ve been “spoken to” at various jobs too, and it sucks rather mightily. It’s never fun.  Generally speaking, when the bossy boots requests a sit-down… You’re guilty and as Isaac Hayes once said in his “Shaft’s Theme” you best “Shut yo mouth”.  The boss doesn’t want to hear it.  Generally they want you to nod, agree and say “I’m sorry and it will never happen again.”  As he told us of his particular “talking to” he shrugged his shoulders and said, matter-of-factly “You know, I just don’t have a very high ‘give-a-fuck’ meter.”  We burst out laughing at this simple and frankly beautiful statement.    I must pause here and thank my friend and bar customer Eddy for this brilliant phrase.   Eddy is married to a lovely woman who is a psychiatrist.  I wonder if she came up with the theory of the “Give-A-Fuck Meter”?  Maybe it was her doctoral thesis?  If so, I’d love to borrow it.  Strictly for research and footnotes mind you.
I guess everyone has their own personal ‘Give-A-Fuck Meter’ or perhaps” threshold” is a more appropriate expression.   Some of us give too much of a fuck. Day in, day out they are just giving those fucks front, right and center with an intensity and purpose  like they’re going to be made illegal tomorrow.  We’ve all met these people…the “fuck givers” and they’re frankly exhausting.  After being in their presence for a second time or for more than say… 15 minutes, you want to grab them by the collar, shake them and scream  “Why do you give a fuck?”  or ” You know…Nobody gives a fuck…except YOU”
Fuck-Giving which for the sake of brevity I shall refer to as “FG” from this point is a very personal thing.  Everyone gives fucks about different things, at different times, because of different circumstances.
I suppose I should begin with a definition of “giving a fuck” and take it from there.  Where does one begin researching these days? The internet. I’d try the library, but the Dewey Decimal System intimidates me and I simply feel up to asking the sweet little old lady who is the librarian at my local branch to help me look this particular subject up.   In the card catalogue would it be “Fuck..A Giving”?   or Fuck; Giving A”
So I type hop on handy dandy google and see what comes up.
Well there are 437,000 results.  Not a small number, but significantly smaller than I would have expected.  The first 10 “hits” are articles, blog entries and one meditation technique that I will certainly be taking another look at.   I was sure that my old standby “Urban Dictionary” would be up there in the top 10.  Before hopping over to U.D. I peruse a few of the top hits on google.   It seems that many people are in search of a way to either not give a fuck, or to give less of a fuck. Some of these are “How To” pieces, as in “How to not give a fuck what other people think”.  This is interesting.  People are looking for and giving advice about fuck giving.  People are giving too much of a fuck about others giving a fuck about them…
As I said, let’s see what Urban Dictionary has to say on the subject.  I simply don’t have the time self important losers and what they imagine to be their oh-so-hilarious observations and blog entries.
Ah…our entry for the day on Urban Dictionary Feb 15, 2015 is “Butt Buddies”.  Charming.
After typing in “Giving a Fuck” the number one definition is this written by an obvious English major:
When you asks you Facebook friends if it accptible that you have a “don’t give a fuck” attatude.
Facebook status: Friends please tell me that it is all right that I have a don’t give a fuck attatude? beacause under my try hard James Dean bravado I really am giving a fuck.
Looks like somebody doesn’t give a fuck about grammar or spelling.  There are also 20 words and expressions in UD related to “Giving a Fuck”
1.Apathy
2. Fuck
3.Caring
4.Not Giving A Fuck
5. Stress
6.Attachment
7. Detachment
8. DGAF
9. Don’t Give A Fuck-ism
10. Giving a Fuck
11. GAF
12. Worry
13. Boring
14. Don’t Give A Shit
15. “Not Givin’ A Fuck” ( is there much of a difference between this and number 4?)
16. Life Is Too Short
17. QOL
18. Pissed Off
19. Giving
20. Give A Fuck
Guess the good people at UD don’t give much of a fuck about repetition and redundancies. That’s OK.  It’s a fun site from time to time.
I wonder if there is someway to ask someone to return the fuck they were given?  There is a potentially interesting conversation.
“Hey I think I want my fuck back”
” Huh?”
” I said…’I’d like my fuck back”
“What are you talking about?”
“Well, I used to give a fuck about what you thought, or said.  However after getting to know you a little better, I realize I don’t really give a fuck…so I’d like my fuck back”
PAUSE
“You’re an idiot.”
“See?  This is exactly what I am talking about… This is why I want my fuck back”
More to come on this topic…

More James Bond Cliches.

Posted: August 21, 2015 by S. Trevor Swenson in Uncategorized
A couple years ago I wrote a piece about the many clichés that abound in all the James Bond films. It was titled…wait for it…”James Bond Clichés”   I was thrilled to find that it became a fairly popular piece.  What I mean by this is that it got a lot of “hits” on my blog.   To date I have never been published.   I am not that upset by this, as I haven’t submitted very much for publication, and thus there weren’t stacks of rejection letters to brighten my days. Nothing Ventured; Nothing Rejected. Coincidentally  I utilize this philosophy in my romantic pursuits as well.
  I  did  discover, to my delight, that if I enter “James Bond Clichés” into a google or other search engines that my piece always comes up high on the list.
Here is a link to the original piece.  https://thewhinelistdotcom.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/movie-cliches-bond-edition/
I became inspired to write the first piece after catching a James Bond marathon on TV.  There is another marathon going on this month and I realized that there are a few more clichés that I missed the first time around.  So, I thought I’d revisit the concept.
I’ll start with a breakdown of literally every Bond film:
Our story begins ( after the shot of whatever actor is JB these days walking and turning quickly and firing his pistol at the audience) with some international criminal mastermind getting all his ducks in a row for some elaborate world domination or extortion plan on some massive scale.  Some one gets killed, some nuclear weapon is stolen or something blows up, and then we cut to one of my favorite things about the Bond franchise…the theme song.    I love Bond theme songs.  I post a daily oldie/song on my facebook page, and recently I had a vote on best Bond theme song.  “For Your Eyes Only” won, which surprised me.  “Live and Let Die”  came in second.
After the theme song, JB is summoned to MI-6 or 5 or whatever branch of “Majesty’s Intelligence” he works for.  Whenever this is mentioned I wonder about the other MI’s.  If Bond is in MI5 or 6…then what is MI one or two like.  Are they the accountants?  The IT department?  The janitorial staff?  Does one start at the lower MIs and work their way up?  Was there a time when James Bond used to fetch coffee for other agents or work in the mail room?
Bond gets the skinny of the situation from his boss; “M”.   Several actors have played M over the years from David Niven to John Huston to Judi Dench.  They all have one thing in common.  Bond kinda gets on their nerves.  It has been my experience that, generally speaking, if I am getting on my boss’ nerves, then I’m not usually long for that position…even if I am good at the job.  I guess being a Double 0 agent is like any government job such as the post office or sanitation workers,  in that it’s tough to get fired.
After Bond annoys his boss , gets briefed on his mission and flirts with the secretary Miss Moneypenny, then he’s off to see “Q”.  Q is a stuffy little, extremely British inventor who gives Bond all his cool little gadgets.  Q doesn’t like Bond much either and is always saying “Oh DO grow up 007″ as he explains how all the cool little toys he’s laying on him work.  JB behaves a lot like an 8 year old boy just dying to get at his Christmas presents while mom or dad are giving a lecture on how expensive or delicate the gift is….”Just gimme and let me break the bastard Ma ” I’d say.  It’s odd that Bond can’t seem to get along with any of his co-workers and yet he is incredibly successful with women.   He also gets the new Bond car.   I think it would be highly entertaining to give Bond a used, two tone 85 Yugo with dumb bumper stickers like “Who Farted”.   For even more fun park it next to the late model BMW or Mercedes sports car and when he goes to the flashy car, delight in informing him  “Oh no….that’s 003’s car.  You get the Yugo 007”.
This brings me to my first cliché. Money:   Doesn’t Bond have expense reports?  Never see that in a Bond film. I suppose it wouldn’t make for entertaining cinema to watch  James Bond going over his expenses with some fussy CPA from Inland revenue and Majesty’s Accounting…, piles of receipts…many on cocktail napkins…  typing numbers into a little adding machine. ” Martini….Armani Tux,  another martini ,martini, martini another martini….Rolex watch….martini, champagne,  massage.”
Furthermore,  who pays for all the trashed hotel suites?  James Bond  is more destructive that any rock n roll band. Maybe he gets the inevitable assassin waiting under the bed or in his closet to pay the damages?  That would actually be pretty slick.  An assassin jumps out of the closet, JB kicks the ever-loving crap out of him, and afterwards pulls him down to the lobby by his ear and makes him pay for the damages from the brawl.  It would certainly save the British taxpayer a few bob.
 James Bond is in the espionage business, but really his methods are about as subtle as a cockroach on a wedding cake. He leaves a trail of destruction all over Europe, the Caribbean, or wherever he’s currently saving the world and borking the Bond-girl d’jour  .  I’m no insurance adjuster, but I’d guess that a Maserati driving through the window and across the buffet at some 4 star Swiss Chalet while being chased by motorcycles with mounted machine guns might run you a few Euros, and might make a few headlines.   Do grow up 007.
This Organization Does Not Tolerate Failure:
The criminal masterminds and their organizations that JB is tasked with stopping have no shortage of clichés and inconsistencies.    First of all, since childhood I have always envied  their hideouts/headquarters.  I want a place like that…Shark tank,  Mega Screen TV with satellite, cable,  HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and the U.N. on speed dial?   I have to say though,  the dormant or faux volcano lair…it’s played guys…totally and completely played. You’re not fooling anyone, much less an intelligence agency and highly trained agent.  I feel it is safe to say that if Bond arrives on some tropical island, all he has to do is ask the locals if there is a volcano nearby, and there’s your criminal mastermind his cronies and the stolen nuclear weapon or kidnapped scientist.  If they really want JB to earn his martini money….set up your base of operations in an ice cream shop, or invest in a McDonalds franchise. Hiding the nuclear warhead you recently stole in Ronald’s Playroom?  Subtle genius.  Put it inside a hollowed out Grimace statue.  OR…  Set up a lair in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Put it in the back some snooty coffee shop staffed with apathetic hipsters.
Some of the Bond films such as “You Only Live Twice” feature enormous hideouts with scores of henchmen in uniforms.  Some of these organizations have emblems.  If you’ve ever had any experience in business, you realize how long it takes to design these things.  Some swishy gay design major needs to be consulted,  he will need to hire a team,  concepts need to be designed, rejected, tweaked, and then you have to go to Kinkos or some print shop for all SPECTRE letter head. Craftsmen must be hired to build that long mahogany table with your emblem in it…Contractors have to bid on these projects.  Does Bloefeld check Angie’s List?  If Goldfinger or Scaramanga is unhappy with the work, do they write a scathing review on YELP before dropping the hapless plumber, electrician or carpenter through a trap door and into the piranha or shark tank…after saying, of course, “This organization does not tolerate failure”    Yeah…um, cept you guys fail…all the time….without uh…fail.  Imagine some dyslexic contractor spelling “SPECTRE” wrong or with a backwards “S”?
Growing up I watched a lot of TV and I was always fascinated by henchmen.   I really want some henchmen of my own, but I don’t know how to go about getting any.  I suppose the financials are a big part of this, but there are certainly other factors.   Bond Villain henchmen are an odd breed if you’re really paying attention.  I’ll get to that in a moment.  First, lets take a look at the” henching” or the “hencherry”
1. Getting the job:  I’m not talking about the specialist right hand men or women…Your Jaws, Your Pussy Galore or Your Odd Job.  I’m talking about the scores of rank and file guys who polish the laser cannon, water the plants, shoot at Bond ( and always, always missing) falling from high places when shot BY Bond with a loud and long “AHHHHHhhhhhhhhh”.   These are the non descript henchmen. How does one get the job.  Do they show up to open calls?  Put their resume on Monster.com?  Craigslist?   Do they dress up for the interview? Do they nervously sit in a room with other applicants wondering if they should have worn a tie or gotten a haircut?  Is there an interview process?  I don’t expect the Joe-Blow applicants to see Dr. No or Zorin immediately.   They probably meet with an assistant manager first.  Is there an employee handbook?  A company mission statement?  Are there annual reviews, and most important…how is the pay and are there benefits?   Frankly I think working on some island in a dormant volcano would be ideal for saving money.
2.  Company Policy: I used to work at Taco Bell a long time ago.  Anyone who has worked in fast food knows that the corporate Hell spawn LOVES to come up with soul sucking little slogans.  “If there’s time for leanin, there’s time for cleanin” is one they say at Burger King.   Everyone who has a job knows there are inevitably going to be some slackers.  I’m amazed that when Bond is sneaking around in some evil genius’ lair, that he hasn’t happened across a couple of the less than diligent employees hiding away in some quiet spot and sharing a joint or sneaking a cigarette.  What could the obnoxious and soul sucking slogans and motto’s be for these organizations.  “You need to put in some overtime to take over the world”.   “Assassins don’t take coffee breaks”?
I’m an informal sort of fellow.  I don’t have a fastidious bone in my body.  Although I have had jobs where management was often on me about my appearance…”Scott your shirt is wrinkled”  “Yeah, yeah so is my scrotum” I’d think to myself….Stuff like that.  All the Bond Villain Henchmen are never slovenly.   Maybe they don’t tolerate failure OR sloppiness.  There is always a scene in every Bond film where the bad guy kills off some minion and always in front of other employees.  I understand wanting to make an example, or tightening the reigns…I haven’t ever seen a hench or right-hand man killed for having scuffed shoes.
There are so many factors involved in looking for, getting a job, keeping a job, promotions and things of this sort. I thought I’d try to simply list them for the sake of brevity.
References and Resume: What are criminal masterminds looking for in henchmen?
Compensation:  Because I am essentially an unskilled worker, all of the jobs I apply for have “Competitive” listed under the salary.  This is nicey-nicey business-speak for “As little as we’re able to get away with”  What does a henchman make?  They always seem to be busy.  You don’t see them standing around, catcalling at women like union construction workers.   The secret lairs are always spotless…the floors are waxed and polished…and yet there are many things that are missing from your average work place.  Where’s the coffee maker?  You never see any henchmen in cubicles typing away or making copies. Imagine if while the criminal mastermind is laying down his plan to JB smugly and there comes a hesitant tap on the door.
Tap Tap Tap…
Henchmen,( looking sheepish) “Hi, uh sorry Mr Bloefeld…I don’t mean to interrupt but we’re need a few things from STAPLES. and a bunch of people called in sick today”
Bloefeld: “I’m kind of in the middle of something here…”
Henchman: “I know and I’m sorry, but Jenkins in accounting said we’re spending too much on office supplies, and we need to run any and all purchases by you personally”
Bloefeld (Rolling his eyes, and raising a finger to Bond…) “Excuse me for a second”  He presses an intercom button
Jenkins voice over intercom: “Accounting this is Jenkins.”
Bloefeld:  “Hi it’s me”
Jenkins: ” Hi Boss, what’s up?”
Bloefeld:  “Well I’m in the middle of a meeting now and I’m dealing with toner cartridges and paper clips…what’s going on here?”
Jenkins: “Yeah, sorry…it;s just we don’t have a lot coming in at the moment until the U.N. comes through with that ransom in gold bullion…I sent you an email about us switching over to Office Depot…”
Bloefeld (Getting annoyed)  Yes…I have Bond here from MI6, I’m going over the extortion, nuclear holocaust thing, and I don’t really have time for this”
Henchman (To Bond) “Crazy around here today”
Bond (Cocking an eyebrow) “You should swing by MI6 sometimes”
Henchman: “Well, it’s the end of the month…you know how it gets…Hey is Moneypenny still with you guys?”
Bond: “Yes, you know she got married?”
Henchman: “No kidding?  Oh that’s so nice…will you tell her I said ‘hi’?
Bloefeld (looking up, pointing at the intercom) “Um guys…kinda in a conference here”
Bond and Henchmen (putting a finger to their lips and mumbling “oh shh…sorry”
Bloefeld (Shaking his head and sighing)  “Um  OK Jenkins,  Just…um, oh shit…just go with whomever is cheapest”
Jenkins: “So cancel the Staples account?”
Bloefeld: “What did I just say? What-Ever-Is-Cheap-est”
Jenkins “OK  geez  sorry…I’ll deal with this right after lunch”
Bloefeld:  “No deal with it now
Jenkins “Um OK,  but that means payroll is going to have to wait…”
Bloefeld: This organization does not tolerate failure”
Jenkins(leaving)  “Yeah whatevs”
Bloefeld looking up at the henchman…”Can you get me some coffee and advil,  Mr Bond another Martini, and I don’t want to be disturbed”
Henchman:  “OK  sorry…” He turns to leave “Oh it was nice meeting you Mr…?”
Bond: “Bond, James Bond”
Bloefeld: “Sorry about that, where were we?”
Bond: ” Um   oh  the stolen nuclear warhead…”
Bloefeld  “Oh right…”

The Facial Epiphany

Posted: August 14, 2015 by S. Trevor Swenson in Uncategorized

Last weekend while having a lovely Thai dinner with my dear friends; Gow and Poopie Pants, I had an epiphany.  It wasn’t a particularly pleasant one, but I suppose the point of having epiphanies is to become enlightened or inspired, and not necessarily to feel warm and fuzzy.  This one had the opposite effect on me.  It made me feel gross and sweaty.  Hopefully I can move forward after this moment of inspired realization and be happier and wiser.

 
Anyhoo, as I said we were having Thai food at a recently discovered little gem of a Thai joint in my neighborhood.  I had dined there twice before.  Once with the Gow, who was just as thrilled as I was to discover a new and solid Thai restaurant close to my home, after our former go-to Thai place closed after being priced out of the neighborhood.  I had also gone there with my friends Armando, Adam and his wife Mara.  We’d just come from a housewarming party down the street and decided to get a bite together,  We had also asked some other friends at the housewarming to join us, but a couple of them had passed out at the party, which incidentally is an integral part of many of my friends housewarming parties…that and a token vomiting on the rug or sofa.  Armando and I know Adam and Mara from the bar where I work where they are regulars at my weekly “Verbal Abuse Trivia” event.  Adam and Mara are a vegetarian and a vegan and bless them, they aren’t the least bit annoying about it.  Thai has nice options for these dietary preferences too.  Our meal was great, but our waitress wasn’t so hot.  She tried, was demure and polite, but she was quite disorganized.  Still the meal was good and the service wasn’t bad enough to tip poorly for or comment to management about.
 
Gow, Poopie Pant’s and I had the same waitress.  We were also seated next to two women and a baby who was sleeping in it’s stroller.  Sadly it is not socially acceptable to request a different table “because I hate children and babies”.  The baby also stayed asleep and thankfully silent throughout the meal, so the only person who wasn’t behaving was me and my ever accompanying crappy attitude.
 
I mentioned to the girls that I’d had this waitress last week and she wasn’t great,  As if on cue she then brought over a dish that we didn’t order for confirmation.  The girls giggled about this.  Later the waitress took our order and began to walk away before we were finished ordering.  I called her back.  “Miss?….MISS?”.  She turned around and looked at me and then walked away again.  Being the tremendously impatient fellow I am I made a face.  That was when I had my epiphany.  I make faces of exaggerated annoyance and impatience very easily as well as unconsciously. Naturally I can’t see myself doing it, but I have a strong suspicion that they are expressions of serious anger and utter disgust.
 
Now that isn’t nice and it isn’t how I want to be perceived by others.  Who wants to be looked at with contempt and disgust at the drop of a ha?.  My only saving grace in regards to this, and it’s a very small saving grace is that it is totally unintentionally done. No, I am not a patient man,  Yes, I am easily annoyed and probably disgusted too easily as well.  However the minor incident of a waitress making a small mistake certainly doesn’t warrant the look I shot her, and a look that I shoot far too often and at far too many people.
 
That was my epiphany.
 
I don’t want to be that guy.  Self and impulse control are not my strong suits. In fact, I’m pretty awful at them.
 
I was reminded of a couple occasions in my past where my sour facial sneer has been remarked upon.  One was from my ex-girlfriend Michelle in Boston.  She actually encouraged this expression.  ” I love that face you make” she’d say as we walked down the street.  “What face?” I’d ask.  “That ‘I’ll-fucking-kill-you-face”.  I told her I wasn’t aware of this face.  I was 19 or 20 at the time and a punk rocker.  I suppose that expression is de rigueur for young punks in their tweens.  So it wasn’t such a problem back then.  It went well with the Sid Vicious hair, leather jacket and the boots…plus the girl I was borking at that time was into it.
 
The second time my expression was mentioned to me was by my former employer; Wayne.  I was being “spoken to” about my attitude and impatience at work, which has been a reoccurring bone of contention between myself, customers, coworkers and employers.  One seldom likes being spoken to at work, and no one likes to hear that they have lousy attitude either.  It took me a very long time to comprehend that customers, many of whom may be acting like idiots or animals, don’t care for being sneered or barked at.  Employers aren’t generally thrilled with this either. 
 
I had discussed the attitudinal reprimands with my mother on a few occasions.  She laid down some great mommy wisdom on me.  First she explained that we can’t, and often don’t or wont see what we look or sound like to other people.  I could understand that.  I didn’t like it, and I probably cried when my mother told me this,  but I got  it.  She also explained that I wasn’t particularly patient and that I should work on this shortcoming if it was getting me in trouble at work or in life.
 
The problem here was that my mother could tell me these things and eventually get me to stop crying by telling me I was a “nice boy”. My boss Wayne was quite possibly the worst person in this hemisphere to be critical of my or anyone’s facial expressions.  Wayne was born without a sense of humor, and went through life with a perfect upside down letter “U” lemon sucking puss on his mug.   Furthermore, Wayne wasn’t ever doing anything work-wise to warrant such an expression.  He was generally standing around, arms folded and looking angry at his employees who were busting their humps and making him rich.  My favorite anecdote regarding Wayne’s management style was that he once spend 20 minutes looking for me to inform me that there was an empty bottle in the bathroom.  Now he could have taken 5 seconds to pick the bottle up and place it on the bar for disposal.
 
Maybe this is how epiphanies work.  People need to discover universal truths on their own.  Realizing that I make disgusted and annoyed faces as an all too frequent knee-jerk reaction is quite possibly a big step. How I stop doing it with such frequency is another matter. 
In closing I want to apologize to those who have had the dubious honor of my patented look of disgust and annoyance. I hope it is no small consolation for me to tell you, that it’s me, not you.  Perhaps you did something slightly annoying or rude, but based on what I know about Scott Trevor Swenson, the chances are, I over-reacted or reacted badly out of a very bad habit that I am trying to break.

Supermarket Justice

Posted: August 13, 2015 by S. Trevor Swenson in Uncategorized

I have always excelled at obnoxiousness.  I’m really good at it.  I mean really good.  Ask anyone I went to school, worked or shared an apartment with…they’ll confirm this with accompanying stories of my obnoxious prowess.   Now being obnoxious is not an endearing quality, but it can, under precise and specific circumstances be funny or even useful.

Tonight I found a wonderful use for my God given talent.
I had a mighty hankering for a big pasta dinner.  So, I grabbed my backpack and hiked on over to “Key Food” my local supermarket for the necessary ingredients.  While going up and down the aisles I witnessed something ugly.  I saw a young woman knock into a very elderly man while blabbing away on her cell phone, and she just kept walking after doing so. No “excuse me”…nothing  I went up to the little old man and asked if he was OK.  He answered in the affirmative with a stoic ” What can you do?” shrug.  I smiled at him and patted him on the shoulder.  “Have a nice 4th of July” I told him.  “You too” he answered.  It was important to me to let this old fellow know that not everyone younger than 60 is a total cretin, just most of us.
The stupid bitch in question walked away as I said and I caught a bit of her cell phone conversation that was too important to interrupt.  She was talking about a manicure she’d had that day which she was displeased with. It was go time.
I was pretty much finished with my shopping, so I lurked over by the self checkout area and waited.  Eventually she meandered over ( still on her cell phone of course ) and I wormed my way in front of her.  Luckily for the sake of my idea 1 of the self checkouts was out of order and the other two were occupied by families with copious amounts of groceries. So this horrible woman was expecting to get the checkout station I was at as I only had a small basket of groceries.  Out of the corner of my eye I made sure she was watching and waiting for me and I began.  After scanning each item, I’d repeat the price “Two Ninety Nine” I’d say loud and gleefully.  Then I’d wait for the self checkout voice to say “Please move your  “Linguine” to the bag”.  Then I’d cheerfully answer “Okee Doke” pick the box of linguine up over my head and slowly lower it into the bag with a high pitched “WHEEEEEEEEEEEE” like a special needs child discovering a playground slide for the first time….OR, if you prefer, like Ned Beatty in “Deliverance”.  I did this obnoxiously slow procedure with all my groceries until I heard Ms Verizon Von Sprint heave an angry sigh in my direction.   I looked over at her and she did an exaggerated neck and eye roll out of annoyance and exacerbation.  I stared at her for 5 seconds and she returned the stare seething with anger and impatience.   I waved at her and began again “Please move your….Parmesan Cheese…into the bag  “WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”.
After this I went home,  made my trough of pasta and basked in the glow of being a crusader for the elderly.