Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Devil and the Fool

Someone takes the last cup of coffee without making a fresh batch.
Jerk! I think.
Someone in front of me in the five-items-or-less line has seven cans of Fancy Feast, a bag of Ruffles, a box of  Ding Dongs, and  two bottles of soda  her cart.   
 Someone carelessly bumps into me at the coffee house, sending the top inch off coffee over the rim of the cup and onto my jeans.  Bastard!
Ask anyone who's been annoyed, inconvenienced, or endangered by someone else and they'll be quick to label the offending party.  Either he's a  "bad" person (selfish, greedy, mean, or pain evil), or "stupid" (careless, reckless, clueless, or crazy)  It's like our lives are a story and we need true villains and fools to explain how we've been treated.
Of course, most of these cads probably don't wake up with evil or crazy plans.  It's possible that these heinous deeds were, in fact::
  • Honest Mistakes (for example, maybe the gal with the loaded cart didn't see the sign)
  • Part of a More Complex Situation (She may have been in a longer line for some time and was invited to the quick check when it opened)
  • The Exception and not the Rule (She's normally conscientious about 5-item etiquette but you've caught her at the one time she's slipped up)
  • Misunderstanding on our part (Whoops, it wasn't a a 5-item line I was in!)
I should be glad that my annoying encounters aren't (usually) the result of evil and stupidity, but the part of my brain that hacks together my daily "story" is horrified.
"What!?" it  responds, "You mean I'm not the valiant Good Guy,  doing the Right Things in my daily battle with The Bad Guys and The Fools?   You mean  the whole lot of us are just flawed people with flawed perceptions?  What evil foolishness is this!?"


    Pile Girl said...

    How insightful of you!
    When I'm driving and I see another driver do something stupid, I try to remind myself that sometimes I make mistakes, too.
    And, by the way, I was once told that seven cans of the same product count as one item. Because of the way they are rung up.

    Linda said...

    You're a much kinder person than I am.

    Ha, ha--that's wild about the multiple items, Pile!

    Namowal said...

    Pile Girl,
    I didn' think about the mutltiple cans = same item angle, but since the checker usually scans one and enters the quantity, it makes sense.
    I remember once I accidentally got in the quick check with about 8 cans of green beans. I remember the guy behind me giving me the What kind of weirdo are you!? look. At the time I figured he didn't like green beans. Only later did I figure out I was in the quick line.

    Kind? That's nice of you, but in many ways I'm self absorbed and clueless. I find myself oblivious to the fact that I'm, say, standing in someone's way, blocking their view, or annoying them somehow. Stuff I'd never do on purpose.
    Most people get along with me but I can name a few who think I'm an absolute ass. The Fool and the Devil combined!