As anyone who has read this blog knows, a good portion of it is dedicated to venting about people that have shown some sort of incompetence. Whether it’s in line at the grocery store, on a crowded bus, or on my computer or television in the form of “news,” and “celebrities,” pretty much everyone I have any sort of contact with who isn’t one of my immediate friends or family is a fucktard in my mind.
Although I spend a lot of time seething over other’s idiocy, rest assured, I’m hardly sitting on some high horse. I mean, this morning, I went to put on my rainboots as I was determined not to fall on my ass yet again and found a dollar bill, three bottle caps, and two crumpled up drawings of clowns that appeared to be in jail jammed in the foot. Despite not having children to blame this on, I wasn’t surprised. So believe me, my glass castle shattered some moons ago. Despite this, I still have no problem calling out the general public on their inadequacies and dumbfuckery at the grocery store or on the bus. However, I’ve had a few incidents in the past week or so which have me think that perhaps I’m being a tad judgmental. And that sometimes? I’m the fucktard.
Incident #1 – Dominicks.
Earlier this week, I made my daily stop to Dominicks after work. There appeared to be four thousand people in the store, and the lines were already about 15 deep. I got hit with a cart, blocked by a trio of elderly ladies debating the merits of their yogurt brands, accosted by someone posing as a medical professional who wanted to check my spine, and almost exploded from holding in profanity whilst waiting for the cutesy couple in front of me to figure out how to pull a produce bag off the roll. (Hint – it’s not by standing there and giggling, “OMG! I ripped another bag! You try!” “No, you try! You can do it!.” So very much hate.) By the time I got to the end of the line behind 17 people waiting for the self-checkout, I was already kind of crazy and spent the next 15 minutes in line cursing each and every one of my fellow shoppers. I was seething at the inefficiency and sheer stupidity of these folks who were holding up the line. Tapping my foot, rolling my eyes, sighing huffily – the whole nine yards.
Until I got my own dumb ass up there, scanned my container of soup (one of the main reasons I still frequent Dominicks is they have the most amazing baked potato soup on the planet,) a six-pack of Miller Lite, a roll of toilet paper, and some cat food. It was right about here that I realized I had eight singles in my purse, along with a whole mess of quarters. Now, not only am I that person holding up the line, but I’m paying for the saddest combination of items ever WITH CHANGE. And then? I ran out of quarters. So if I was looking for a lesson in humility, I certainly got it while digging for sixty more cents in my purse while everyone behind me tapped their feet in exasperation, rolled their eyes, and mentally called me a pathetic jackass in unison.
Incident #2 – CTA Part One.
The CTA has done everyone a big favor since the new year in raising their prices on one-day, three-day, and seven-day passes. And by “done everyone a favor,” I really mean bent them over without consent, lube, or dinner. Without going into all of the math, it is no longer economically efficient for me to buy a seven-day pass and instead makes more sense to buy ten dollar CTA cards every couple of days. Which means, of course, with me being me and whatnot, I occasionally find myself near running to (fucking) Dominick’s before work once a week because I forgot my pass is no longer valid. Earlier this week, I got on the bus, put in my card, and got the hateful message that there was only $.75 on my card. Once again finding myself digging around for change, I assumed the bus driver would do what every other bus driver does when the person is short, which is either wave them on or let other, better prepared folks board while I got my shit together.
But if that had happened, it wouldn’t be my life. So instead, the bus driver just sat there while I dug around frantically for my wallet – and isn’t it always the case that the more you’re in a panicked rush, the more shit you drop? Seriously, normally I can reach in my purse without looking and find my lighter, keys, and phone within seconds – leaving everyone waiting behind me in literal freezing rain. After I’d dropped my lunch on the floor, pulled out a tampon wrapped around my headphones, and mistook a quarter for a penny, I finally had enough to carry on and began walking through the near empty bus while other passengers boarded. And apparently said bus driver really had it in for me, because as soon as my last quarter passed through, everyone else jumped on the bus and she immediately slammed on the gas. At which point I dropped my lunch a-fucking-gain and was too afraid to bend over and pick it up while the bus was lurching to and fro, then caught my foot in the plastic bag it was in and nearly gave someone a very unwelcome lap dance.
Incident #3 – CTA Part Two.
I get out of work at 5:30 every night. From there I catch the Blue Line at Clark/Lake in order to catch my bus. For those unfamiliar, the Clark/Lake stop is a relatively busy one, as every other train line save the Red Line stops there. In addition, 5:30 is somewhat of a turning point – it’s not necessarily considered “rush hour,” anymore, so if you miss a train by 30 seconds, you may be stuck waiting for another 12 minutes listening to the guy play the buckets and desecrating some classic Temptations hits. The Blue Line train also runs to the airport, so quite often I’ve found myself behind some clueless tourists who are trying to pull their giant luggage through the turnstiles. (Another hint – it ALWAYS gets stuck. Always.) While I’ve certainly been frustrated by this, I will honestly say I never get mad at the tourists, because they don’t know any better and I do not forget that not long ago I was right there with them, terrified and confused by all of the people rushing by me.
That being said, I have often become apoplectic with the girls carrying giant gym bags, the sales guys in suits and backpacks standing at the turnstiles and just waving their wallet in front of the sensor despite it CLEARLY NOT RECOGNIZING THEIR CARD, the vagrants trying nine different cards that they’ve found on the ground, and the folks that get up to the turnstile and then begin searching for their pass, holding up the rest of the line for us savvy travelers. All of that being said, I have to wonder what names I was called today as I bopped up to the turnstiles with my headphones, singing along to Tiffany, when my card wasn’t accepted. No worries, I took it out, waited a beat, then tried to put it in again. No dice. Wouldn’t even go in the slot. Waited another moment – not noticing the security guard trying to get my attention as I was too involved in my music – and tried again. Nothing. Now, I’m irritated, and at the same time I look up to get the guard’s attention, he taps me on the shoulder. Exasperated, I turn around – with headphones still on, mind you – and make a “WHAT?” gesture. He points at my ear and I yank a headphone out, all, “Yes??” “It’s upside down, ma’am.” Me. (And I’m embarrassed about this, honestly.) “What? I can’t hear you.” “Your card. You’re putting it in upside down.”
I wonder how many people are telling stories about the dumb blonde they got stuck behind this week?