Thursday, May 21, 2009

Common fu**ing Courtesy

A phone call from my friend Sarah started this one.

She was at Speedway, on the way to work, to pick up a Mountain Dew slushee. Because they are delicious. As she comes out, she notices as car parked lengthwise blocking in the entirety of the customer parking spaces. She calmly entered her car, started up and backed up as close to the car as she legally could. Then the guy saunters out, over to the car, stares at Sarah and jumps in the passenger seat.  So she decides to go back and talk to the guy, figure out what's going on. Maybe he is having car trouble. Maybe he had to pull up in front really fast so that whoever was driving could run in a get a pen in order to perform an emergency tracheotomy. Maybe this particular human was ignorant to the fact that a car's movement is based on a forward-backwards situation with some degrees of turn based on those two originals, and that cars DON'T MOVE SIDE TO SIDE(yet). She gets over to ask what was happening, explain that she needs to leave, and just generally make this guy think about where his life is going if he's doing things like this. The D-bag explains that his wife was inside and would be right out with the keys. Also points out that there was no way for him to know that Sarah didn't work there and didn't need to move in a timely fashion. After a while of waiting, the wife does come out with a large bag of M & Ms. That's it.

She has a cooler head than I. As I was hearing her tell me this, I was imagining a completely different scene if I was there. Granted, she did lose it on the guy a bit by explaining that she NEEDED to leave and get to work, but still physical violence/property damage was avoided. If I had to wait, I imagined trash cans getting dumped on Inconsiderate's car and a possible key working it's way from the tail end of the car up to the headlights. Then back again. If the message wasn't received with those tactics, then I would do a Myth Busters-type test to see the crushing speed from park that my rear bumper could handle. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE??

That whole thing got me thinking about where people are taught bad things like that...or if they are taught the right, courteous way to function in society, and they just choose to forget or something traumatic happens and they HAVE to forget.  Or, how they think that they are entitled to special treatment or do things that the rest of us try to avoid in order to be polite.

I'm a smoker. I have been for several years now. As a kid, when my grandmother would come and stay with us, I would steal her boxes of Kools and hide them wherever she could not find them, also I would turn the cigarettes in the opened packs upside down, thinking that she would not pay attention and light the filter end first. This was all because I love my grandma. I didn't wanna see her die from lung cancer, or have to endure another coughing bout as she is telling me what my dad was like at my age. This was the obvious stuff, and the stuff I would tell my grandma with doe eyes was the reason I kept stealing her shit. The non-obvious, less cute, kid reason is that I EFFING HATE THE SMELL OF SMOKE. I hate when it gets in your clothes, hair, even your damn shoes. I hate when a bar or room is so full of smoke that your eyes begin to tear up. I hate the smell of ashtrays and how ash seems to find it's way into everything that you own. Can't believe that kid became a smoker.

All that said, I know what a hassle it is to be around smokers and our smelly ways. That how if you are sitting across from one of us, chances are you will have some tobacco byproduct expelled your way after a quick stop in our lungs. Or if you go to dinner, the new table salt is produced by RJ Reynolds. I know. That is why I make a conscience effort not to smoke heavy and frequently around friends and relatives that are not smokers. It's just rude. I made the decision to smoke, so I won't make you suffer through all the annoying side affects, one of which is dying. Was I taught this was rude? Not really. I really can't tell you exactly what makes me follow this guideline for my habit, but it just kind of comes naturally that others should not be inconvenienced with my problem. I must of been taught at some point that I'm not the only person that matters. I also think that smoking directly around or in front of small children deserves you a special place in hell.

About a year ago, I was having dinner with my brothers and sister at my parents house. We grilled chicken, long story short, one of their dogs, Cocoa, got a hold of a leg bone and began choking. You want to feel the worst you've ever felt? Watch a little 25 lb dog unable to swallow with tear-soaked, beet-red eyes. Mom and pop weren't home, so my sister and I acted fast...grabbed a towel(she couldn't swallow, so she kept spitting up saliva), jumped in the car and headed to the nearest animal hospital, rushed in. I'm visibly covered in dog spit, her tongue looks like it's about to fall out of her head, and her breathing sounds like John Goodman running on a treadmill while eating a hoagie. There is a line...people move out of the way, without me really saying anything...until we get to the head of the line and there is a lady there who insists that she should be taken care of because she had been waiting for an hour. All I was thinking that I brought chicken over and killed the family dog, who will die in my arms while I wait. That, and I hope dog saliva cleans out easy.  So, I didn't have the energy or the presence of mind to give this woman an epic tongue lashing or just gut check her and take the front spot. Luckily, some other good pet owners came to our rescue and got us rushed in there.What was she there for? Her stupid fucking cat was shedding a lot lately and she wanted her checked out because that concerned her. What the hell is wrong with people? When did this brawd decide that her needs exceeded all others? 

Cocoa lives to choke on many more chicken bones, by the way:

I've decided that when it comes time to teach any kids that I may one day have, I have to drill in empathy. That we live in a society and have to remember that no matter what is convenient for us is not always for other people, and that compromise is gonna be a part of the deal. There are exceptions, of course. There will be times when you do have to worry about getting things done for yourself and yourself alone, but for the purposes of this particular blog, I only mention the sheer ignorance in various situations, most of which I didn't example in these paragraphs. I will also teach them that smoking will not only kill them, but also make them social outcasts and no one will ever want to be around them and they will be alone forever. Being subjective won't come into play on that one.

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