So I’m out at a restaurant the other day with my wife and some friends ordering my favorite appetizer, nachos and spinach dip.
The waitress quickly says (and I’m paraphrasing a little), “we ain’t serving spinach, you retard! Don’t you watch the news?” Then Paul follows with “don’t you work for a news organization?! Shouldn’t you know this stuff?!!”, and starts to immediately chuckle. At that point, the entire restaurant joined in on the laugh. Then a hobo hit me with an egg, and Nelson laughed. The trifecta was complete.
Clearly, I had forgotten about the news that spinach had killed just recently, and is still out on the loose. As a result, America (and Canada – article) has thrown out all it’s spinach, soup and salad bars are temporarily just soup bars, and spinach has been added to the prohibited carry-on items list at all U.S. airports.
Paranoia, up 40 points in the social stock market, doesn’t stop there. I came across an article that suggests this E. coli outbreak could some day be a future act of terrorism (because people died, and terrorists like that). That’s right, someday an al Quaeda cell could be high-fiving each other over 10 dead vegetarians at a Tuscon Ruby Tuesday. I’d say more, be I’m afraid it’d spark another bogus chain email about Bin Laden and our national radish supply.
A decade of people pointlessly loitering in coffee shops
Today I got a Starbucks coffee, and the fact that I still occasionally like the coffee still disturbs me to some degree. It was Sunday afternoon – about 12:10. Walking toward the door, the only outdoor table was occupied by two tweens. Inside, every available seating area was filled with people – some families, some friends, some loners.
Every time I approach a Starbucks counter, I treat it like a guy handling women’s underwear from the dryer: awkward, and aloof. Part of it is because of the incredibly forced eclectic vibe the place tries to cram down your throat, from the Yanni or Miles Coltrane music to the Pier One furniture gone wrong to the failed art student “Baristas” dishing out coffee-flavored milk.
Walking out, I couldn’t help but stare at the sitting patrons. I felt like yelling, “it’s Sunday afternoon! Don’t you yuppies have families or hobbies?!” Of course, this didn’t apply to the wasp family of four sitting toward the back of the store, who’s apparent hobbies were enjoying frappucinos and coloring books at Starbucks.
Seriously, of all the places in the world you could use your laptop – at work, outside, at the library, in your friggin’ home – why would you Google your own name at a table at Starbucks?! I know Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t feeling the love – those tables are empty. Why? Because people buy their coffee and donuts, and then they LEAVE.
Amazing? No. It’s actually the norm.
And speaking of things that blind me with rage,
Here’s an actual quote from the season premiere of the Supernanny, taken from a father who’s experienced progress with his seven year-old son’s behavior:
“I think it’s great. Trevor is wiping his own butt…”
I wanted to scream into the stratosphere, and somewhat into the troposphere. Like this.
The father was experiencing relief after his seven year-old son was finally wiping his own ass without the aide of his mother. Now, I applaud wounded veterans with the courage to carry on with their lives in spite of debilitating mental and physical trauma, but Trevor’s courage to wipe his own ass has really got me thinking. Is this how the dinosaurs knew it was over for them? Did they see a few idiots diving in tar pits and realize their civilization had already peeked?
In defense of the Dad, he was a relatively sane guy, just hopelessly lazy. The point that really had my bile gurgling was the tanning bed in the mom’s bedroom. Like any working class American family, they purchased a now successful childcare business (why didn’t I think of that?!), so successful that they figured “why not pay for sunlight?” What posh HOA community estate can be complete without a tanning bed?
Really, step back for a second. Picture your mom when you were, say, 8 years-old. You wake up early, sneak into your parents’ bedroom, and wake your sleeping mom with a big hug (cause you love her, dammit!).
Now plop a tanning bed in the corner of that room. Something seem funny about that image?! ‘CAUSE IT IS.
Moms, for those fortunate to have them, are the structural cornerstone of a family unit. They tie shoelaces, kiss bruised knees, and always make you eat the greens on your plate. Apparently in 2006, they also make sure their skin is a healthy, surreal bronze even in the dead of winter, right in their own bedrooms.
Did someone changes the rules? Was I not informed?!
And how is it that a 240 lb Dad can be proud of his son’s first asswipe at SEVEN?! Whatever happened to that intense anger that drove parents to smack their kids out of detention and into the honor roll? Whatever happened to the fear?
I called my dad a name. Once. There’s good reason there was never a second time. I would not be alive to write about it. That’s evolution explained.
The new Norman Rockwell family portrait
Perhaps when my daughter is born, it’ll all make sense to me. In time, I may just lose my passion to raise a responsible, respectful member of society. Who knows? Someday, it may be me who has to put his vanilla hazelnut latte down to wipe his teenage daughter’s ass in a Starbucks bathroom, while my wife is entombed into a bed of UV to perk her melanin.
You have full permission to sucker punch me when that day comes, but not in the stomach. I may have just got done eating some nachos and… artichoke dip.