Saturday, December 5, 2009

Peace on earth, and goodwill to all (well, some) men

i love christmas.
i like the lead up to it, tho' it can get a little stressful.
parking lots seem to the be the thing, at this time of year, for bringing out the worst in people .
a few years ago, after christmas shopping, a little old lady told me to "go and f*** myself"  when my backing out of a space required her to also back up.
by ooh, maybe TWO FEET!
she honked.
causing me to respond with, 'oh merry christmas to you too.'
which in turn prompted her to yell back at me.
what i said up there.
don't make me repeat it.
it was quite traumatic.
she looked like mother theresa.
she sounded like tony soprano.

some people behave as if THEIR mission is priority.
what could YOU possibly have to do that could be as important?
it's christmas and "i gotta get all MY stuff done."

yesterday, everytime i went down the aisle in the store i would meet the same person coming the other way.
she would be just a little too far over towards the middle.
so for a couple of aisles she'd be browsing the shelf and her cart was abandoned in the middle.
meaning i had to maneuver around her.
which i did.
in the third aisle i was met by a row of boxes, contents waiting to be unpacked and shelved.
so i had to go around them.
guess who was turning the corner onto the aisle?
i could feel her displeasure.
don't get me wrong i know the rule about giving way to oncoming traffic if you are behind a parked vehicle.
oh aye, i know the rules of the road.
but she wasn't in view when i made my move.
so what's her problem?

i proceeded to the checkout.
you-know-who comes up behind me.
her cart would nudge forwards as i was unloading on to the belt.
once it touched the back of my legs.

i didn't react.
body language says a lot tho' doesn't it?
so if she could read the back of my shoulders and the set of my neck, she'd know!
back off missus!
wouldn't you know it, the clerk had to change a till roll or change her cash draw or something.
i'm used to it.
whichever checkout lane i get into, it's a certainty that this will happen.
so i am resigned.
no use getting bent out of shape.

our friend behind me made a loud "tutting" noise.
so i turned around, by way of commiserating.
only to see her eyeing my amount of goods on the belt.
she cannot put down the large items she had started to unload in anticipation of the belt moving.
now she's stuck.
and in her world, again, it's my fault.
i even said, 'sorry'.
i don't know why.
she ignored me.

i left the store.
as i pushed my cart out i saw someone i know who was coming in and we exchanged the briefest of  greetings in the doorway.
which gave our friend time to catch me up.
and time to mow me down because i'm in her way.
at that moment the automatic door didn't open right on cue, as she tried to overtake me and exit first.
i was on the way out too but she couldn't wait.
i stepped aside and let her go.

i'm in the parking lot putting my shopping cart away.
our friend has to wait for me so she can do the same.
i can feel the heat coming off her now.
we don't even need to make eye contact.
i start to hum 'we wish you a merry christmas.' as i pass her and walk to my car.

i'm leaving the parking lot.
there's a bit of  gridlock as the cars wait for the light at the exit to change to green.
i have my signal on to turn right and join the line.
guess who's on my left?
she looks right at me.
and moves forward to fill up the gap so i can't get out!

at this point do i open my window and curse at her?
do we exit our vehicles to confront each other and roll around the ground in a frenzy of anger and frustration?
blood and snot flying.
do we each ram our vehicles into the other's?
you have to know it did more than merely cross my mind.

for a second our eyes lock.
then, for both of us, a light goes on.
and, at the exact same time, we recognize each other.
we both go to the same church. (!)


she gives me a weak smile and i sort of shrug my shoulders as we both silently acknowledge our mutual situation.
sort of , 'phew! what a busy day eh?'
'isn't christmas shopping just the pits?'
or somesuch.
you know the kind of thing you would say to a fellow church goer.

and i'm thinking.
'ooh what a bitch."
and she was probably thinking,
'ooh what a cow."

i love christmas.
it's all about peace, harmony and loving your fellow man.

now get out of my way.



ChiTown Girl said...

OMG! I really needed this laugh!! You're writing is hilarious. I have tears streaming down my face. Thanks, Clippy, for making my day!

Gill - That British Woman said...

oh the joys of Christmas. Thank goodness she wasn't behind me at the checkout with all the coupons I use, she would have blown her top at that point!!

Great post.


Busy Bee Suz said...

I love that video. I fantasize about doing this all the time. :)

I am so pleased that you did not stoop down to her level. You don't have to be polite to her just because she goes to your church, but you may want to enlighten her about some general manners. :)
Thanks for making me always!!!!

Pam said...

Ha ha ha, brilliant Clippy! I love this because it's so true.
Then the poor Sally-Army man rings his bell at you when you leave and you look at him like "right mate, maybe next time when I don't want to kill someone"

Steve said...

Ah but the point is you behaved properly. It's ok to be think about cursing her, to dream about shoving her trolley where the sun never shines... it's ok to be tempted. But you held true to the true spirit of Christmas (smile sweetly and pay them back in the New Year).

Anonymous said...

A Holiday Thought...

Aren’t humans amazing Animals? They kill wildlife - birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions of more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for "Peace on Earth."

~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates~

Expat mum said...

In our house we call these type of people "Special". The ones who barely stop at STOP (clue) signs, never wave thank you when you let them out etc.
I love you humming a Xmas ditty tho'. Very passive aggressive!!!

Kee said...

LOL. I can just see this! Will be a bit akward at churh next week no?

ChrisJ said...

UGH! How typical! I have two counts against me when in the grocery store before I even start anything. One is, I have an angry looking face! I didn't know it until about a year ago a little girl in a coffee shop came to sit next to my table. She asked, "Are you angry?" I was taken aback and said "No. Why? Do I look angry?" She didn't answer me. It must be all those years I was a high school principal. Intimidation is a good thing.
The other thing that goes against me is that I have the family habit of letting out a semi-loud sigh, usually when I've just finished something. So of course when I'm in the check out lane, I'm anticipating my grocery shopping is over! I've had to explain this rather disconcerting habit to more than one person in the line ahead of me, when they've turned around to give me a black look.

Great post! I feel for you!

Elisa said...

This video is hilarious! It's from Malcolm in the Middle, isn't it?

Ah, Christmas. Brings the most obnoxious part of people out. Falalala.

circus monkey said...

That'll larn you for annoying little ol foul mouthed ladies. There far worse than little ol foul mouthed men

Sara said...

Funny funny story. It's the way you tell 'em!

Love ya xx

TechnoBabe said...

This is such good writing. Amazing moment of recognition between you and the woman from your church. I hope she had at least a tiny minute of reflection of her behavior. The video is sadly too true. But funny.

C said...

thatis SO funny! i can picture it all as you said it happened.


Gill - That British Woman said...

Pat, try and pop over to my blog tomorrow, as I have a real blast from the past song!!


Ladybird World Mother said...

That was BRILLIANT!! Loved it. Just so so so true.. and how damned funny that you both go to the SAME CHURCH! Ho ho ho. Thanks for the laugh. Now back to read some more of your posts... where is my coffee. I could be some time!! xx

Gill - That British Woman said...

sorry I made you late for work, did you hum that tune all day?


Vicus Scurra said...

As someone with deeply held religious convictions, I feel that I have to spread my contempt for humanity equally throughout the year. So even though people demonstrate their idiocy by playing the kind of screeching christmas music that puts me in mind of a hyena being disembowelled, and churn out "festive" and "all the trimmings" and "what are you doing for christmas" until I vomit, I manage to despise them just as if it is June 16th.

Gill - That British Woman said...

that is one strange comment from Viccus Surrus (sp?)

I have more photos of snow on my blog tomorrow.


Molly Potter said...

Hi back to you Clippy Mat.

Your blog tickled me a lot and I think I identify with you lots!!!

I was told there are 86 Molly Potters in the world so we are quite common. I bet I am the only one with her cardigan on inside out and back to front though.

Nice to meet you too

kanishk said...

Thank goodness she wasn't behind me at the checkout with all the coupons I use, she would have blown her top at that point!!

Work from home India

Jason, as himself said...

No way! Why do people have to be so unpleasant? I can't imagine it.

But isn't that ironic? She's from your church? Ha ha ha!

ModernMom said...

ROFL! I don't know if your story is funnier (because I so relate) or that video!! Thanks for the giggle:)

Gypsy said...

Ah yes church going christians behaving like that at christmas. Is there irony in there somewhere or is that just my strange take on things?

Great post as always Clippy and well written.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Brilliant! I wonder if a man would have reacted the same. 1 have been involved twice with people totally losing it, both female. Coincidence? never mind, you have retained your sense of humour. (I have seen two people go from classroom to mental hospital. Both men!

karen gerstenberger said...

Too true! How funny - in retrospect. But it sounds exhausting, to be experiencing it. May you be spared any more such encounters with your "sisters and brothers in Christ!"

Hadriana's Treasures said...

On that note! (hilarious) :) Happy Christmas and a very stress free New Year 2010!
All the very best, Hadriana xx

J. Hi said...

LOL! Love it!

J. Hi said...

LOL! Love it!