Archive for November, 2016

I’m Pretty Sure That’s Not What Most People Are Going For

November 30, 2016

Lots of people hope to make their mark on history, but I doubt too many people dream of news of their death being the start of a humongous street party . . .

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It’s Still Basically As Bad As Doing It With A Phone; It’s The Novelty That Made Me Smile

November 29, 2016

The other day I was trying to get into a restaurant . . . and I don’t mean it was one of those fancy places that prides itself on its exclusivity, I mean I was just trying to reach the door, but there was a kid blocking the walkway.  His family was already at the door and telling him to hurry up, but he was meandering in that distinctive “I’m ignoring everything else because I’m paying attention to something in my hands” fashion that these days usually means “I’m looking at my phone.”

Since society justly frowns upon adults pushing children to the pavement just because they’re in the way, I reminded myself of what lesson I would want to teach my son in this situation, and did my best to be patient.

Eventually we all reached the door where the father shot me an apologetic look and muttered a quick “Sorry.”

“Don’t be,” I chuckled, in a good mood now that I’d gotten a closer look at the situation.  “I’m just happy he’s got a book in his hands!”

For Some It’s Just “Horrible Mistake Day”

November 28, 2016

Over the weekend I asked someone if they’d had a good Thanksgiving, and they answered me with a tell-tale eye drop even before they answered me in words.  Very hesitantly they told me that Thanksgiving isn’t really a holiday they celebrate, and they tried to elaborate why in general terms without getting into specifics that they obviously were afraid would offend me.

They needn’t have bothered, of course, but since they don’t know me that well, they didn’t know that.

“I understand,” I told them.  “While I personally prefer to focus on the ‘coming together to celebrate thankfulness’ aspect of the day, I’m perfectly aware that for some people Thanksgiving can have entirely different connotations.”

Tales From The Diner (Part Five)

November 25, 2016

However we did find some common ground on our definitions of “rude” in Alice’s next story.  In that one we both agreed that when somebody decides that saying “excuse me” is too much trouble, and instead chooses to push you out of the way so hard that you fall onto a table, that person is rude, and a rude and cutting response from yourself may indeed be excused under those circumstances.

That was where our common ground ended though.

Alice’s definition of a rude and cutting response was to look the guy right in the eye and proclaim, “You’re not right!”  My response would likely have been . . . less genteel, but that’s Alice for you.

I need to start going to that diner more often.

Tales From The Diner (Part Four)

November 24, 2016

Regardless, the real star of my breakfast experience was our server, Alice.  (Again, not her real name.)  Alice hadn’t had a good week, and while she wasn’t complaining, she’d had two noteworthy experiences that week that she was still trying to come to terms with, so she shared them with us.  Alice had been “rude” twice that week, you see, and she was still fretting about it.

That alone tells you a lot about Alice.

The first incident had been when a customer, being displeased with something, took it upon herself to grab Alice roughly by the arm as she passed the table.  (Hopefully I don’t need to tell anyone out there that this is a social no-no.)

“What did you do?” I asked Alice.  Given how upset she was at her response to this incident, I found myself wondering if she’d hit the woman and put her in the hospital.

“I looked her in the eye and said, ‘Ma’am, do not grab my arm!'” Alice answered.  “I still can’t believe I was so rude to a customer!”

That’s when I realized that Alice and I have dramatically different definitions of the word “rude.”

Tales From The Diner (Part Three)

November 23, 2016

Sadly, the gentleman failed one of my personal touchstones for if I would consider my living to that age “successful.”  When a young girl at another table said, “You look good for a hundred and one,” he just nodded and smiled in a way that made me doubt he really understood what she’d said.

For the record, the correct response to a statement like that is “No, I either look good . . . or I don’t.  Which is it?”  (At your option, The “No” can be replaced with an expletive, and rest assured that I will choose that option if you ever say something like that to me!)

Tales From The Diner (Part Two)

November 22, 2016

Within moments of being seated, another table was seated right behind me, and it turns out said table included a local celebrity of the diner.  As our server, Alice (not her real name), was quick to point out, this gentleman was one hundred and one years old.  Strictly speaking, he was one hundred and one and “a half” years old, which initially struck me as an odd turn of phrase when describing an adult’s age, but it made more sense once I thought about it.

Beyond a certain age I could see how it does become significant again how many months it’s been since your last birthday.

Tales From The Diner (Part One)

November 21, 2016

The other day I had breakfast at a local diner-type place I knew to be good, but hadn’t gotten around to eating at again since my son grew out of the immobile “potted plant” stage of his development because this place is, to put it mildly, cramped, with tables placed wherever they can fit and still leave a barely passable path around and between them.

That’s actually part of its charm.

Another part of its charm is its timelessness, because aside from some inconspicuous examples of modern technology, for example, the unobtrusive flat screen T.V. mounted on one wall, this place feels like pretty much any small diner/deli from any time since the 1930’s onward, and the food is, of course, excellent.

And so is the talk, which is how I ended up with a week’s worth of stories from one breakfast.

The Latest Window Into My Dreams

November 18, 2016

Apparently I can’t just date a girl, I have to cure her lycanthropy first.

Actually . . . I’m okay with that; that just strikes me as a good idea, particularly before the start of a new relationship.

Well *I* Thought It Was Funny

November 17, 2016

L’s Mother:  (Two days after an unfortunate popcorn spill.) I found another popcorn kernel!

Me:  Just pick it up, corporal!