I think I’ve mellowed over the years — I suppose that’s good. But there are times when my aged redneck-philosophy slips through the filters of reason (an editorial process that is usually installed by maturity). And instead of keeping my trap shut, I ignore the wisdom of common sense and spout off. Different scenarios can trigger such an event.
As an example, let’s just say … oh, I don’t know — how about rude and inconsiderate people?
Last week I was headed for my morning coffee at Tim Horton’s. It was unseasonably cold and rainy. Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that I would not find a parking spot close to the building. (Note: A crowded coffee shop is the sign of a good coffee shop.)
I parked my work truck several rows from the building and got out. Shielding myself from the wind and rain, I still felt fortunate that I could walk on my own two feet. It’s something that I don’t take for granted. Before I could reach the door, a car raced into the lot and spun into the open spot right in front of the place. It was the “handicapped parking” space to which the car settled.
Out popped the driver, a gal in her 20s (I’d guess) and her passenger, a young man with ball cap on sideways and baggy jeans. (Not that wearing a hat sideways and jeans with enough room to stash a Studebaker are cause for indictment.)
I saw no permit indicating they were legally allowed to park there nor did either of its occupants show signs of being disabled. They scrambled ahead of me and walked inside to the front of one of the two service-counters while I ambled over to the other.
“Welcome to Tim Horton’s! How can I help you,” the always charming staffer greeted me.
“Do you serve traffic violations?” I asked.
“Pardon?” The poor gal had no idea as to what I was talking about.
“There’s a car parked in the handicap spot and I didn’t see their permit,” I said, shaking the rain from my hat and just loud enough so that the two to whom I referred could hear.
Now usually it would have ended there. A subtle remark to let them know that their inconsiderate, self-centered act is not appreciated. My point was made — they heard my disdain and now I could figuratively blow the smoke off the end of my sarcasm-pistol and re-holster it.
I proceeded to go about the business of getting my coffee and usual deep-fried, triple chocolate, cream-filled, two-pound, lo-cal doughnut. I then noticed out of the corner of my eye that the couple had gotten what they came for and were leaving. Somehow, I could sense that the guy with the hat on sideways was glaring at me.
Unfortunately for him, his feeble attempt at intimidation might work with the green-horn punks he calls his “homeys,” but that sort of gimmickry doesn’t cut the mustard with me. I eat healthy deep-fried, triple chocolate doughnuts, so being in shape, I’m confident in myself — especially when I feel I’m right.
I turned my head toward him and stared back. I locked my eyes on his. I figured if he could stare at me, I could do the same to him. He looked surprised and stammered, “S’matter which you? You got a problem?”
“Me? No, none at all. Thanks for asking. But I was concerned about you. I noticed you’re parked in the handicap spot. Do you need any help?”
That was it. He turned, muttered and walked out the door.
End of story? Not quite.
The next day at Tim Horton’s, I was asked about the incident. They explained that they only heard about it after the guy left. Apparently, he contacted corporate headquarters and reported the store as the worst Tim Horton’s he’d ever been in.
What’s the matter with people? Did he not like that his misconstrued sense of entitlement was challenged? Blaming Tim Horton’s and staff was cowardly. They knew nothing. It was me. Me and the two who parked in a “handicap parking” spot.
And the only thing that they appeared to suffer from was lazy-assitis.
And that’s the way it looks from the Valley.