Saturday, December 13, 2008

People are crazy

Today was proof that the world is filled with people whose only purpose in life is to drive me crazy. Or proof that I deserve my own reality show.

I have a firm anti-weekend shopping policy during the holiday season. The stores are just too crowded and crazy. But I had to go out to the big chain drugstore to pick up a prescription and photo cards of the Prince and Princess. One stop, a drugstore, how bad could it be?

Actually, it wasn't too crowded. But it was off the charts crazy.

I walked back to the pharmacy pick up counter and noticed an older gentleman standing about five feet back from the counter and off to one side. He was hunched over with age and his coat hung from his thin body.

I figured he was waiting for someone, but, being polite, I asked him if he was in line.

He turned and snarled -- snarled -- "Yessss," using that "well duh" tone and giving me an eat-shit-and-die look that I thought only my children and high school girls were capable of.

I briefly considered running out to the car and using the drive thru to avoid being around when he started shooting, but didn't want to move too fast and startle him. I decided that if I stood real still and stopped breathing, he might forget I was there. Besides, those scrawny little arms wouldn't be able to hold a gun with much kick.

Along came a sweet looking little old lady with a walker -- obviously who he was waiting for, right? Of course not.

She asked if I was the end of the line. Psycho Man glared at both of us, and I half-turned to answer her, watching him out of the corner of my eye. I wondered if I could use her as a shield, or if I would just end up tripping over her walker when I ran away.

Finally it was Psycho Man's turn at the counter. I slowly edged up to where the line normally would be, but hung back behind him by about two feet. God knows I didn't want him to feel crowded and nervous! Besides, I figured that gave me enough space to make my get away.

I was still concentrating on not listening to the conversation between Psycho Man -- except for words like "kill" and "gun" -- and making myself very small and inconspicuous, when two more ladies joined the line. We'll call them Snippy Lady and Hippy Lady.

Snippy Lady asked in a very loud and, well, snippy voice, "Is there a reason this line is so far back?" Psycho Man turned to glare at her, but of course, I was the first in his line of sight.

Now I wasn't sure which side I would get it from first. I turned to Snippy and tried to explain that I was giving Psycho Man a little extra space. I spoke quietly so I wouldn't attract his attention (or gunfire).

"What? I can't understand you," Snippy Lady spoke slowly and loudly because, obviously, I was either deaf or a blithering idiot.

I checked to make sure Psycho Man was still busy with the pharmacist (and not drawing a bead on me with his rifle), then turned to Snippy and said "He was giving the person ahead of him a extra space, so I'm just trying to give him little space." I spoke a little louder this time, and tried to use hand gestures to indicate "space," and "back off bitch," without actually flipping her off.

That's when we landed smack dab in the middle of Bizarre-o Land. I was waving my hands around saying "a little extra space." Hippie Lady piped up, "I think that's discrimination." Huh? What the? And Sweet Little Old Walker Lady said "I think it's so we don't all catch what he has."

I turned back to Psycho Man, fully expecting the worst. He gave us all a quick scowl, then tucked his head and took off out of there with surprising speed. Apparently three women yammering nonsensically were enough to scare him off. If only I hand known that before!

Unfortunately, the pharmacist also disappeared. Still wondering how I was discriminating against him, I turned to Hippy and Snippy and tried to explained once more. I thought they finally understood, but then Hippy said "I think it's so nice you 'signed' it to us."

"Yes," said Snippy, "I wish I knew sign language. How did you learn it?"

Oh. My. God.

No, it wasn't sign language, I just move my hands a lot when I talk, I said. Psycho Man may not have shot me dead, but now surely I was dying of embarrassment.

That would be a great place to end this story, but while we were waiting for the pharmacist to return, Little Old Walker Lady shared this with us. Back in the '60s, a friend of hers used to do sign language interpretation for the State of California. One night she was suffering from a head cold, and was not really "with it." She couldn't figure out why the audience thought the speech about water treatment was so funny. Later someone explained she had signed "My Mother and I cooked a turkey and put it in the toilet."

Yeah, I know how she feels.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why I'm not a NASCAR driver

I was cruising down I-80 the other day when -- faster than you can say Talladega Nights -- I slipped into race car mode. My right foot staged a coup and took over control of my driving senses. My pleasure cruise through the heartland became a challenge to catch up to and pass as many cars as I could, as quickly as I could.

While it was fun and all that, I didn't think a speeding ticket would add much pleasure to my travels. I reluctantly slowed down and put on the cruise control, thinking that maybe if this whole Queen of the World thing doesn't work out I just might have a future as a NASCAR driver.

I would be a success, of course, but surely being Queen of the Track would have its drawbacks. Then it hit me:

1. No potty breaks. Well, not, you know, honest-to-God get-out-of-the-car-type pee breaks. I can barely make it from the Royal Castle in to town (all of 3 minutes, including waiting for the garage door) without a potty break. The little Prince and Princess hate shopping trips with me because I insist on potty breaks at nearly every store we visit. This is why it can take me all afternoon just to run a few errands. Better safe than soppy, I always say.

2. No eating in the race car. I've never seen a McDonald's bag rolling around on the floor in any of those "in car" shots during a race. And I've never seen a cup holder, either. I'll admit I don't watch a lot of NASCAR races, but you'd think maybe just once I would have noticed. When we bought the current Royal Carriage, I vowed no food would be consumed in it. That lasted approximately two days. And only that long because we didn't drive it on day two.

3. Jump Suit Ass. Need I say more? Sure Danica Patrick looks cute in her little jumpsuit, but she's elf-sized. Being of more Queenly proportions, I just don't think it would be a flattering look. Then again, perhaps a little fashion change is just what that sport needs!

4. Helmet Hair. Bad enough on its own, combined with number 3, this would be deadly. And a helmet is not something you could do without. Especially with those open windows. My hair would either be a wind-blown birds nest, or slicked-down, static clingy, helmet-shaped mop. I don't think there would be room under the helmet for my tiara, either.

5. More Voices in My Head. Just what I need, spotters and crew chiefs and who knows who else chattering away on the radio inside my helmet. I get enough advice about my driving already -- from the little Angels in the backseat, and the helpful gestures of fellow motorists -- I don't need anymore!

6. Road Rage. Despite my calm demeanor, there is a bitch inside me hiding just below the surface. I can picture the scene now: "Did Jeff Gordon really just cut me off? Oooohhh, I don't think so, Girlfriend. I'm gonna hafta get all up in his bidness. Looka hear you little..." Well, you get the picture. They'd be yanking my in-car camera and microphone for sure.

7. Too Freakin' Long. Those races are what, 200-, 500-, bazillion- laps? And for what? It all comes down to the last one or two laps anyway. If they finish under a yellow flag you could just chop off the last couple laps, too! The races are only that long so they can sell more concessions and advertising time. And as a potential driver, this gets back to numbers one and two. I couldn't race that long without a snack or a potty break.

8. They Don't Go Anywhere! So you finish the face. Where are you now? Right back where you started! To get my attention, they would have to move the finish line to somewhere important. Preferably somewhere with shopping. Or a restaurant. Or a bathroom.

9. Limited Computer Interface. Sure, the guys back in the pits are all sitting around watching U-Tube and playing Spider Solitare on their laptops while the drivers are out there ... driving. It would be just like at home, with everyone using my fast new computer except me!

10. It Just Wouldn't Be Fair. When you've got as much talent and beauty as I do, you have to work extra hard to keep everyone else happy. I don't want to be a glory hog. I can share the limelight. It's enough for me to know in my heart that I would rule NASCAR. I don't have to prove it to anyone.

Except that Suburban that passed me just past the Swisher exit. Next time I'll smoke him, but good.