In spite of what some of these posts indicate I am really not a confrontational guy. I prefer to go along and get along but some situations demand action. This is the story of one of those encounters. But first for the backstory.
Sometimes I wonder if I have any common sense at all. You see I went to Costco on Superbowl Sunday. Now you know that I love Costco. If I have to go shopping Costco, Trader Joes and Home Depot are right up there with places that I generally don’t mind going to.
However I still try to avoid hitting these places during prime shopping time. I don’t enjoy fighting the crowds. Matter of fact I have also written about Costco’s relationship to Hell and I have bitched about The Supermarket too. So you would think that based upon my feelings and past experience I would have known better than to show up to be a part of a passion play about Dante’s Inferno.
But Nooooooooooo. I had to go because I had to pick up a couple of items before the big game. So off I went to do battle in the parking lot. There is nothing like playing chicken over a freaking parking space. Ideally you have a really big car that looks like you use it for the local demolition derby. This often helps encourage others to keep their distance.
This time parking the car wasn’t bad. Instead it was navigating my way from my space into the store. I felt like I was the Frog in Frogger. I danced to the left, stepped forward, jumped back and then moved to the right. Maybe I wasn’t playing Frogger, maybe it was some kind of folk dance. I dunno, maybe Shira will weigh in on this.
Inside Costco was a swirling mass of activity. Ten million people were crammed into the Van Nuys warehouse. You can only imagine how difficult it was to navigate my cart through the aisles. Even worse than that was getting rammed by the carts of other shoppers. The last time I got rammed from behind so many times I was on the receiving end of a sigmoidoscopy but that is a story for a different time and place.
Part of the challenge was because I had the audacity to try and pass by the tables with the free samples of food. It was like a scene out of some movie in which an airlift drops food into some famine starved village. The tables were surrounded by people fighting to try the various products. It would be one thing if they were poor, but something tells me that the lady with the diamond ring and Kate Spade bag has enough money to feed herself. She also has watched a lot of football because you should have seen the block she threw on the guy who tried to step in front of her.
Perhaps the worst part of this day came when I ventured over to purchase some produce. I needed some carrots and celery for my dip platter. It was while I was there that things got nasty. As I surveyed the scene I heard someone coughing nearby. It was a loud hacking noise, the kind of cough that makes you wonder why they aren’t lying in bed.
When I turned my head to the left I saw a middle aged man standing over the blueberries. He was the source of the coughing. A moment later I was horrified to watch him cough on the berries. He didn’t even attempt to cover his mouth. I was startled by this and even more concerned when he failed to cover his mouth to cover a second coughing fit.
At this point I couldn’t take it any longer.
Me: Sir, could you please cover your mouth?
Me: We would prefer if you covered your mouth and turned away from the food when you cough.
Hacker: So you speak for everyone.
Me: In this case I do.
Hacker: Who elected you health inspector.
Me: Sir, please refrain from using sarcasm. A little courtesy goes a long way.
Hacker: I just asked you a question. Who elected you health inspector.
Me: My name is Tom Fouker and I am a duly designated representative of the FDA. If you do not cease and desist I’ll have you cited. (Why oh why do I not carry a fake badge for these moments.)
Hacker: Cited for coughing?
Me: No cited for being a threat to the public health and safety, Typhoid Tom.
Hacker: You can’t do that.
Me: I most certainly can.
Hacker: What are you going to do, handcuff me.
Me: Sir if need be I can have you restrained and locked in the freezer until the police arrive.
Hacker: You wouldn’t dare.
Me: Have you ever been tied up with the cord from a banana boat. Day-o, it is more than sufficient to handle you and uncomfortable.
And with that epithet he threw a tray of berries at me and began to run. I was close on his heels. There was no way that the perp was going to escape justice. Within moments I had closed the gap between him and I. I flung myself into the air. As I soared over a table full of books I grabbed the 2007 edition of the Webster’s Dictionary and dropped it across his head.
There was an audible thunk as he hit the floor. I dropped down on top of him and used my shoelaces to tie him up. Loud applause rang from all over the store. Agent Fouker had done it again.
Ok, that little exchange didn’t take place like that. I didn’t confront him for his lack of manners. But he did cough on the lettuce and I was disgusted by that. I did want to say something to him but he walked away so I figured what was the point.
I don’t know about you but I liked the first version of the story better.
What do you think?
In the previous post I complained about feeling Blogadaisical. My blogging has slowed down a bit. Some of it is due to lack of time and some of it is precisely because of the Blogadaisical feeling I have.
Now I certainly don’t have the same lack of interest that The Shmata Queen has. Because you know that left to her own devices the The Shmata Queen would just give up and stop blogging. I think that some of this is attributable to her cleveland upbringing. Think about how hard it must be to have The Browns, The Cavs and The Indians as the teams that represent your city.
It is not easy. Ezzie had to leave the burning river. Just look at his bio and you’ll see that as soon as he was of age he got out of Dodge.
Now where was I before I was distracted by The Shmata Queen. Sorry, sometimes I get schlattered. Anyhoo, the point of this post is to discuss how I handle writer’s block and I will answer that question. Posts like this are exactly what I do to get beyond it.
More specifically I just start writing about anything. Eventually whatever is holding things up for me goes away and I am able to construct more meaningful posts that have some sort of rhythm to them. As a writer I find it terribly frustrating to be pumping out inferior material. If this were a professional endeavor I would cull the herd of the really bad posts and leave the good stuff up.
But it is just a blog and it makes more sense for this to be virtually unedited. In theory this will one day be read by my children, grandchildren and whomever else. It will give them some more insight into what their old dad/grandpa was like. That gives me an idea for a new post. Excuse me while I try putting that together.
lackadaisical \lack-uh-DAY-zih-kuhl\, adjective:
Lacking spirit or liveliness; showing lack of interest; languid; listless.
I think that the issue is that I am just frustrated with my writing. I haven’t run out of ideas for posts. I still have plenty of those but I am very unhappy with the quality of my writing. I can’t tell you how many posts I have trashed because I couldn’t stand the garbage I pumped out.
My best writing just rolls right off of my fingertips and onto the screen. I like to think of it as being somewhat like sand from an hourglass. The challenge that I am facing right now is that this is just not happening. To give you another analogy it feels a bit like I am trying to run a marathon while stuck in molasses.
Which reminds me I have a taste for sarsaparilla. But I won’t go there right now. Time for a new post.
A reader asked me to produce a post about how I write fiction. They wanted to know how I came up with ideas and then how I translated those ideas from my head onto the paper or in my case screen. It is a good question and one that I have written about before. It is called:
In an effort to avoid being repetitive I am going to try to cover some things that I didn’t speak about in the initial post. I have been described as being very intense and passionate person. I am not sure that I can provide an accurate assessment as to whether I am any more passionate or intense than the next person.
What I do know is that I have had a bunch of life experience. I have been in love and I have been heartbroken. I have friends that I love, who I would die for. It goes without saying that I feel even more so about my family. In my life I have celebrated great success and deeply mourned my losses.
Heartbreak is not just about loving a person. Sometimes you can be heartbroken about missed opportunities, or at least suffer from severe regret. There is not much that I regret. I have gotten pretty good at just shrugging my shoulders at life, but there are those few things.
I write based upon my gut, it is just instinct. I compose at the computer and the words just kind of show up on screen. I suspect that my best writing comes from my being able to get in touch with certain feelings. Sometimes I can find the old wounds and rip the scab right off of them. Sometimes I can relive those moments of pain and frustration and transfer it to the keyboard.
Sometimes I am surprised to find a tear or two hit the keyboard. It doesn’t happen too often, but sometimes.
Really what I am saying here is not all that insightful. My best writing comes from what I know or at least what I think I know. It is a subjective thing. Some people love my writing and others hate it.
I don’t know if that is a satisfactory answer, but it will have to do for now. It is late and I am ready for bed.
Lailah tov from LA.
I subscribe to about six different magazines. Newsweek, PC World, Consumer Reports, Better Homes and Gardens and a couple of others. I am good about reading them. It is rare that I don’t spend some quiet time flipping through and not unusual for me to read them from cover to cover.
Frankly I spend too much time here at the PC so it gives me another excuse to get away and disconnect from the net. There is something quite nice about sitting in an overstuffed chair to do nothing but read.
There are a couple of problems with that. The first is trying to find the quiet moments in which do said reading. The second is that every time I open a magazine I spend the next ten minutes cleaning up the 27 subscription cards that pop out. That leads me to my next comment.
Is it just me or does every magazine begin soliciting a renewal from you two weeks after your subscription begins. Newsweek does this all the time. I sign up for a year and then three weeks into the new year they begin bombarding me with special offers for renewing my subscription.
It makes me wonder how much money they spend on filling the magazine with content I want to read versus how much they spend to try and grab more eyeballs. There is something not quite right with this formula.