Tuesday, May 16, 2006

People Watching

I find my fellow members of the human race endlessly fascinating, and one of the best parts about running errands or just being out and about is the perpetual human theater of "being in public." Here are a pair of scenes from the ongoing play:

Scene I: A few weeks ago I was at Kroger, on my way back to my car after picking up a couple of items, and a toddler - right about 2 years old, I'd guess - broke away from his father, who had turned completely away from him to examine his car. The kid was going top-speed down the busy parking lot TOWARDS THE TRAFFIC LANES. I was across the traffic lanes from him but I was three steps into traffic anyway, heart in my throat - this kid was CLEARLY about to get run over - when another woman shouted loud enough to startle him and was able to catch up with him in the second he paused, and snagged him. (Note on the basic goodness of people: There were about six other women and two other men in the parking lot at the time who had all started towards this wayward child. This woman was merely the fastest and closest.)

She returned the child to his father who, instead of thanking her profusely and kissing her feet, ass, and the ground she walks on for saving his child from being run over, gave her an extremely dirty look and sullenly, angrily, and in a very curt tone of voice said, "Thanks." Clearly implying exactly the opposite. Guilt/embarassment at losing track of his child manifesting as anger? Worst parenting ever? I don't know, but I wish PeoriaIllinoisian's wife had been there to give the man a piece of her mind. He needed a piece of SOMEBODY'S mind. And that fast-on-her-feet angel who snagged that kid deserves some special strawberry danishes in heaven.

(Of course they serve strawberry danishes in heaven, duh. I have a master's in theology. I know these things.)

Scene II: Today I was at my bank waiting in line to make a simple deposit. (I am ashamed to admit that despite being a child of technology, I don't actually know how to make deposits using the ATM and I don't trust it anyway. I haven't actually used an ATM in the United States in at least four years. I only use them abroad, and only because you get a better exchange rate.) I finally got to the front of the line, and as I waited patiently for a teller to open up, this LITTLE OLD LADY who had just entered the bank saw one of the tellers come free, and literally darted in front of me (and everyone else!), across the bank to get to the teller without waiting in line! Apparently she had really urgent banking business! I'm not sure I've ever seen a little old lady move quite so fast!

Complaints about how my generation is ruining America with our rudeness are officially disallowed; at least I don't budge in bank lines!

No comments: