Quick Hits – January 21, 2019

Since it’s difficult to get anything done with everyone home, I’ve spent the weekend compiling some semi-random thoughts en route to taking Monday off. Enjoy!

You don’t have to apologize!

It happened three times at Meijer and once at The Paramount on Sunday!

In the first case, a woman apologized for nearly hitting me with her cart, but as I explained to her, I was the oblivious bleep who walked right in front of her and thus, I was the one who should issue the mea culpa.

It was interesting to see how that admission made her face light up.

The second involved a woman who was looking through the vast varieties of brick cheese. I had no problem patiently waiting my turn, but when she turned around and saw me, she quickly apologized. My first thought was to say, “for what?” but I simply said, “we’re good!”

bird flipping

But when it happened again at the refrigerated egg enclosure with another female shopper, I replied, “Ma’am! The only way I could’ve retrieved what I was seeking would’ve been to knock you over, and you probably wouldn’t have taken too kindly to that.”

She laughed and said, “No! I probably would’ve called you out for that,” to which I answered, “and rightfully so.”

Then, at Swan Lake, a very pleasant young woman apologized for asking me to move so she could get to her seat. I kinda looked at her quizzically and said that I chose the aisle seat knowing I would have to get up to let half the row in. The tradeoff was the extra leg room and a quicker exit at the end of the show.

Puzzled, I asked my wife why these four women apologized for no good reason. She explained that women are taught from an early age to avoid confrontation, defer to everyone else, and to apologize to keep the peace.

It was at that very moment that I finally understood the more radical elements of the #MeToo movement, because if I had to consistently say I’m sorry for what might be perceived as the slightest slight, I’d rapidly become homicidal.

You see, the truth is, the vast majority of men have absolutely no interest in demeaning, harassing, or sexually assaulting women. We generally enjoy your company. I could talk to female attorneys all day. It’s just that the Bill Cosbys, Les Moonves, and Harvey Weinsteins have truly cast a dark pallor over our gender.

But some of that #MeToo anger and frustration is clearly self-inflicted. Sure! If you hit me with your cart while I’m simply standing off to the side, an apology would be nice. But please don’t say you’re sorry to someone who can’t figure out he’s not the only one in a grocery store. It’s not necessary.

 

Do we really crave privacy?

One of the more fascinating vagaries of my particular version of ADHD is I take in everything all the time. It’s great when you’re covering a county board meeting or a trial, but it sucks when you’re trying to relax or go to sleep.

So, it was during that very same Meijer sojourn that I simply couldn’t avoid a lengthy and rather heated checkout line conversation between a daughter and what clearly must’ve been her mother. And this wasn’t the Bluetooth variety, either. It was impressive to watch her dispense with a semi-full shopping cart with just one hand.

Image result for cell phone at grocery store

The gist of the conversation went like this:

  • The mother doesn’t think her granddaughter goes outside to play enough
  • She questions her granddaughter’s efforts in school
  • The daughter refuted her mother by saying her friends agree with her parenting approach
  • And neither one was about to change the other’s mind

What particularly struck me is, at a time when we’re lamenting large scale data breaches and a massive cameras everywhere loss of privacy, the dichotomy of someone so willing to share the most intimate details of her life was ironically discordant. Not only did she keep up the conversation throughout the entire checkout process, but she was still arguing with her mother as she left the store.

Life never fails to fascinate me!

 

It was a joke!

But apparently no one in St. Louis, Missouri, has a sense of humor.

As the annual Cubs Convention was winding down, the former Cub pitcher hosted an artificial talk show called ‘Friday Night with Ryan Dempster.’ During that convention conversation, he and Cubs third basemen, Kris Bryant, were riffing back and forth on a number of silly subjects, not the least of which was their take on the merit of various Major League cities.

When they got to St. Louis Bryant responded, “So boring,” to much laughter and applause from the crowd. And no one would’ve thought anything of it until Cardinal catcher, Yadier Molina had a complete meltdown. You see, Yadier makes Donald Trump look like a piker when it comes to taking offense.

bryant molina

He castigated Bryant through Tweets, posted disparaging pictures of our dynamic duo, and generally threw the kind of temper tantrum that would’ve made an ADHD third grader proud.

Not to be outdone, other Cardinal players, St. Louis radio show hosts and their two listeners, and the regular Missouri citizenry joined in the fray by labeling Bryant as the worst thing since they signed Dexter Fowler.

Of course, the catalyst for their absurd over-the-top reaction to a JOKE is, deep down in their hearts, they know St. Louis is a beyond boring city in a beyond boring state. C’mon! when your claims to fame are an arch, mosquitoes the size of pterodactyls, and ridiculous humidity, I think Bryant’s depiction was dead on.

Even their motto ‘The Gateway City’ immediately puts you to sleep. I’ve been to St. Louis and the only thing I’d recommend about it is leaving.

And as far as Mr. Molina goes, the only thing that’s funny about him is his .261 2018 batting average. Considering the sad state of Major League pitching, even I could do better than that.

 

The NFL is boring, too!

For the life of me, I cannot begin to understand the new NFL overtime rules and why they ever adopted them in the first place. The NBA and even soccer leagues get it right – you simply play another full or somewhat shortened period. Considering that neither defense could stop a conversation, last night’s Chiefs – Patriots game was essentially decided by a coin flip.

hester

And when the Patriots won that overtime toss, I simply turned off the game because the outcome was obvious. How can you possibly allow the AFC Superbowl entrant to be decided without the other team having at least one OT possession? It’s patently absurd.

You may as well let every game be decided by a coin flip. It would save a lot of wear or tear on the players.

And while we’re at it, the new kickoff rules suck, too! For me, the most exciting part of the NFL was watching Rick Upchurch, Billy ‘White Shoes’ Johnson, Terry Metcalf and, of course, Devin Hester return kicks.

But now, with kickers regularly booting it out of the endzone and a touchback putting the offense on their 25-yard line, there are no returns. And the NFL wonders why their ratings are in the Krapper.

 

Ballet? That’s easy!

Having witnessed Swan Lake at the Paramount Sunday afternoon, here’s my take on ballet:

1.  It’s patently unfair that the women have to dance on their toes and the men don’t.

2. It’s patently unfair that the men have to wear costumes that leave nothing to the imagination and the women don’t.

3. Ballet is just like opera without all the caterwauling – everyone dies in the end!

And there you have it!

swan lake

But I do have to say, nothing beats a matinee (or evening presentation) at Aurora’s Paramount Theater. If you haven’t availed yourself of one of those shows, you’re really missing out!

5 thoughts on “Quick Hits – January 21, 2019

  1. And the funny thing is, you probably have more to apologize for than any woman in the tri county area.

  2. Enjoyed this! I wonder if the excessive apologizing is not only gender, but mid west specific? Not sure you’d have the same experience with a lady in a NYC grocery store.

    • Former,

      First, thank you, and second, you make a fascinating point. I’ve only seriously been to New York City once, but that was enough to make me realize that our first grocery store woman probably would’ve simply run me over.

      But I think NYC’s general lack of civility has more to do with the psychological proximity issue than upbringing. When people are so on top of you everywhere, you’re more apt to claim your space.

      Jeff

  3. I don’t know why more teams don’t aim kickoffs just short of the goal line to force the return team to run it back. The odds of stopping them short of the 25 would make it worth it, I’d think.

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