January 19, 2010

Not Sin.

(But disturbingly close for my tastes.)

Anyway, got Cat from Grandmom’s, got home, unloaded, got some stuff out for supper, and was just about to get out of my work clothes when I noticed the answering machine flashing away. My medicine was ready at the CVS at the foot of the hill, so I got on a pair of jeans and my trusty Auburn sweatshirt, told Cat I’d be right back, and headed back out.

“Hmm,” I thought, which is usually what I think, and then I thought while I was out I would also get us some meat to go in the meatless fettuccine and sauce I’d been contemplating for supper, so I went on past the drug store and parked at the Food World, and strode in with the express purpose of getting some Italian sausage.

After several minutes trying to figure out where the Italian sausage was kept (by the ground beef, silly!) I snagged a pack, decided to get a pack of ground beef since it was conveniently nearby, and headed for the checkout.

Along with everyone else in town.

Must have been a memo about going to the store.

I stood there patiently along with eleventy-dozen other shoppers in three lines, and finally another line opened up, and in a nice turn of events managed to snag the number two spot behind a twenty-something odd couple made of a hyperactive Federlinesque goober and a stunningly well-packed lass, equally devoid of motor control and notions of societal constraints.

And joy of joy! The cashier was the sour old wart of a woman I usually get when I’m in a hurry! She seems stymied by any technology invented after the rotary telephone, and is resistant to logic when it comes to fixing things. I’ve stood there patiently (for some reason) in times past while she nearly destroyed the coupon-thing that spits out coupons for things you don’t want. She’s always somewhere else mentally, and gets perturbed when you point out that you only got two boxes of something, rather than 20. She’ll sigh, and have to figure out how to work the microphone to summon a manager, then fiddle with the key to try to crank up the override, and then go back to mindlessly scanning things with not so much as a grunt of consolation for having made a mistake.

Anywho, she’s gonna be my cashier. Right before I got to the conveyor, I spied a display of hot Italian bread, so I scooted over and got a loaf and put it on the belt with my two packs of meat. She gave the perfunctory greeting “heyhowreyout’night” without even the affect of a question mark at the end, scanned my stuff, gave me my total, and started putting the items in a bag.

I swiped my card, entered my PIN, pressed “yes” for the total, looked around, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but Ye Olde Cashier holding (nay, cradling) my just-purchased loaf of hot Italian bread gently--ever so gently--to her nose, her eyes closed in rapture, deeply quaffing the aroma of the bread into her vacant cranium.

“That smells good.”

Well, yes, I’m sure it does. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I bought it. But after I’ve bought it, I would appreciate it if you’d KEEP YOUR OLFACTORY RECEPTORS OFF OF IT!

Yes, I know--in the greater scheme of things this ranks no higher on the scale of minor indignities than when you take your car in for service and the mechanic feels duty-bound to readjust the seat, the radio, and the A/C controls because he was in the driver’s seat for about five seconds--but still, is there not some level of common sense that would make a person not act that way!? I guess the answer is obvious, but it nonetheless still surprises me when it happens to me.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:07 PM | Comments (3)

January 14, 2010


Or, adding insult to injury.

In any event, seems as though the media always find a way in any tragedy to compound the misery by making sure to broadcast far and wide anything that will create controversy. Of course, if some people wouldn't find death and destruction such a tempting (if I may use that word) target for their own self-righteous tongue-clucking, maybe it would be slightly harder for the newspapers and teevee reporters to spread it around, but what do I know?

I do know that every time some self-annointed spokesman for God gets on the news to talk about why he wasn't crushed in an earthquake and other people were, invariably no one ever thinks to go to the source for comment.

When people start getting smug about how their goodness has protected them from the bad things that happen to those icky sinners, I remember this particular story from Luke 13:

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

The fellow is mistaken who thinks that he's somehow less of a sinner because he is warm and dry and comfortable and wealthy and fully-fed and palavering in a television studio and not lying dead at the bottom of a rubble pile.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:24 AM | Comments (5)