Sunday, July 8, 2007

Too Hot for Humans

"If the world is so big how's come I run into people I can't stand all the time? It's just not big enough some days ..."
- Kimmyk, on the shrinkage
Most days the world seems small, but it's a fair question, and at least one place I visited today served to remind me that the world is sometimes as small as the people in it.
My first visit was to the local Chinese buffet restaurant. As I sat there, sucking down my General Tso's chicken, it occurred to me that the only Chinese people I see in Chinese restaurants are the people who work there. It's either because (a) Chinese people come to America partly to escape Chinese food. After all, I wouldn't eat at McDonald's in Beijing. Or, (b) Chinese food in America is like McDonald's to Chinese. I wonder, if I was ever lucky enough [that's right] to visit China, what would the food be like? Would I recognize Chinese food in China? I need to ask one of the people working at the buffet about that.
Then, the visit to the liquor store, where there were two cash registers open - one about 4 feet from the other. Both were occupied, so me and the guy behind me formed one line, awaiting the next available cashier. A woman (who I'll call Clueless) decides to breach the single line and make her own, at the register to my left.
SHOPPER: Hey, we have one line here.
CLUELESS: Oh ... I didn't realize. Why do we have only one line?
Which isn't the pertinent question. The pertinent question would have been, "Why do we need 2 lines?" But I kept my questions to myself.
GUY BEHIND ME: I don't know, it was like this when I got here.
Which is a great answer, because it makes him look smart enough to recognize the situation and still be blameless in case Clueless decides to make a Federal case of it. As I glanced over my shoulder, I caught her incredulous look, and I felt as though I should explain the logic of one line versus two, but if I did that, I would feel the need to consume the liquor right there in the store, and I think that's against the law - as well as common sense - so I let her stew and figured it would give her something to talk to her co-workers at the D.M.V. about on Monday. She's probably a gambler, and relishes the ability to pick the "fast" line, and when some clown like me decides to make his own rules, it rankles the little voice in her head (there are probably lots of 'em) that screams, "That one!"
Eventually, one of the cashiers was free, and I moved over, shortly followed by Guy Behind Me, and later, I assume, by Clueless. For a brief time, we had set up our own little Utopian society where the rules benefited everyone. The next person in line would be the next one to be served, without the gamble of picking the right line.
Then, it was on to the supermarket, which, followed by the buffet and the liquor store, seemed to be the perfect end to the Trifecta. The only thing that would have made the day complete would have been a visit to the D.M.V.
No bike today. The outside temperature is a thousand degrees, and for once in their lives, the weather guessers were right about advising people to stay indoors. Tooling around on a bike today would have been silly, especially with a working car and air-conditioning.
I'm no fool.

Two trusted friends - one furry, the other shiny. The shiny one stayed hitched to the rail while the furry one went in pursuit of a nice shady spot.


Sparky Duck said...

And today is supposed to be worst.

I do see the occaisonal asians in our big Chines buffet here, but it seems they are usually there for the crab legs and shrimp as opposed to the regular chinese fare.

Ladyred said...

My best friend said it was 100+ in Baltimore. Damn hotter than down here! My AC is freakin out, but I am hoping to get it fixed with minimum cost. I so distrust these mechanics....

Nice ride BTW.

Susan said...

happy bike! your cat reminds me of a woolly worm - if we are to trust the woolly worm stripe test (or maybe that was just an Ohio thing), apparently we're in for a sizable winter! :)