Quote of the Day: “Don’t tread on me.” Early American motto appearing on the Gadsden Rattlesnake flag
The keystone of TB’s entire philosophy on life, the universe and everything (to borrow a phrase) is that I want to be left the hell alone, except in the few circumstances I don’t; and I pretty much will leave everyone else the hell alone, except in the few circumstances I won’t. This is commonly, pithily described by many as “live and let live.” One of innumerable sub-nuances of this tenet of Philosobaenism is that I don’t like strangers coming to my front door. I don’t like politicians coming, though I can still appreciate their effort. I don’t like school kids coming, though I realize and empathize with how difficult it is on them. I don’t like religious zealots, though I have some sympathy for their fears of going to a fiery hell if they don’t come see me. And I despise door to door magazine salesmen, though I can still generate a bit of good will for them, understanding the financial plight they must endure that leads them to such an onerous vocation. So when these people come to my door, assuming I am unable to credibly act like I am not home, I generally smile, wish them well, and send them on their miserable way. (Not counting the hundreds of neighborhood kids who I have a policy to buy one item from per school year.) Almost always, the intruder will accept the rejection genially and trapse off across my lawn and through my azaleas to the next house.
But yesterday a young, attractive African-American girl happened by and rang the doorbell while my daughter was taking a much needed nap. I answered the door in my usual fashion, and let the girl go through her script until she came to a pause to ask me a question. Here’s how our conversation transpired:
Trespasser–blah, blah, blah, sales script, blah, blah, blah…Have you ever heard of the “Laziness Project” sir?
TB–(to self–the Laziness Project? Are you kidding me? That’s a damned dubious name for an outfit.); (out loud, smiling and gently closing the door); No, and I’m not really interested, but I wish you well.
Trespasser–But here (thrusting envelope through door) don’t you at least want to read about it before you decide you’re not interested?
TB–No thank you. I know I’m not interested. Have a nice day.
Trespasser–Is you a racist (sic)?
At this point, I was taken aback. Several responses shot into my brain at once, ranging from defensive options to smartass retorts to verbal beatdowns. Among them were:
Defensive–“NO! I voted for Obama!” and “NO! I have plenty of black friends!” and “NO! Why don’t you ask my neighbors?” Crazy, I know, but we’re not talking about a debate in which I was prepared to engage. These were simply among the immediate options that came to mind.
Smartass–“No, I isn’t….errr aren’t-ain’t!” or “I don’t really like any group of people so you need to find a stronger word.”
In true Constanza like fashion though, I simply said “Have a nice day” and shut the door as she stalked away muttering, “I knew you was a racist as soon as you come to the door.” In retrospect, I wish I would’ve explored this observation of hers further.
Anyway, the title to this post includes the word “Responds” so here’s my response, as eloquently as I can put it:
There were a couple of other moments from the most recent rotation of our planet I thought I’d pass along too.
TB is cognizant of the need to lead a more “green” lifestyle, and I do my best to turn off the water when I brush my teeth, keep the lights off in rooms I’m not using, and try to accumulate fewer plastic bags so they won’t end up part of the floating Pacific Ocean garbage island, for example. But yesterday, as I stood in line to buy balloons, I was subjected to a display of self righteousness that left me nonplussed. The lady in front of me had a full buggy of party goods, undoubtedly paper and plastic and all the usual things we would buy from such a store. She also had two styrofoam cups and a styrofoam dinner container, and it didn’t occur to me until much later to wonder why she brought her lunch in to shop at Party City. As she was completing her transaction, she stopped the cashier and turned to project her voice back to TB, the other Party City employees and a couple of more customers, and loudly proclaimed, “I DON’T NEED ANOTHER BAG FOR THAT PACKAGE OF BALLOONS. JUST PUT IT IN ONE OF THESE OTHER BAGS. I DON’T WANT TO DESTROY THE RAIN FOREST OR THE ENVIRONMENT. I WANT TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT.” The cashier just stared blankly at me and I dutifully returned the look, while the self satisfied Johnette Appleseed high-stepped out the door and loaded up her Expedition. Now, I don’t begrudge her any of this. It’s just that she could’ve said in a normal voice, “I don’t need a bag for those,” and left it at that. But maybe I’m too sensitive about these things.
Finally, TB has stated before his distaste for televised news these days. Every time I listen I have a visualization in my head of footage of the Hindenburg explosion and a commentator on the ground exclaiming, “OHHHHH, the INANITY!” You may recall that I posted not long ago about a Fox News report and graphic telling the world and TB that obese people were 55% (give or take) more likely to die. Not to be outdone, NBC News just this morning advised that older people who consume red meat and processed meats were 30% more likely to die according to a new study. It begs the question of course, if a fat man eats steak is he thus 85% more likely to perish?
Keep staring blankly my friends……