Friday, February 17, 2017

Random Thoughts 13

I was behind a vehicle yesterday with an official state license plate identifying the owner as a veteran. This, in and of itself, was not unusual as I have seen veteran plates before (often denoting the conflict they served in). However, instead of identifying the occupant as a participant in Desert Storm or Vietnam, it simply said “Honorably Discharged.”

I had always assumed that to receive a veteran’s license plate (and any well-deserved perks that come with it) one would have to have been honorably discharged. Since they have made a point to clarify this on the plate design, does this mean that there is a line of veteran car tags with phrases like “Still AWOL” or “Summarily Court-Martialed but Won on Appeal”? 


For the past several months, my son awakens into what we have dubbed his “Quasimodo” phase. He will run from his bedroom and loudly order everyone to “stop looking at me!” Ironically, were it not for this announcement, his emergence from his room would have gone unnoticed. I am working at compiling footage of this and pairing it with the chorus of Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls.


I was recently taught an important lesson on stereotyping. While in the mall with my son, he announced that he needed to use the restroom. We walked down the long corridor and entered the men’s room. Since the urinal was at NBA-draft height, we decided to wait for one of the two occupied stalls to open up. After a few moments, both doors opened simultaneously and I was faced with two young men whose dress, demeanor, and volume of tattoos above the Adam’s apple suggested an organizational affiliation with something other than the chess club.

Instinctively pulling my preschooler slightly closer, a number of scenarios ran through my mind: Were they dealing drugs? Were they concerned my son might turn state’s evidence and wish to silence him? Had there been an illicit exchange of human organs for a 2004 Pontiac Aztec?

So imagine my surprise when, having taken in the situation, both of their scowls gave way to smiles and they immediately began discussing which stall would be the cleanest for my son to use. Gentleman A advised me that his stall appeared to have some urine on and around the seat and inquired to Gentleman B about procuring a disposable seat cover for my son to use. They both lamented the lack of common courtesy in public restrooms and wished my son and I a pleasant day before thoroughly washing their hands and depositing the paper towels into trash. Lowlifes.


One Saturday morning, our home received an unsolicited visit from two elderly women representing a local Jehovah’s Witness congregation. I answered the door unshaven, disheveled, and flanked by my two young children. The lady closest to me asked if I was “babysitting for the owner” and had she not been so sweet I would’ve mentioned something about the kids already being there when I jimmied open the back door this morning.

They proceeded to tell me give me an Awake! pamphlet and read scripture from their copy. My son - visibly disappointed that the visitor was not wearing a UPS uniform and brandishing an Amazon box - rudely interrupted her scriptural recitation and asked if she had any toy magazines. I apologized and let her finish telling me that this issue featured articles on disease prevention and clownfish. I have to give them credit for branching out. If they had thrown in a few movie reviews and an expose on North Korea I might have asked for a subscription.


The last time I filled my tank with gas, a sign informed me that my fuel was infused with proprietary “marker molecules.” I love it when vague scientific terms are used for marketing. I have some more suggestions for meaningless fuel additives:
      ·         Swedish emulsification stabilizers
·         Ionic triangulation polymers
·         Viscosity purification enzymes
·         Adhesional displacement solvents
·         De-polarized gamma fractals 


Our local grocery store has implemented a system that allows you to place your order ahead of time and have an employee bring all of the items to your car and load them for you. They will usually come to your window, have you pay for the items, and inform you of any substitutions to your order (you wanted 2% Milk but all we had was Boone’s Farm).

Then they will ask you to pop your trunk so that they can load the items. They always seem to be nonchalant about anything they find back there that I really want to try to get a reaction from them by having a trunk full of boxes labeled “Anthrax Lozenges” or someone dressed in an Alf costume with their hands and feet bound.