There is one particular class of people I truly can’t stand. It’s basically the “the rules don’t apply to me” class of individuals; those that, when I just get right down to it, I’d rather just euthanize because they piss me off so much it makes my blood turn to steam.
Today I pull into Sunoco and directly next to the pump I’m about to use is a Lexus SC430 with its blinker on and a gas hose sticking into the side of it. In less than a tenth of a second, I can already tell what’s going on here, and once I get parked and out of my car it is confirmed. Joe Business Class apparently doesn’t have time today to turn off his car while he puts gas in it. What’s more, as I peer directly into the windows of the vehicle to see what kind of grade-A jack-off this is, I notice what has to be his very young daughter sitting in the backseat. I hear the faint rumble of his running engine and notice the pump running full tilt, pumping in $40+ worth of 89 octane. A fuel grade – by the way – that is positively useless. It’s not 87, which is indicated for pretty much every car on the highway. And it’s not 90+, which is what you tend to put into a high-performance motor like the one in the Lexus SC430. It’s 89, which is some kind of jackass compromise that is nothing more than a complete scam on all consumers of gasoline, and more or less exactly what I would expect this guy to be dumping into his sporty little declaration of penis size.
So I’m standing next to my Suby, watching my dollars drain into the tank – 87 octane thank you – and my wheels – the little rusty ones that operate in the very center of my brain – start spinning big time. I am getting more and more pissed off by the moment. Within 30 seconds, I am just straight up bullsh*t ripped and ready to fight. I am nearly determined to have a confrontation. I start rehearsing my action hero line; the one that I will use to kick off the conversation with the bad guy. I come up with two. I come up with “Hey Jackass” and I also come up with “Why don’t you turn your motor off before you kill us all”. I’m starting to like the second one alot. Then I start looking around and thinking about whether or not I really want to do this. My heart rate starts picking up and I start to get that anxious tingly feeling in my arms and legs. I’m thinking “do I really want to start something at 8:00 in the morning”. Then I look over at the guy, who pretty clearly knows I’ve been staring at him the entire time. He’s out of the car, attending to the hose, saying “come on, come on” as the fuel delivery shows no sign of stopping, even at the $45 mark. I try to get a good look at his build. Could that guy kick my ass? I’m looking kind of skinny today; maybe if I just stand behind my car and say it he’ll think I’m a lot bigger and not try anything crazy.
Then I start to think about that word – crazy. Crazy shit happens every day. We see it on the news every hour. Somebody goes berserk. Somebody gets stabbed. Somebody gets shot or set on fire. Always somewhere else. Somewhere that’s not here. We might say “holy sh*t I can’t believe that just happened”, but if it’s in Idaho or Tennessee or Afganistan or anywhere but New England we say to ourselves, “huh” and go on to something else. It’s sensational for a few minutes, but as quickly as we read or hear about it we are already distracted by something else.
We think “aw, there’s no way something like that could/would happen here” or “that wouldn’t happen to me”. It’s definitely true that some places in this world are magnets for trouble; no question about it. Some places on this earth are just the right combination of people and circumstances to foster some really insane behavior and events. But it might take just one little thing. One thing and one thing only to upset the balance of sanity in a particular situation to turn it from ordinary into newsworthy. And newsworthy in the worst possible way. Now this guy standing about ten feet away from me – yes, I despise him. I can’t stand him and I want in the worst, worst way to pummel him lifeless and vent my every ounce of aggression on him, sending some kind of message to dirtbags everywhere who simply consider themselves too good for the rest of society. But I can’t do it. Because I don’t know everything. Because I can’t pretend to look at a situation and just know I have it all figured out. Does he look like an ordinary prick douchebag? Sure. And he has a little girl in the car? Yes. And a nice car? I’ll just say it isn’t a sh*tbox. So what. So that means he can’t possibly do something unexpected? Does that mean he couldn’t just snap, reach under his seat, pull out a weapon, and escalate the situation? That’s no movie. That’s reality. Just like a routine traffic stop turns into a double murder in quiet little Franconia New Hampshire, that’s reality. So I let him drive off. I permit him to leave without saying a word. I know his time will come. It’s a massive, massive pill for me to swallow today.
But that’s what karma is for. So I drive off.