December! Time for <dramatic
incidental music here> holiday shopping! What's wrong?
Aren't you excited about it? All right, you got me. I
don't know who I am trying to kid. I loathe this time of
the year precisely because of the shopping and everything
involved in it.
The holidays are supposed to be a time of peace, love,
consideration for your fellow human (and their little
dogs too). However, it's at this time of the year that
people begin to behave in the exact opposite manner. In
fact, during no other time of the year do I see the
despicable behavior that people seem to feel they must
exhibit during the holidays.
It's a fact that more people are out on the road this
time of the year, headed for the mall. That means that
the roads are far more crowded, which tends to make
traffic go a bit slower. The increase in street
population also brings with it more people who have no
business behind the wheel of an automobile. Last month, I
covered driving habits that are likely to get someone
killed, so I don't think I need to go over it again. The
only thing I can say is to watch out for those people.
They are everywhere, always disguised as people who can
drive. When you least expect it, the mask comes off and
they are revealed for the inept motorists they are. So
stay on guard at all times.
Now, another place where people
behave very poorly at this time of year is in the mall.
Buildings that cover several city blocks, filled with
tiny little shops that have tons of crap in them that
people buy for reasons I haven't been able to determine.
During the holiday season, they are also filled to
capacity with people. All kinds of people. It's been said
that if you put enough rats in a cage together, they will
begin to commit atrocities on each other that would make
even Hannibal Lecter shudder. The same could be said for
people in shopping malls. You put enough people in these
cages and you see little old ladies swearing like sailors
if you accidentally bump into them, soccer moms who'll
cut your throat if you get in between them and the Sony
Playstation their kid wants and a myriad of other
This is indeed a time of grave danger. But I have some
suggestions for avoiding these outbursts. They are just
little things, but at a time like this, they can make a
world of difference.
First, if you are one of those
people who tends to walk slowly, try to do so on the edge
of mall traffic. Not smack-dab in the middle. There is
very little that is more frustrating than trying to walk
around someone in a crowded mall that walks only half as
fast as you do. It's one of those little instances at the
mall that makes me feel a little bit homicidal and I have
a fairly long fuse.
Next, if someone gets in your way, don't bump them out of
the way like you're blocking in a football game. This
just isn't necessary and it could get you assaulted if
you do it to the wrong person. Saying "excuse
me" is usually sufficient. You'd be amazed at how
effective that phrase can be.
Now, out in the parking lot, one should abide by the
basic rules of the road. But there is one thing that
several people do out there that makes me very very angry. First, I don't care how crowded
the parking lot is, this just isn't acceptable behavior
to me at all. Many times have I had someone see me exit
the mall with my arms weighted down with shopping bags
and they follow right behind me in their cars until I
reach my car. Already this has caused me some alarm. I
always see several empty spots at the end of the row
during these times (yes, I do check) so it isn't like my
spot is the only one they could possibly park at. The
deal is that they can't be bothered to park in the spot
that's further away and walk a few more feet. They are
that lazy. I see it all of the freaking time. So, I am
trying to get my bags into the trunk of my car as quickly
as I can without breaking or messing up anything that I
have purchased and they edge right up to me, as if I
didn't already notice that they were stalking me for my
spot. This causes me to act more slowly and deliberately
in the hope that they will grow impatient and go away,
but no. They continue to sit there and stare at me
expectantly. So I get into my car.
Now, what I am about to relay happened to me once during
the summer of all times... I am sitting in my car and
it's hot outside. At the time, my car had no air
conditioning. So, I had the audacity to take a drink from
a cold beverage before I started my car as some woman was
staking out my spot as her own. She honked her horn at me
impatiently. Not once, but twice. This made me so angry
that I stuck my head out of the car and waved at her and
smiled. Then I sat there. She finally gave up and moved
on. Now, I don't think I would be so cocky about it at
this time of the year when the parking lots actually are
crowded, but I am trying to make a point here. If anyone
reading this engages in this sort of parking lot
stalking, please knock it off. You are only adding to the
I guess what I am trying to say is
that, to cut down on rude, obnoxious and even violent
behavior from other people this time of the year, just
exercise some simple common courtesy. If you are doing
something that your mom would have yelled at your for,
you probably shouldn't be doing it.
Here's wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!