Thursday, March 15, 2007

Making Private Matters Public


She plopped down into the faux leather chair directly across from me at the chain bookstore. No sooner than she’d settled in with the baggy full of pretzels and a giant Sonic drink did her cell phone begin to ring. Me, I would have taken this conversation outside. She, however, ignored my presence, oblivious to my significance or disregarding it. It was as if I was invisible. She was at the center of this Universe.

“He cheated on a test?” she asked in her best Roseann Barr loud nasily voice. “Boots, I have to tell you every kid in America has cheated on a test.”

Whaa-whaa-whaa on the other end.

“Hush! Everybody does it at some point.”

More whaa-whaa-whaa.

“Punishment? Two weeks for an 11 year old is too much. Tell Phil to get out his belt and put it to his behind. He’ll remember that.”

Whaa-whaa-whaa.

“Did he get kicked out of school? Boots, this a troubled kid. Somebody is going to have to sit on him. Boots, my faith is in you. You are my daughter.”

Whaa-whaa-whaa.

“He’s acting out for some reason, and it may be because his daddy left. How would you have felt if your daddy had left and moved in with another woman?”

At that point I had had enough of Boots and her momma’s conversation about the “troubled kid.” I went over to Momma, grabbed up the cell phone and threw it across the store to the self-help aisle.

P.S. You didn’t think I really did that, did you? That’s what Scotty said I ought to have done. Instead, I was the quiet observer—the one who goes home to blog.

6 comments:

Jay Croft said...

I know you didn't grab her cell phone and throw it across the aisle. The store would call the police to break up the inevitable hair-pulling fight, and your next blog would be a description of your jail cell.

Marion said...

I thought...Wow, Sheila threw the lady's cell phone!?!?

I was almost ready to walk out the door to a cell phone cashier I know, and...but then I read you went home to blog.

Just like I do, when I encounter this woman, who has an impossible ability to ignore everyone, if she is talking on her cell. People actually line up...yet, still she speaks...on and on.

Amazing.

Sheila said...

Jay,
The last time I saw the inside of a jail cell was on a tour with a bunch of school kids. I would have loved to have locked up some of the little buggers. Yeah, I'll admit it. I'm all hat and no cattle or whatever the devil that expression is.

I've had very few public altercations in my life. One was over who should or shouldn't have moved clothes from a washing machine. Another was with an Alabama coach's wife over whether I should give up my 50 yard-line seat because the ticket office goofed up and printed a double set of tickets. I don't like confrontations. Can't we all just get along?

Sheila said...

Marion, I for the life of me can't understand when cashiers talk on their cell phones and let a line build up. How do they keep their jobs? Are store owners so desperate to keep an employee with bad manners and no service? I think I would vote with my feet.

Jay Croft said...

Cashier on cell phone? Go get the manager and, without a word, point to the offender.

The other customers in line will be grateful. They probably will pick up on your bravery and applaud.

If the manager does nothing, then simply leave your purchases where they are and walk out. Other stores want your business.

Sheila said...

Jay, you are right. But we consumers and customers have gotten so used to accepting sub-par performance and paying up the whaazoo for it to boot. I like your thinking. Now, do I have the gumption to follow through?