Five Simple Day-to-Day Frustrations That Piss Me Off

Your average American experiences a number of day-to-day frustrations. People with the mistaken impression they are exempt from common courtesy and sense cause most of them. Sometimes the frustrations spill over into unacceptable responses like road rage, but there are times when we all question whether a running gun battle down the freeway isn’t the most reasonable response to the indignity of rolling out of bed each day.

Herewith, 5 simple things that piss me off:

1.   Blocking Grocery Aisles with a Shopping Cart– It’s a simple rule of physics that two grocery carts can’t occupy the same space at the same time. One would think this should be self-evident to anyone living on Planet Earth, but apparently not.

When spending 15 minutes comparing the prices of a 12 oz. and 10 oz. can of Spaghetti-Os, pull your cart to the side. It’s the same principle as a breakdown lane. Your brain is broken so you pull over. Don’t compound this rudeness bycalling your Lifeline to name the 12 oz. can as your final answer.

I staunchly believe in the Second Amendment when this happens. Rocket launchers with TOW missiles installed on your cart really do constitute a reasonable interpretation of the law.

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Turns Out Most of the 53% are Victims Too

Mitt Romney thinks almost half the nation is a bunch of crybaby, irresponsible victims living on the public dole rather than paying their own way. To his way of thinking, asking the wealthy to pay taxes to carry their freight is at the center of a class war that persecutes the rich.

Mitt, consider yourself lucky, there is a move afoot in France to up the tax rate on the wealthy to 75%. If you want persecution, move yourself and your money out of the U.S. and into that cute little winery in Provence you’ve had your eye on.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the states with the highest taxes on the wealthy also have the highest per capita number of millionaires. As Mitt knows first-hand, apparently hiding your money in the Caymans is preferable to actually moving there.

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The Deck as Metaphor

The View From the Deck

The view from my deck is a metaphor.

It sits 35 feet high on the side of a hill which is perhaps 400 or 500 feet high. It overlooks  San Francisco Bay. I sit there – sometimes wearing a sweater, even in summer – to watch the sunset in solitude. Beyond the mountains, the sun runs crimson and amber into beautiful oblivion over the sea. Like all sunsets, it will never be exactly the same as on any other day in any other time. Sunsets are like snowflakes that way.

The sunset silhouettes the mountains in metallic gold and makes the hoarfrost fog easy to see. It tumbles heavily down the slopes like air from a freezer on a warm, humid day. Somewhere on the far shore, the temperature is dropping and people are bundling up or turning off their air conditioners. Depending on the day, a few may be starting their tiny California furnaces. It will be summertime-cold over there in the fog. The lights will come on in the million windows and the day will be done.

I can see two of the major bridges, the San Mateo and Dumbarton, that cross the Bay. They are the thinnest of silver strips skimming the darkening water. A constant march of taillight ants creeps slowly across. Each ant carries a crumb – some heavy, some light, some fragile or odd-sized awkward. They head home or to meet family or friends. A few are bound for their night work. The bridges will be almost empty when they return.

On nights when I am fraught with worry or life’s desperations, it is easy to envy the trip to the far shore. If I wanted to, I could ride my own ant across and head up through the fog and into the hills. There, I could lose myself in the web of mountain roads and quiet road noise and soft light from the radio dial. I could wander in ways that have no everyday quality, confined only to what my headlights could see – all sharp curves and redwoods, and the damp. I could take a turn and suddenly disappear as though I never existed to go walkabout and decide never to return – if I wanted to, if I didn’t have ties and responsibilities and all the grasps of modern life that constrain me, constrain all of us.

I don’t have so many, but on more optimistic days I’d join the crawl home to family or friends. My work would be done and I could return to my deck. I could smile a comfortable smile over all that happened that pleasant day, loosen my sweater buttons, and revel in the countenance of those I love as I tell the story. It wouldn’t matter that it was a story as old as all stroies or that it was mundane and trivialistic. Joy would carry the day.

The end is always the same. When it is fully dark I go inside and do the things most people do on most evenings, as routine as a job and sometimes just as empty and grinding. Finally, I lie down, hopefully find some sleep, and get up the next morning looking forward to my metaphor, my deck.

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