I was in the mall the other day, desperately searching for the restrooms, when I ran into a woman and her oversized bag of merchandise. Ordinarily, when we knock into someone it’s because we’re self-absorbed, a klutz, or haven’t had our eyes checked in a while. In my case, I was so focused on my upcoming interview that I had forgotten about the other people coincidentally shopping in the mall at the same time I was pining away for a urinal. The result was a head-on collision near the front doors.
Now, it’s one thing to watch this funny scene unfold through the eyes of a bystander, but it’s even funnier to see the invisible thought bubbles that pop up above people’s head after colliding and dropping several pairs of neon-colored underwear. My episode went something like this:
Jeff collides with random customer while scrutinizing the depth of color on his monochromatic resume. First, apologies. Then, incessant giggling.
“Oh my goodness! Did I do that? Oh my, that’s funny! Why that’s quite nearly the funniest thing that’s happened to me all day! Oh dear. Yes that is quite amusing. I’m still not sure why, but I’m going to continue laughing.”
Jeff engrosses himself in his resume again, only to knock into the same customer while going through the large, double doors.
“Oh wow… oh this is too funny! Twice in one day! I must need my eyes checked. Goodness, I’m so terribly clumsy. Yes, isn’t amusing? Let’s laugh a bit more.”
Chuckle. Chuckle. Jeff holds door open while reaching for the next set of monstrous double doors, only to let the first door close in the customer’s face.
“Dear me… ha ha did I just close that in your face? That is just too funny! Oh man this is all my fault. I must be seriously troubled for laughing right now! Weee! Oh hehe haha hoho. Terribly sorry! But boy was that funny. Yeah, buh-bye now, buh-bye! Ahh man good times. Buh-bye! Buh-bye now!”
Jeff walks away, realizing thirty seconds later than if someone had recorded that entire incident he would pay to have the video burned.
You know exactly what I mean. Don’t pretend you haven’t been there.
Just for fun, I’ll include a little observation that came to me while riding the bus home today.
As so happens, the busses I ride are notably higher off the ground than the numerous sedans that speed around them. Imagine that. This (fortunately or otherwise) gives me the opportunity to look through unsuspecting drivers’ windshields and watch them as they kill time at stop lights. Oh, the things that I see! Let me share this one particular series of thought bubbles that evolved from a young man sitting in his car at a stop light a block from my apartment.
Man looks left. Then right. He promptly lifts up his water bottle, and without taking off the cap, starts to gnaw on it.
“Mmm. Water bottle. Man I’m tired. The sun is awfully bright today. I can’t really see the stoplight. I wonder if it’s green.”
“I’m hungry. Gosh I’m hungry. I want steak.”
Gnaws on bottle some more.
“That car kind of looks like a steak. I bet I could get steak around here somewhere. Isn’t there a Walmart close by? Man, I hate those smiley faces.”
Squints at the stoplight.
“I hope I shouldn’t be going. I wish I had sunglasses! Wait. I’m wearing sunglasses aren’t I? Man I’m an idiot.”
Breaks off a piece of water bottle cap with his teeth.
“I wonder if plastic tastes good. Oh, I think it’s time to turn now. I’ll just go and see if anyone else follows. I’m good at being a leader. I was a boy scout once! Ahh, I remember the cookies. Or was that the girl scouts?”
Turns into oncoming traffic right in front of a cop car.
“Shit! Shit! I didn’t know! I didn’t see! Oh man, what if I get caught?! I can’t pay the ticket! I’ll just play it cool. I’ll be cool and tell them everything was a mistake. Just be honest, and don’t mention the boy scouts.”
Hears sirens going as the cop pulls him over. Swerves over onto the shoulder and turns off the engine.
“This is ok. I’ll just… I’ll just— Did I get gas today? I wonder if I got gas. Probably not. Gas is expensive. Not as bad as steak, though. Does Walmart have steak? I bet it’s not real. I bet it’s fake cow meat that they painted. I’d probably still buy it though. As long as it doesn’t have that stupid smiley face on it. But then, if I was really hungry—”
“Sir, you just ran a red light and cut off three lanes of oncoming traffic. Any particular reason?”
“Don’t tell him about the boy scouts. Forget the boy scouts. Say you needed gas and couldn’t see the light. He’ll like that.”
“Well, officer, I was on my way to get steak, and I couldn’t see the light very well and thought I should just try to head out into traffic when it felt right.”
Officer nods, taking a deep breath.
“Right, well, I don’t quite know what steak has to do with this, but the fact is it’s against the law to run a red light – steak or no steak. And it’s not really up to you to decided when to turn.”
“Yes, officer, I understand. I’ll be sure not to turn randomly from now on.”
“Good. And uh, make sure you get those sunglasses checked.”
“Yes sir, officer.”
Officer waves him off.
“Whew. Thank God.”
“Now I really want cookies. But I don’t what kind. The smiley faced guy kind of looks like a cookie. Maybe I’ll go to Walmart. I think I went there when I was a boy scout. Mmmm cookies. Steak-flavored cookies! That would be even better!!”
Honking and yelling.
“What?!?! What is everybody so— Oh. The light is green. I should go now.”