Has this ever happened to you? You’re in line at the supermarket when some thoughtless clown in front of you realizes she has bitten off more than she can pay for. Instead of settling her debt by handing back the 12-pack of beer or the honey-cured ham, she starts nickel-and-diming the cashier, one small item at a time.
How about this pack of gum?” the clown says.
“OK, but you’re still $6 short,” the cashier replies.
The shopper keeps bartering, turning in a can of tuna and lowering her bill by a dollar. This goes on and on as shoppers behind you grumble that maybe you are the holdup and you start to feel guilty even though you are not.
You glance down at the medicinal half-gallon of ice cream melting in your hands, its body-healing calories leaking into the mechanism of the conveyor belt, and your eyes start to tear up. All you wanted was to go home and self-medicate. You glare at the shopper ahead with sin in your heart.
Or maybe a lane up ahead of you in traffic is blocked. You signal and slide over to the other lane behind many other cars in the same predicament.
As you creep forward – stop and go, stop and go – clowns in cars from way behind you do not wait their turn. No, they zip up the emptied lane and pass you, then signal to pull into traffic at the front of the line. And the cars up front let them in.
Clowns and clown enablers go along their merry way while you, who did the right and legal thing, sit motionless.
The sin in your heart builds. I know it does in mine. I accommodate drivers who truly need my help, but not these thoughtless people who can’t wait their turn. I am not proud of it, but I have little patience for them.
I come by my sinful ways naturally. My mother always said I inherited my father’s impatience and bony ankles. The ankles don’t cause me grief – I keep them hidden – but my impatience shows itself like a bad case of dandruff. I try to confine it to the clowns who break the rules at your and my expense.
For example, let’s say you and I have been in the doctor’s waiting room all morning, fulfilling our end of the doctor-patient bargain by showing up on time, filling out the regulation-size-and-weight forms, and tolerating the poor choice of news station on the waiting-room television by thumbing through the useless magazines about sailing boats.
We notice shiny young drug-company representatives who sashay in, pulling their sample cases.
They get ushered right in to the back rooms. We play nice because we know the doctor might give us some of those free samples, but we still secretly hope the reps get an infection. We have jobs, too; we just can’t get to them.
Let me know whether you identify with my predicaments. Surely I’m not the only person living in sin.
Reach Glynn Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.