Google Something Clever 2.0: The Politeness Police

Aug 20, 2013

The Politeness Police

Do you like teaching people lessons? When someone's riding your ass on the highway, do you slow down to punish them? I do. Right now, I'm sure half of you are chuckling, and the other half will now hate me forever. That's cool. I get it.

During a recent trip to the supermarket, I returned to the parking lot to find a woman leaving her empty shopping cart between our cars. Not so much in the cart corral, which was no more than twenty feet away.

I hate people like that.

Does this woman not realize that some poor kid (or worse, some poor adult) has to walk around in the scorching hot sun, collecting those carts? That it's her responsibility, as a resident of Planet Earth, to clean up after herself, whether she's at home or not?

My son and I had to stand behind the car and wait for her, because she was parking the cart between her passenger side and my driver's side. Once she got out of our way, my son asked why we had to wait. I loudly replied, "Because that woman was abandoning her cart in the middle of the parking lot."

I decided to punish her.

She's in a rush, is she? Well, she's not getting out of here that fast. I was going to delay her exit so long, she'd realize that she may as well have taken those precious thirty seconds to return her cart, like a good citizen.

That'll show her.

My son's car seat is on the driver's side, next to the offender's car. I opened his door all the way, and made sure to stick my butt out for good measure, taking my sweet time buckling him in. Then I opened my door all the way, and left it open while I slowly walked around the back of the car to load my bags.

I was feeling pretty good about all the minutes I'd wasted, until I got to that last bag. The one with a dozen organic, free-range, antibiotic-free, vegetarian-fed eggs. It slipped. Three eggs broke on the pavement, and I had to scoop them back into my reusable shopping bag and load it into my car.

Shit. Maybe she didn't see.

I strolled back around to my open door. I sat down, put on my seat belt, started the car, and finally closed the door. Then I turned, eagerly anticipating her "God damn you for making me wait" face.

That's when I saw that she'd been on her phone the whole time. She had no intention of leaving just yet, and I'd gone through all of that for nothing.

Okay, so maybe I shouldn't be in charge of righting all the wrongs in the world, handing out punishments to teach people to behave. It clearly didn't work out that time. But if everyone could stop being such jerks, it sure would make it a lot easier on me. Because organic eggs are expensive, yo.

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.