Saturday, March 8, 2014

People Watching At The Jiffy Lube

In the same way I automatically correct people's grammar inside my head because I'm an English teacher, I also people watch -- because I'm a writer.  Today's trip to the local Jiffy Lube for an oil change provided me with some good character fodder.
First of all, in spite of the fact that there were some dozen drivers there, I was the only woman (besides the two working in the shop, that is).  Apparently, Saturday afternoon car issues are a mostly male thing.  (Come to think of it, most times I'm in Jiffy Lube, it's men who are the other customers.  I wonder why.  It's not like one needs any car knowledge to go to Jiffy Lube, so we can't even apply the usual gender stereotyping here.)
As I have a nasty case of bronchitis and a sinus infection, I took care to sit as far from the room's other occupants as possible, but it wasn't all that far, as the room was fairly small.
First off, there was the guy with the dog.
Now, it was not a guide dog, so we can make some assumptions about the selfishness of this man.  After all, a dog does not enjoy Jiffy Lube, with lots of strangers, lots of cars, and lots of commotion.  Also, it was a nice, sunny day outside, and the man could've easily taken the dog out to walk about on the grass.  But, no, he sat with the uptight mongrel on his lap, petting it over and over so that fur flew into the air.  I wanted to smack some manners into him, but I couldn't, so I coughed into my sleeve and tried to concentrate on grading papers.
Several people left, but Dog Guy remained, much to my annoyance.
Then Mr. Center of Attention arrived.
Now, I'm an extrovert, but I know when to back off.  No one appreciates someone who tries to draw everyone's attention to him in a public waiting area.
This man was 50-ish, wearing a fisherman's cap, and rather good-looking with silvery hair about his ears and dark eyes.  However, he clearly knew he was good-looking, and he wished to enforce his superiority on the world.
First, it was onto Dog Guy.
In a voice far too loud for the room, he began a conversation about the mongrel, his own yappy dogs and how they annoy his neighbors (Probably about as much as you do yourself, buddy), and how their annoying his neighbors was unimportant to him (I just bet your neighbors can tell).  This caused Dog Guy to preen over the attention and to pet the mutt more vigorously, which, in turn caused me to cough from the increased amount of dog hair flying in the little room.
Then Dog Guy was called into the shop area (yea!) to pay and leave, so it was just Mr. Center of Attention with me now -- and the stupid TV show going on about two idiots trespassing and hunting alligators for some reality show.
About 2 seconds after Dog Guy's departure, as I still sat green-penning kids' essays and wondering how it is that so many of the kids just can't seem to follow a model, suddenly Mr. CoA bursts out with a fake laugh and a loud comment about the show.
Dude, you are desperate, I thought.  But I didn't look up.  The man was not flirting -- as he'd gone on and on about his wife to Dog Guy -- he wanted my attention only to feed his ego, not to flatter mine.
I thought he'd calm down, but, apparently miffed that I ignored him, he got up and went into the shop area, leaned on a railing, and yakked at the mechanics for about 10 minutes.
Mr. CoA's car was finished long before mine was, although he arrived later than I did.  I understood, however.  The Jiffy Lube crew just wanted him out of there.
In retrospect, I wonder how the man is married.  How could his wife tolerate that all the time?

Somewhere, I will work these two into a plot; I just know it.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hilarious Mis-Heard/Misspelled Metaphor

Saw this on Twitter last night.

Experts Say Utah In Mists Of Long Drought

Um, no.
Droughts don't have mists.  The lack of moisture would prevent that.
We're in the midst of a drought, not the mists.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Voting With The Wallet

I was buying some scrapbook paper at a Michael's craft store last night, when I overheard an interesting conversation.
Woman #1: I think these are cheaper at Hobby Lobby.
Woman #2 [nods to man near her]: We don't shop there anymore, and this price is all right.
Woman #1: What's wrong with Hobby Lobby?
Man [moves nearer to woman #1]: They're anti-gay.
Woman #1: Oh.  Good thing we have this place and JoAnn's [a craft and fabric store] then!

I was impressed to hear this.
I checked out their claims, and it's not just gays where Hobby Lobby has issues; apparently, they want to claim they have a right to deny health insurance coverage to women who want birth control as well.
Swell.  Anti-gay and anti-women.
I'll never shop there either.  My wallet will give my opinion of their hatred.

There are already a few other places I won't shop -- or won't shop anymore.

Chik-a-Fila.  After their huge, free sandwich, gay-hating campaign, you couldn't drag me into one of their restaurants.  Sick and wrong.
But if I'm straight, why do I care?  I care because when people use religion as a cover for bigotry, I find it nauseating. And I'm not about to eat when I'm ready to barf.  I used to shop at this website all the time -- until I found out that the owner donated a couple of million dollars to undermine public education in Utah and try to privatize it.  Now I tell everyone I know to avoid the site.
Every time you make a purchase there, you help to fund the downfall of free, public education.  Don't do it.

Jolley's Corner Pharmacy.  This is a small pharmacy in Salt Lake, but the owner came out in the newspaper a few years ago, claiming (erroneously) that Plan B contraception was the same as an abortion.  He refuses to sell it.  I, therefore, remind people that this store is anti-women's rights, and I refuse to shop there.
Not that I've ever had a need for Plan B, mind you.  It's the whole fact that this man thinks he has the right to restrict women's access to good health and to control over their own lives -- all based on a completely wrong assumption about a drug.

That's my list.
What about you?  Where do you vote with your wallet?  Do you buy local?  Do you avoid companies that exploit children?  Do you boycott homophobes or misogynists like I do?  Where will you NOT shop/eat?