Sunday Life - here it is !
Sunday, 08-Mar-98 02:51:31
Grenzell scanned in and sent me Sunday Life and I typed it up, so here it is!
The Big Small Issues.
Paul McDermott asks the question: "Whoís a petty boy, then?"
I believe the most trivial concerns are worth voicing- and worth voicing loudly. Where others recall moments of splendour in their lives, I focus entirely on insignificant events. Insignificant events that have left indelible emotional scars on me. It is not that I have never experienced great events, I just canít remember them with any clarity. Momentous occasions have a hazy dream-like quality, while the trifling ones have the power and presence of a hard-hitting documentary. Even world events pale into insignificance beside day-to-day misdemeanours.
In the past few weeks, I have become obsessed by the petty nature of my nature - which in itself is fairly petty. I was aware of this aspect of my personality, but recently it has been brought to my attention over and over again. Friends and relatives have been appalled by my need to express my annoyance with anyone and anything.
My ability to object, for five hours straight, about being served a tepid cup of tea disgusted them. My complaints about lazy staff at leading retail outlets or my rage concerning someone who "understood my silence" infuriated them.
From my point of view, these events were valid topics for discussion. But my acquaintances claimed I laboured the point, embellished or extrapolated the truth, and had the effrontery to suggest I was repeating myself. These friends listed various social comprehensive mental notes about who said what.
I remember the day John Lennon was shot, not because Lennon was shot, but because a woman pushed in front me at a bakery and took the last sausage roll.
When Mendela was released I realised the song "Free Nelson Mandela" would lose much of its anthemic qualities. If it were played it wouldnít prompt the same feelings. I heard the band had to drop it from their live set and I thought that was unfair because the song had another year in it even if Nelson didnít. Some people only ever think of themselves.
When Princess Diana died I had to pay late fees for overdue videos. The thing was, I didnít watch them because of Di. It wasnít my fault, how could you not watch a world-altering event like that? I sat glued to the TV. Seven days later , when I left the couch in tears and took the videos back they charged me $14. All I could say was, "how can you live with yourselves? The Princess is dead".
When I told my friends, they were stunned that the loss of a few dollars meant more to me than the loss of the Princess. They werenít concerned with my missing money or Diana, they were troubled by my attitude. They displayed an unhealthy interest in the shallowness of my character.
And yet, in recording and judging my pettiness they were as small-minded as I. They were shocked by this allegation but accepted it. They forgave my temperament, telling me it was an all-too human failing.
Then I proved they were right about my pettiness by refusing to accept their apology, and they proved I was right by deciding never to speak to me again. It worked out well for everyone involved and no one had to compromise their nature.
I ordered a pot of Irish breakfast tea. I re-ordered twice. I received a cold Early Grey with the tide out. It was in a mug, not a pot, not a cup - but a mug. I then paid $4 for the privilege and was questioned as to why I didnít leave a tip.
Ok, tell me, is this unreasonable? Five customers waiting for service: of the three staff members, two are engaged in a conversation about "Troy" - what an "unqualified spunk" he is - while the senior staff member is organising her "big birthday bash". I mean, itís not like anyone else has a life to get back to. Thatís how I want to spend 20 minutes every Saturday morning.
It is one of lifeís mysteries how total strangers can be so perceptive on a first meeting. How intuitive to realise I was frowning because I was sad, not merely bored out of my skull. How enlightened to continue chatting to me about the wonders of life, when all I wanted to do was rip off their scalp.
How do they get away with charging daily fees on the weekly films? Who else would ever borrow "The Omega Man" and/or "Soylent Green" ? No one, thatís why these films are one dollar a week. But you bring them back seven days late and youíre up for seven dollars a video - 14 bucks. Itís not like anyone else would ever want to see those films.
Hope you enjoyed it,
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