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Monday, May 31, 2010

The reality barometer

 Some of my blogs have a twist that life is negatively, albeit nothing deadly, influenced by others actions. I am mostly upbeat and jovial about the subject matter for the sake of entertainment. Being today is a holiday; I could have easily done what many journalists do and re-run a previous blog. I choose not to…
     Some days I contemplate the brevity of life. I spend too much time contemplating, whereas I should be living. The mortal span of our existence is short compared to say the universe, but very long compared to a TSE-TSE fly. However, some days while I am plowing the thoughts in my field of dreams, I dwell far too much on the negative. Some days I think we should all be Soylent Green….

BTW  in case you did not catch that...Soylent Green is People…
     Sometimes when the days are darkest there are things that happen that make the bad seem not so bad, and the world seems to be less out of control than it was just seconds before. I call this the reality barometer. I should really check it more frequently. I think my phone has an app for this…oh wait I have AT&T, so it really does not matter, app or not, it will only work occasionally, so I guess I can just go back to the feeling I get from the nylon implant around my left eye. (Seriously, detached retina, many years ago, so they banded it and I can still see)
     Most days I think customer service is a script, and simple acts of kindness are dinoesque…but that is why there is a reality barometer. Exceptional acts and small acts of kindness set it off…
     Today, as I was in the process of celebrating a Monday holiday, I decided to go to the store. It was time to empty my world of returnable bottles and cans. Holiday trips to the store are usually a horrendous, haphazard array of bad events. I actually had some surprising positive experiences. I thought the reality barometer was simply the humidity. Sometimes I ignore the reality barometer, maybe because of the voices and all…
     The first thing that happened that was surprising was when I pulled off the street into the confusion of the Breton Village parking lot, or as I usually think of it, the demolition derby. I usually have to be on double Spidey sense to avoid a catastrophic collision with many of the non-driving types of operators in the parking lot. You know how it is, the motto of the parking lot, which by the way was stolen by Outback Restaurants, “No Rules, Just Right.” Someone actually yielded the right of way, instead of firing a shot across my bow. (thank god i had my trusty picture phone.... and I can dazzle you with my photgenic, er i mean photgraphic abilities....)

    The next thing that happened was I returned my change at the Coinstar machine. It cost me a couple bucks, but seriously, counting all that change? That would seriously encroach on my nap time. I finished and headed to the bottle return, where it seemed that everyone in the western hemisphere had decided to return the bottles and cans from the party weekend.
     As I was contemplating the next three hours of my life waiting for a machine to open up a young girl asked me if I was just at the Coinstar machine. I replied that I was. She then holds up a penny, and tells me I left it there. Wow, honesty for a penny? I could have swore I heard the *Twilight Zone* theme off in the distance. I pinched myself and said, “You can keep it, and if I had some more I would give it to you for being honest.” BTW, it was a Canadian penny, and I think due to the rate of exchange and all that it is worth slightly more than a penny, or maybe slightly less, but whose counting? I should not ignore the reality barometer.
     Then the guy that had three carts (no lie) filled with bottles, all neatly stuffed into the 24 pack containers, said I could go ahead of him. As he had the rest of these and I only had a few. Seriously? Have I died and gone to heaven? I tapped the reality barometer a couple more times…”Is this thing on?” I muttered.
     As I wove thru the chaos that is the *afterthought* bottle return area in the Breton Village D&W, the guy on the only glass machine said, “Go ahead, I am waiting for my wife to finish the plastics, I can help her.” As I was returning all the glass I found one plastic bottle, I gave it to the guy and said, “It ain’t much but thanks…”
     When I went to get my cash from bottles and Coinstar, I went thru the self check lane. The self checkout watchdog came over and said, “you cannot just get refunds, or Coinstar here.” I was ready for the bad news. I paused. I waited. “wait for it…wait for it…"I thought. Then the cashier watchdog said, (wait for it) "Oh, but I can help you right over here.” Check your drawers, she said what? She could help me right over here… the reality barometer.
     The world is filled with stupid people, and some should be Soylent Green…Come to think of it what is REALLY in those gas station hot dogs?  Every now and then I glance at the reality barometer and see there is still a lot of good in the human race. There are still a lot of decent people, doing the right thing. I try to be one of them. We should all polish up the reality barometer and try to be one of them.
Just another day in paradise

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