I don’t know why the members of the American society continue to amaze me but they do. I’m not talking about a good type of amazement; I’m referring to various incidents that leave me shaking my head. I often wonder if I expect too much people or if I continue to live in some sort of Pleasantville fantasy-world. In the past 36 hours I have encountered the following:

1. After the “Yes, We Have No Donuts” incident (as outlined in the previous entry), we headed over to the closest convenience store to see if they had any cookies to satisfy our craving for something sweet. We were in luck, there were two types of individually wrapped, moderately appealing cookies. Earl and I snatched one of each up and I took them to the register. The cashier said nothing. She scanned each cookie and then stared at me. Apparently it is now up to the American consumer to look at the cash register display to know how much to pay the cashier. Thank goodness for technology else we’d be relying on the good ol’ reliable ESP. I gave her a 20. If I was standing in my cherished Ireland, the cashier would then say “Thank you” for giving her money, but the permed-one (as I had nicknamed this cashier in my head) snatched the money and threw a lesser amount in my direction. It was up to me to pick the cookies off the counter and walk out. Never mind asking for a sack. I dealt with it, but I couldn’t keep my mouth shut after all because I said, “This is where you say thank you.” Then I left.

2. I worked the early shift this morning. I’m loving being back at work. I’m loving the crew I work with, I love the company I work for and I love playing with all sorts of technology. I’m not a morning person but I do my best to deal. The phone rings. I answer, thanking the caller for calling and saying “This is J.P., can I help you?” “Are you having a problem?” was the response. I was REALLY tempted to say, “Yes, I feel gassy today” but instead I said, “Not that I’m aware of, are you having an issue?” This is when the caller said, “The internet is down and it’s usually you’re fault.” Now, let’s be real. The “internet” wasn’t down as if it was there would be worldwide mass chaos. After some well-worded questions on my behalf, “May I ask who’s calling?” “What sort of trouble are you having?”, I discovered that the caller wasn’t even a customer of the company I work for; she had just randomly picked a number in the telephone book and called it. “You provide the internet, fix it!” She hung up on me when I told her I couldn’t help her because I had absolutely no control over her little piece of the internet.

3. At the end of my lunch hour I headed back to work along the freeway that usually ends up on my video blog entries. As I approached the downtown interchange, the car in front of me slammed on her brakes in the middle of the freeway at the interchange before my exit. She stopped TO LET THE CAR ENTERING THE FREEWAY ON IN FRONT OF HER. There are no traffic jams in this area; cars and trucks are moving around 70 MPH and she stopped in the middle of the freeway. A quick-reflexed jaunt onto the shoulder and my Acura remained intact. After the car pulled off the ramp and in front of her, she was on her away, undoubtedly looking to create more mayhem elsewhere.

Earl and I were having a conversation with my sister and brother-in-law last week about our feelings about the United States and her people. I’m not as much of a fan as I used to be. It’s one of the few points in life that Earl and I don’t agree on. My sister doesn’t agree with me either but my brother-in-law, the Canadian, agrees with me. Like many Americans I’m fed up with our government and all it’s shenanigans. I don’t know if it’s the current administration setting an example or what but it seems like people are becoming downright rude or stupid or both. I’m not looking for a Mary Poppins existence, I’m hoping for just some basic civility. I try to live my life being the best person I can be. I set a high standard for myself that I strive to achieve and I guess it’s dumb of me to assume that others would do the same. ‘Mediocrity’ is the new level deserving of a standing ovation.

And that is why I dream of living elsewhere.