Tales from the time dilation field

Yesterday I was simply too tired to blog. Ask me why. Go on. I dare you. No? Well, I'll tell you anyway.

Had to enter the time dilation field again. You know - the post office. Time to mail some Easter gifts. Easter celebrates the risen Christ, but standing in line at the P.O. is enough to make you lose your religion. No wonder the phrase "going postal" was created.

Monday in the time dilation field was bad. Tuesday was worse. I think I lost a year of my life in there. Now, I usually take a book to read if I have to mail something that can be posted via the automated machine. Yes, that's how long it can take. So I had a book. BUT, how can you concentrate on the written word when you're in a line of bozos who think nothing of conversing in loud annoying voices about the most intimate matters on their fracking cell phones.

Now, I've been using a cell phone since the darn things were reasonably affordable to the general population. My first one was one of those clunky Motorola's that looked as if Delta Force should be calling in an air strike with it. I also am not an old biddy irritated with the techno world.

I am however getting to the point that I want to volunteer to be a citizen patrol and ticket every bozo driving thirty-five on the freeway because he's having a phone conversation. Or the woman yakking away on her cell and weaving over the white line in the asphalt while her kids are bouncing off the walls of her minivan. Or the guy in front of you who slams on his brakes in the middle of the intersection because his phone rang and he can't get it out of his pants pocket.

I'll vote for the first presidential candidate who bans cell phone conversations in government buildings and businesses. Our pharmacy has a sign that says they won't wait on you until you finish your cell conversation. I've stood behind people at the pharmacvy counter who won't hang up the phone so they can be waited on.

So Obama or McCain, whichever comes up with that idea, you have my vote.

Back to the time dilation field.

The woman in front was discussing the check she was standing in line to mail. I really didn't want to know about her problems in sending the check, including she hadn't addressed the envelope and didn't know the address and didn't have the address with her because her cell phone couldn't also serve as a PDA. Finally, after she had cell conversations with three different people, she found the address.

Two boys, about eight=years-old and six, raced around the counter in the center of the lobby. We were all lined up against this counter so they did laps worthy of Le Mans. While making suitable sound effects and shouting.

The man behind me was chewing out a subordinate at work, telling the poor schnook that he was "a team leader now so he'd better start acting like it or he wouldn't be one for long." This went on for about ten minutes. Talk about bosses who are jerks! This guy qualified in every respect.

The line grew and grew behind me.

Then the woman in front started trying to get a friend to meet her for drinks when she finished at the post office. Lord knows, by then, I needed a drink. I started to volunteer my company, but after two calls, she found a sucker.

Another woman farther back in line was chewing out someone in Spanish on her phone. I didn't know what she was talking about, but she was furious.

Like most writers, I am cursed with that voyeuristic tendency to characterization. You know, you listen to snippets of conversation, marveling at the way people act and react and the things they say to other people. Most times, I find enough to be interested in the human animal that I don't get irritated at their crassness.

You want to create a good villain or victim, go stand in line at the P.O.

Yesterday though, I was tired. I was in a hurry. A pulse began pounding in my left temple. After the future Nascar boys made their 137th lap, I was close to the breaking point. I closed my book and stood there, trying to suppress the urge to tell these people to shut the frack up and tell that mother to control her kids.

Fortunately, I succeeded. If I'd lost control, they might have booted me out the door, and I'd have lost my place in line.

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