The funny disease.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Advanced Communication Technology and the Proliferation of Stupid

Yesterday I’m in Kohl’s bra shopping. Bra shopping is more fun than shearing a herd of crazed Alpacas. That’s why I went in the morning, when I though the store would be relatively deserted and quiet. It was. Until about fifteen minutes in. Enter a woman on her phone with two small children in tow.

The children are arguing loudly about whether one of them is a poopybutt. The woman is calling her friend, and browsing lingerie. The squalls and squeals build. The mother threatens their visit to the toy section. This has little or no effect. The argument devolves into pinching and hair pulling, as their mother is now talking to their father, who apparently didn’t wasn’t reimbursed for moving expenses.

Being able to pay off your credit card debt is important, but the children didn’t want toys or emotional scars from sibling domestic violence. They wanted their mother’s attention. Or a portable DVD player. For god’s sake lady, just plop them down with Blue’s Clues, Lion King, or the new foreign import Baby Brainwashing Pacifier Good Time Dance Party.

It's imperative for our country to require every 3 and 4 year old child to attend preschool. The children are the future. Do you really want small children, under the care of neglectful parents, annoying mentally unstable bra shoppers?

We also need harsh punishment for doctor visits during school hours. The other day I walk into my dentist’s office about ten minutes early for my appointment. There’s a man leaning over the counter as if completely exhausted by the strain of his tiresome day, and it’s not even 9am. The reasons for his fatigue are slouching, whining and squirming. Impatient, when really they should be enjoying their freedom from state sponsored indoctrination. They are teenagers. And the man I can only assume is their dad tells them to sit, stay! The male, appearing to be about 15 complies. A whoosh of air deflates the overstuffed leather chair in the waiting room. He looks pretty content to be at a state of rest. His sister, appearing to be about 13, likewise flops onto a chair.

But then she’s sitting up. Asking about something pressing and urgent. “Dad, can we go now?” Then she’s standing. Doing a little impatient teenager dance. Her dad is trying to have a “grown up” conversation. He waves a hand at her, an instruction to go back from whence she came and be quiet. He is setting up appointments with the receptionist.

I sign the sign-in sheet and hear a greeting. I nod, but don’t look up. I’m trying to remember which Dentist I have an appointment with, and watching the antsy pants dance out of the corner of my eye. I sit on the other leather couch. Pull out my PDA. And pretend to play solitaire.

The dad warns the girl again to sit down again. She inches back towards the sofa, but remains standing. And then a terrible crunchy clattery noise, the sound of heavy, expensive item wrapped in plastic hitting tile flooring interrupts the drone of “grown up” conversation. The man winces. He does not have to look to know that his daughter has dropped her Motorola RAZR for the umpteenth time. “Whoops!” The young woman flinches as if preparing for a fatherly blow to the head. She picks up the phone and slinks back to the leather couch.

It was not long after that the man and his draining children leave. I do enjoy a good show, but now I soak up the quiet of low-level office rumble and dental office rock. My appointment is at 9, but I’m not too worried when the time is five after, and I haven’t been called back. The sound of the receptionist and the scheduler making confirmation phone calls fills the waiting room.

Then I hear, in full phone voice, “Hi, Sarah? This is Cindy from Dr. Warner’s office calling to remind you about your 9am appointment. I’m sure that you’re on your way. Good bye.” I realize that Cindy has called me, at home. When I am obviously sitting in the dentist’s office. I walk up to the counter. Cindy has risen also and this time she notices my presence in the room. “Oh, you’re here.”

That’s what I get for using the quiet mode for my game of solitaire. And what I deserve for not bringing a pair of surly, bored teenagers with no respect for delicate electronics with me.

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Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Arizona isn't known as the stupidest state in the Union for nothing!

5/19/2007 11:27 AM

Blogger Timmy said...

Maybe so, Phos, but at least people in y'all's state actually go to the dentist.

5/22/2007 10:21 AM


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