Friday, March 17, 2017

The Vultures are coming! The Vultures are coming!

   My favorite movie “Young Frankenstein” has a part where the brain used for the monster was described as coming from “Abby Someone, Abby Normal”. I’m pretty sure there was more than one of those brains and I got the other one. My particular model, for some reason, continues to lock onto some negative experiences like a pit bull and refuses to get go of them despite my best efforts.
   I have plenty of issues, among them is a pretty bad book addiction. This goes back to my childhood when my local librarians had to order books for me from the central branch because I’d read most of what they had. I bought books for myself at yard sales and flea markets. When my daughter was born, so was another excuse to buy more books. (The pisser is that I now don’t get much time to read my own books unless you count the parenting ones and even then they rarely get finished. )
   The first time I found out about a library book sale, you’d think I entered a crack house. There are very few things I will voluntarily shovel my sorry butt out of bed for but this is definitely one of them. We have been patrons of the library as a family and have no plans to stop any time soon. (If you haven’t been to your local library btw, you really are missing out.) These sales start at 9 am but I will happily stand outside for 40 minutes to wait until they open and make a beeline for the children’s books to thoroughly enjoy the thrill of the hunt. 
   My local friends of the library sponsors these sales a few times of year and you cannot beat their prices. They have a kids section, cds, dvds, audio books and they are reasonably organized. The one thing they have no control over is the behavior of their clientele. I’ve been coming to the sales for years and it seems like every year people become increasingly rude. You may have seen stories on the news about people losing their minds on Black Friday, stampeding and shoving each other for a deal. This is the book nerd version of that.
  What’s good about this version, at least, is that the lunatics are so far, in my experience, limited to a few screwballs. I’d go so far as to venture that a majority of the rest of us would agree with me, that the screwballs in question are of the same ilk. I am referring to the book dealers. 
  It’s unfortunate that there are no laws prohibiting these parasites from infecting an otherwise pleasant experience. These creatures show up with their scanners, and their rude behavior and the rest of us are expected to tolerate it. What’s even more unfortunate is that I’ve seen too many people do just that, tolerate it. I mentioned that I will voluntarily shovel my butt out of bed for this. Recently, I did get up early to get in line to wait. While the parasites were the same, the wait was different.
  When I arrived this particular morning, it was forty minutes before the opening. In front of me was a lovely woman waiting behind a row of bins on the ground. She was friendly and we chatted. She looked at the junk on the ground in front of her and told me she felt like it was cheating since the owner was nowhere to be seen. She was, in fact, the only person there when I arrived. A short time later, we were joined by an amiable man who also felt that leaving things on the ground does not constitute waiting in line. Mr. A invited us to join him in front of the offending trip hazards and rebels that we were, we agreed.
   I’m reminded of an old movie where a bunch of people throw open their windows and yell “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!!” Words fail to describe how sick I am of book dealers at library book sales.
   Roughly 20 minutes later, we were joined by the irate owner of the offending ground cover. “I have a time stamp picture on my phone that I was here two hours ago!”, it fumed. “Do you know how many book sales I go to?” (Nice to know he’s rude everywhere??) It was wearing a blue jacket and earbuds. I’m guessing it’s easier to ignore the daggers being thrown at your back that way. It’s wife/mother (I didn’t get a good look) proceeded to lie to the crowd and accuse the three of us of cutting in line and then called us names. (I’m guessing asking if she left a note for the flying monkeys would have made things worse.) 
   Our amiable friend pointed out that we would all be there at roughly the same time once the doors opened anyway. He also noted that people should be waiting, not things. I made no bones about the fact that his majesty should have been waiting out in the weather like the rest of us. I also noted that we all knew about book dealers who pick these books up for dirt and then mark them up a ridiculous percentage. They got remarkably quiet after that. Once the doors opened, Mr. Iratepants angled around the woman in front of me and practically ran in. “Make sure you knock her over!” I yelled. (I know, my frustration really got the better of me, but in my defense I didn’t throw a rock at his head.)
   Now, because I mentioned in the beginning, I have an abnormal brain, this experience bugged me for days afterward. Is it because I was raised not to ‘rock the boat’? It can take a lifetime to cut off those shackles. Did a part of me feel like I did something wrong? Not really. I know this because the memory of it makes me angry not sad or guilty. The catholic radar never takes a day off. Standing up to bullies and not putting up with other people’s rudeness is what makes people understand their behavior is not acceptable, isn’t it?
   After all that fuss, I did my usual shopping and didn’t really find that much. I can only hope the parasite fared no better. This is one of those things that make me wonder where karma is hiding. Mr. Amiable was right, we all got in roughly the same time so why care? I can only assume it’s the principal of the thing. So I’ll ask you, dear reader. How do you handle it when someone is rude? Do you just put up with it?