It has come to my attention that some of you do not know how or when to get out of my way.
This isn’t rocket science. It’s not even the fake‐ass Da Vinci Code. It’s common sense and basic human decency.
I’m going to point fingers and name names because clear and unequivocal communication is key if you’re to understand the situation and move forward. Or at least step to one side.
Tall Guy with Big Hair at the Concert: I don’t begrudge you for being tall. I don’t even begrudge your silly hair. (Trust me, I’m in no position to mock anyone for silly hair.) But if putting your goddamn white‐boy dreadlocks in a samurai topknot destroys your equilibrium, maybe it’s time to get a haircut. Or at least get out of my way so you can hop and sway like a drunk fighting to hold in three gallons of urine without forcing me to do it too. I came to see the show, not to dance the flamenco with the back of your goddamn skull.
Overly Cautious Driver: Nice long stretch of road we’re on. It’s what you might call a major artery. That’s why there aren’t stop signs at every intersection; it’s understood that the people on those side streets will need to wait for an opening before they merge with the flow of traffic. Sucks to be them. But not us! We can just put the pedal to the metal and keep on truckin’. So why do you come to a. full. stop. every. single. block. WHEN THERE ARE NO STOP SIGNS? This is the 21st century. Roads intersect now. You’re going to have to get used to it. If you can’t do that, get out of my way or let someone else drive.
OCD Purse Lady at the 7–11: You bought your cigarettes and Lotto tickets. Your transaction ended a while ago. The cashier is waiting for me to put my stuff on the counter so he can ring it up. But I can’t, because you’re still standing there, arranging the contents of your purse just so. You can’t just slap everything into your pocketbook and deal with it later, on your own time, when you’re not in my way. No, that would be too considerate. You need to put that change in the coin pocket on the outside of the wallet right now, except for the two pennies with gunk on them, those go in the separate coin purse for dirty coins that lives somewhere at the bottom of the bag, and the Lotto tickets need to go in the inside pocket on the other side of the wallet with the cancelled checks and the receipts from the last six years of gas station visits, and then the wallet goes inside the purse next to the hairbrush and hand sanitizer and hair gel and moisturizing lotion, while the cigarettes need to be in the outside pocket of the purse underneath the newspaper but above the keys and the lipstick and the maxi‐pads and the sunglasses, and the iPhone goes on top of all that, and there’s really no way of fitting it all in there properly without taking it all out and reloading the bag one item at a time FUCK YOU FUCK YOU GET OUT OF MY WAY. Go deal with your pack rat issues anywhere else. NB: Lest anyone think I am unfairly castigating one gender here — guys do this too, and it’s just as annoying. But the ubiquitous purse acts as an enabler in a way that most men’s wallets cannot.
The Consumer Patriarch: I don’t mind that you brought your wife and all six of your kids and your corpulent in‐laws and their matching Rascal scooters to the store with you. But when you’re standing statue‐still in front of the one exit door with the whole herd of them milling slowly around you like dazed goldfish, yawning and chatting and checking your goddamn email on your goddamn cell phones as you wait for the one straggler in your party, I BEGIN TO MIND VERY FUCKING MUCH. I also mind when you pull this shit in front of the bathroom, or the escalator, or the fire escape. What the fuck is wrong with you people that you find the one choke point in the whole goddamn place and form a human blockade? Well, perhaps “human” is a stretch. More like lowing cattle just begging to be culled.
Neighbors Catching Up in the Grocery Store: I thought this was the Cereal aisle, not the Tableau‐Vivant-of‐Two‐Assholes‐Talking‐About‐Their‐Tedious‐Lives aisle. If the store isn’t paying you morons to set up random shopping cart roadblocks so other customers have to endure the agonizing tales of your son’s Little League team, and the transmission on the Ford going out again, and you thought Maurice was gonna be different but he’s just like all the rest, then get out of my way. I have my own problems. Whatever bullshit you’re dealing with right now is meaningless compared to my household’s utter lack of Puffed Wheat. Yeah, that’s right. All the trials and tribulations in your world don’t matter as much as a three‐dollar box of Quisp does in mine. Why can’t you head over to the liquor aisle and self‐medicate like everybody else?
He Who Gradually Expands To Fill The Entire Warehouse: There you are in the warehouse club, buying socks and crab legs and snow tires in bulk. Never know when you’re going to need a 5‐gallon tub of pencil erasers, right? You’re staring at a four‐pack of toasters — at last, your family can make toast in the kitchen, both bathrooms, and your garage simultaneously! Keeping up with the Joneses doesn’t get any easier! There’s a pallet of them on the ground in front of you. Another pallet of them on the shelf above. And on the shelf above that, pallets of identical boxes stacked to the rafters. And you stand there in the middle of the aisle, one hand pushing your extra‐large shopping cart just far enough to block the whole aisle for the duration of your extended stay. Did I mention you are staring at pallets of the same item as though you are using X‐ray vision to figure out which one has the Golden Ticket inside? When in reality they are all exactly alike, and you should just grab one, put it in your cart, and get the goddamn shitting fuck out of the fucking way for fuck’s sake you imbecile. It’s a good thing they only stock one model of toaster or we’d be here all week.
This post is titled “Get Out of My Way” and if I could summarize it in a single sentence, that sentence would be: GET OUT OF MY WAY.
At some point I’m going to stop being so nice about it.