Hello Danny, come and have some fruit cocktail with us

I’m not a huge horror movie fan or expert on the genre by any means, but I will confess that one of my favorite movies is Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film The Shining, based on the novel by Stephen King. I remember reading the book when I lived in the clotted realm of Los Angeles way back. The book freaked me out so much that for a while I had to leave a light on when I went to sleep. True story.

I’m not sure how many times I’ve watched the film, but it’s been a lot. Sometimes I just get a craving for something classic and freakish and weird and with downright good cinematography. From the eerie music that descends upon viewers during the opening credits to the finale where poor Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) succumbs to extremely severe frostbite in the maze, the film is a visual and auditory treat. For me, at least.

I watched it again a few days ago and there was a scene that struck me as odd and that I hadn’t particularly paid much attention to in the past. It’s the part in the film where Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duvall) is in the big creepy kitchen and she’s preparing a meal for her family while sucking on a cigarette and watching the news on a portable television. In this scene, she’s using a countertop crank opener on a huge can of fruit cocktail. I mean huge. It takes her two hands to cradle the thing, like a ten-pound baby, and once she has it open, she proceeds to pour the contents into a large serving bowl.

This is the part that got me scratching my head. I suddenly thought to myself: “How the hell are three people going to eat that much fruit cocktail?” (That being Jack, Wendy, and their little boy, Danny). I know there are a lot more menacing things going on at the Overlook Hotel at this point, but I was just kind of obsessed about all that fruit cocktail.

Then I started to wonder if Wendy was subconsciously considering the other occupants of the hotel that may or may not really be there. I mean, surely the creepy twin girls probably like fruit cocktail. Then there’s the girls’ father, the previous caretaker known as Delbert Grady. He surely seems like the fruit cocktail type. Then there’s also Lloyd the bartender. I bet he could put back some fruit cocktail while pouring a few drinks. And what about the decaying, cackling woman in room 237, Delbert Grady’s wife. By the looks of her as she came up out of that bathtub, she could probably use some fruit cocktail purely for the nutrients.

Interesting side note on the actor who plays Delbert Grady, Philip Stone. He played the part of Alex DeLarge’s father in another one of my favorite Stanley Kubrick films, A Clockwork Orange from 1971.

I told my wife about these concerns of mine and she just kind of looked at me and explained it all away by reminding me they were in a big hotel that was accustomed to feeding large amounts of people — so of course they are going to have mass quantities of things like fruit cocktail. Duh. She’s always right.

But in a film like The Shining, or in any Kubrick film for that matter, I am always looking for and trying to decipher the subtle details. Things like that intrigue me and keep my attention. I like films that do that rather than trying to show and explain everything to me like I’m dumb. I need a film to challenge my brain at the same time I want it to entertain and engage me, to keep the world at bay for a couple of hours.

I think if I was directing a remake of the film, which I guess has been done (with one of the guys from the old TV show Wings playing Jack Torrance. Really?) I think I watched it but it left no measurable or lasting impression on me, even though it was supposedly truer to the book. I’ll tell you what, though. I’d like to see a remake with Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role. Hell, yeah. Oh well.

Like I was saying, if I was directing the remake, I’d throw in a scene where young Danny comes to the table, sees the fruit cocktail, and then raises his one finger and in that creepy Tony voice says: “Danny doesn’t like fruit cocktail, Mrs. Torrance.”

Then maybe Wendy looks down at him and says in her meek, soothing, motherly voice, “Well, you’re going to have to learn to like it Doc, because this hotel sure does have a whole lot of cans of fruit cocktail. I’ve never seen so much fruit cocktail in my whole life.”

And then maybe Jack comes grumbling in, knocking metal things off counters and they scatter and make a whole lot of annoying racket. Then he sits down, wipes his crazy hair back and smiles really sinister like as he looks at the monstrous bowl. “Fruit cocktail again, Wendy!?”

“I thought you liked fruit cocktail, honey?” she whimpers.

He grits his teeth and shakes his head at her. “When have I ever liked fruit cocktail, Wendy!?”

“I, I, I just thought you did.”

He mocks her with a whiny voice, “I just thought you did… Well, I don’t and if you ever serve me fruit cocktail again, there’s going to be hell to pay!”

I kind of like that idea.


Willy Wanker and the Keto Bread Factory

As Wilford Brimley would say, I have DIE A BEE TUSS. And when you have DIE A BEE TUSS, you can’t eat anything that tastes good. No sweets, no pasta, no rice, no bread, no potatoes, no soda, no ice cream, no candy, no pizza, no hamburgers, no CEREAL!… And the list seems to go on and on toward the end of the universe.

When you have DIE A BEE TUSS, the best kind of diet is low-carb, high protein – just like Dr. Now tells his overweight patients on 600-Pound Life. “Hello. How you all doing? Where you coming from today?”

Eating right has been a struggle for me throughout my nearly 15-year battle with this disease. Is it really a disease, or just poor lifestyle choices? Either way, it sucks not being able to eat whatever you want without suffering deadly consequences.

I love sweets. I love desserts. I love all the things I’m not supposed to have. When I flip through a cookbook for diabetics, I’m just grossed out. Ugh! And it’s especially tough going into a grocery store to buy food. It seems nearly EVERYTHING is bad for you and the stuff that is good for you costs three times as much.

Well, today, I went into our crappy local grocery store with a focus on looking for diabetic-friendly foods. I read a lot of labels, and I think I made some good choices. But sometimes those good choices are not good at all.

If you look at the picture that accompanies this post, you will see a piece of bread with a giant hole in it. That’s from a loaf of keto-friendly bread that cost almost 6 damn dollars. When I first opened the package, I was like: “What the fuck?” It wasn’t just one or two pieces that had this ginormous hole in them, but literally half the entire loaf and then some.

I sent the picture to my wife who was at work, and I told her that this must be the way they reduce the carbs. Is it? Surely not. Did the guy who baked this particular batch have a bread fetish and stick something weird in that loaf that I don’t want to know about? Gross.

But I was so damn hungry, I made myself a summer sausage sandwich. Sausage is fine. No carbs.

Just so you know, keto-friendly bread pretty much sucks… and it’s expensive. This particular bread I ate had ZERO flavor. It was sort of dry, too, and it kind of smelled like wood paneling from the 1970s. Oh, and the giant hole. That, too. So, what will I do with it? I suppose since I paid so much for it, I’ll just suck it up and try to get through the loaf with the help of family members and a jar of peanut butter… Or maybe I can turn the pieces into some sort of sexually frustrated finger puppets. Yeah. Sexually frustrated finger puppets with DIE A BEE TUSS and they complain about keto-friendly bread all day in their weird little village where the government frowns upon any sort of joy.

Thanks for reading about my problems with DIE A BEE TUSS.


The Puppets of Kudzu (3)

Author’s Note: Mature Content. The following story contains language that some readers may find offensive. Skip this one if you don’t like that sort of thing.

“I don’t think I want to give you kudzu pie anymore. You’re horrible to people,” Franco angrily ranted.

“Oh, come on. You can’t come down on a guy for just doing his job. I don’t make up the rules. I got bills to pay just like everyone else,” the city man said.

Franco pondered that and then reconsidered. “Okay. I’m sorry. Would you like some lactose-free egg nog to go with that pie? There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of lactose-free egg nog.”

“Sure. That would be great. Thanks for considering my dietary needs.”

“No problem. I’m magical like that.”

 “Say, do you mind if I smoke? I could really use one right about now.”

“Nah, go ahead and suck on your fag all you want,” Franco told him.

“What did you just say?”

“Suck on your fag…”

“I know, I know. That is so gay, mister.”

“Jiminy Effin Cricket! What is it with everyone!? A fag happens to be a colloquial British term for a cigarette!”

Franco plopped down an emerald-green ashtray in the middle of the table followed by a plate with a chilled and wobbly piece of green kudzu pie. He went and yanked a plastic jug of lactose-free egg nog from the refrigerator and filled a tall glass and sat that before the man as well.

“Would you like me to squirt some cream on it for you?” Franco asked him.

“Excuse me?”

“Whipped topping. On your pie.”

“Yes, some cream would be, um, very nice.”

“Here you go. Enjoy.”

“Thanks.”

Franco watched with bizarre fascination as the city official opened his mouth and filled it with a piece of the cream-covered kudzu pie. He chewed. Then he stopped chewing. His face morphed into a horrifying grimace and then a huge and sloppy spew of mashed kudzu pie and cream shot out of his face and splattered all over the table. He made a horrible gurgling, gasping, groaning, grunting noise and clamped both his hands around the glass of lactose-free egg nog and tipped it to his mouth and started to suck and gulp ferociously, wheezing and whining and spitting as he did so. He paused briefly and then suddenly the egg nog came shooting out of his mouth as well and he cried out, “Spoiled! It’s spoiled!” 

The official suddenly stood up, grasped his throat, and then just as suddenly, collapsed onto the floor.

“Holy shit!” Franco Dellaronti exclaimed. “I think I just killed him with kudzu pie and lactose-free egg nog!”

 Cheise Karn Mouise rushed into the kitchen. “What the hell is going on in here!? What’s all the noise? Just look at this disgusting mess! And who the hell is that?!”

Franco frowned. “It was a guy from the city. He gave me a 600-dollar ticket because I left my smashed-up kudzu pie stand in the yard. I’m considered a public nuisance now by the entire neighborhood.”

“That’s totally gay.”

“No, it’s not! I’m not happy at all. In fact, this is all really pissing me off! And just look at this mess and this body! What the hell am I supposed to do?”

Cheise Karn Mouise shuffled over to the coffee pot that sat on the counter and struggled to reach it. “I don’t know. Did you check to see if he’s dead?”

Franco turned to him. “You want me to touch his body? Gross.”

“Maybe you should give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I bet you’d like that.”

 “What the hell does that mean?”

“I thought you were gay,” the puppet said, still struggling for the coffee pot.

“I’m usually very gay, but not today! Aren’t you my friend? Don’t you care about me at all and my need for overflowing happiness?”

“Of course, I care. I’m just not really all that interested in feelings… It’s gay.”

“I think you fear giddiness,” Franco sternly pointed out. “You fear your own emotions.”

“What? I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”

“You’re afraid to be happy with who you truly are.”

“God! Quit talking so damn gay… And I know what I am. I’m a puppet who has been blessed with life.”

“Why are you afraid to express your true inner thoughts?” Franco said as he went to him and helped him with the coffee pot. He poured some into a cup and handed it down to him. Cheise Karn Mouise sipped at it, looked up, and tried to smile but couldn’t.

“Do you feel guilty about something? Do you experience inner turmoil?” Franco asked, trying to dig a little deeper into the soul of his friend.

“I don’t want to talk about this anymore. It’s weird. Let me just drink my coffee and go back to my football in peace.”

“It’s not good to hold your feelings in,” Franco told him. “You may explode like an ice cream truck one day.”

Cheise Karn Mouise took another sip of his coffee. “Just drop it I said!”

“All right. All right. I just think it would be a benefit to you if occasionally you tried to get in touch with your feminine side.”

“That has to be the absolute gayest thing you have ever said to me,” Cheise Karn Mouise said.

Franco finally gave up. “Fine. Be unhappy for the rest of your life… So, I guess I am going shopping by myself after all?”

“I don’t feel like leaving the house. I told you that.”

“Are you sure? There’s a new frozen yogurt shop at the mall.”

“Yogurt is gay.”

“Well, I’d be gay too if I was full of fun and fruity flavors with a cornucopia of yummy toppings.”

Cheise Karn Mouise shook his head at him. “Your psychiatrist really needs to get to work on you. Jesus.”

“I’m looking forward to it. Therapy is all about finding your happy place no matter how screwed up you are.”

Then there came a sludgy groaning from the floor as the man from the city stirred. “Oh god, I feel horrible. What happened?”

Cheise Karn Mouise threw his coffee cup in the sink before rushing over to check on the man from the city. He had an idea how to save his friend some cash. “You were choking on a delicious piece of kudzu pie and my friend here performed the Heimlich maneuver on you and saved your life. You should thank him, not give him an outrageous ticket for just trying to bring a little edible joy to the world.”

“He licked my hiney? That’s so gay,” the man from the city frightfully moaned.

“No, you brute! The Heimlich maneuver,” Cheise Karn Mouise explained. “It’s a very helpful medically endorsed physical action used to dislodge food or foreign objects from a choking person’s airway. It saves lives. Just like it did here today in this very house, in this very room mind you. Are you dumb or what?”

The man struggled to get to his feet.

“Oh, good heavens, you’re gross,” Cheise Karn Mouise said with a scrunched puppet face of disgust. “Franco, fetch this poor fella a warm wet towel to clean himself with.”

“Of course, of course.”

“What’s your name friend?” Cheise Karn Mouise asked. “I don’t believe you supplied us with any official identification.”

“My name is… Karl, I think. Hey, wait, are you a fucking French puppet? Am I talking to a puppet? Whose hand you got up your ass?”

“I suppose you wish it was your hand up my ass, don’t you,” Cheise Karn Mouise teased. “And yes, Karl, you are talking to a French puppet. I am Cheise Karn Mouise of Lyon. And I am truly alive on my own. No hand up my ass required. This world of ours is a very strange and horrible place, isn’t it?”

“And yet so beautiful and delightful,” Franco sing-songed as he returned and handed Karl the warm, wet towel.

Karl wiped down his face and the front of his suit jacket and shirt. He looked at the huge mess splattered on the table. “Did I do that? Gosh, I’m so sorry.”

“Well Karl, why don’t you make it up to us. First, by cleaning up this nastiness, and second, by tearing up that ungodly citation,” Cheise Karn Mouise pleaded.

Karl flickered his eyes and said, “Yes, yes. Of course. I was never here. I saw nothing. Everything is in order.” He chuckled a bit. “Do you have any Bounty paper towels?”

“Oooooh,” Franco beamed. “The quicker picker upper. Right away, Karl.”

Karl leaned over and whispered to Cheise Karn Mouise. “Does he always act this gay?”

“Yes, he does. He’s a very happy and positive person and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

“Right, I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just wondering.”

TO BE CONTINUED

Read the previous part of this story HERE.


Have you heard of not labeling something Easy Open when it’s clearly not?

My latest gripe involves Equate nutritional shakes from Walmart.

I enjoy a good nutritional shake now and then, but what I don’t enjoy is the battle that commences when I try to open the little plastic bottle. They have a strip of plastic around the cap and the neck of the bottle, and according to the “instructions” you are supposed to pull down at the point where it says EASY OPEN.

But alas, I repeatedly fail in my attempt to scrape, scratch, gnaw, tug, pull, yank, peel, pluck, tear, dislodge, or unencumber this immortal ring of plastic, that is until I finally secure the aid of a very sharp object to do my bidding. Ah, slice… That’s the word I needed.

Now, this is a product that is essentially geared toward older individuals, and I can only imagine the difficulty someone with weakness in their hands or arthritis in their fingers must have trying to open such a package. I imagine a lot of these things get thrown against a wall in a fit of anger and a cloudburst of expletives. Trust me, I understand. There are plenty of times I wanted to chuck one of these babies right out a window.

And while I’m at it, let me shed a little light on other packaging gripes I have… Hopefully, some of you will agree with me.

Let’s begin:

Disinfectant wipes!

Okay. How is it we have robotic surgery, but no one has yet been able to come up with a packaging design solution that allows for the easy dispensing of a cleaning wipe. Blammo Batman! I don’t get it. It’s 2022!

I don’t know about anyone else, but the simple act of purchasing a container of disinfectant wipes gives me anxiety because I foresee the painful battle that is surely to come. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly undone the entire contents of the plastic cylinder just in order to get ONE damn wipe. It’s like one of those magic tricks where the demented clown with blue teeth keeps pulling handkerchief after handkerchief out of his clenched fist — you know, how they just keep coming and coming and coming out and no one has the slightest idea where the hell they are actually coming from… That’s the visual I portray, including the demented part, when all I want to do is get rid of some kitchen bacteria!! Picture a pissed off Happy Gilmore saying that, and you’ll get the idea of my state of mind at that point.

I popped open a new container just a while ago and it even has a label right on it that says: First wipe ready to go!  Bullshit Arm & Hammer! It was literally one long knotted string of Rain Fresh scented wipes that looked like bed sheets after a torrential spin cycle in the wash machine. Arghhhh!

Moving on.

Sliced cheese packaging or anything that has one of those zipper seals you have to activate with a firm pull before getting to the goodies.

You know what I’m talking about. The packaging where you first have to Tear Here (and you never clearly ascertain where the here is) to get to the zipper seal part that you open by pulling apart like some holy guy did with the Red Sea. I am tearing here! It doesn’t work! I still can’t open the bloody thing! And that’s when I reach for a pair of good scissors and have at it. There! Zip that provolone cheese! Don’t even get me started on trying to press the seal back together. Ugh. And I believe that holy guy was Moses.

And you’ll all appreciate this one because it really hits home for this website, Cereal After Sex… Cereal bags!

Okay, I’m trying to get to my Raisin Bran, not a tomb of gold at Fort Knox. Now I know why cereal is so packed with vitamins and minerals… Because it’s such a strenuous workout just to open the damn bag. We need the nutrients! I pull and pull and pull on that superglued bag until eventually it either rips open in a very bad way and the cereal goes everywhere, or, you guessed it, I go to my old reliable — scissors — and just slice that sucker open. They should save us all the trouble and just include a pair of scissors with every box.

Whew. Now, I’m sure there are tons of other products out there that have horrible packaging. Isn’t life hard enough as it is? Why pile all this on top of us, too? Is this just another sinister plot to control and demean us? I don’t know, but if you have a few horror stories of your own related to packaging frustrations, please share. Until then, I’m going to try and open my bottle of prescription nervous pills.


Hairy Pancakes and a Bad Honeymoon

It was a warm morning in late July when I woke up alone on the wrong side of the world. The bathroom mirror greeted me with a reflection of disorientation, mussed hair, and puffy eyes. I tried to shake myself awake, for this morning I was to meet my bride and have breakfast at the downtown café we frequent for our marriage meetings. I had my notes prepared. I was going to lay it on the line. Little did I know what was to come.

I rode the curving roadways for miles. The wind struck like a moist dryer drying towels. The engine hummed like a good motor should. I thought about Detroit. I thought about Japan. I pretty much decided in my own head that I was going to go for the pancakes. With sliced banana. With sweet maple syrup. And a good cup of coffee. My spirits were slightly elevated. I thought about my love. She was waiting there in her car, pulled up to the curb, diagonally. I forgot to bring the bandage like she had asked. My memory is slipping like an old lady on wet winter ice. Damn it. I should have written it down.

We met up. Did the ritualistic kiss thing. I may have palmed her butt a little. It’s okay. I’m allowed. We went in and ordered. I laid out my plan to the clerkie. She took it all down, I guess. We found ourselves a table. A tall college kid came in and said he knew us. He joined us at the table, and we all waited for food. The clerkie brought us silverware wrapped in napkins, but I was missing a fork. I cried out something like, “How am I supposed to eat pancakes without a fork!” The whole place got silent. People were stunned I suppose. My wife and the college kid were embarrassed. Reminded me of when I was in the Kroger the other day and some guy suddenly blurted out to his kids: “Stop fucking around!” And the whole world was in silence and shock because he really did say the F word really loud, right there in the meat department. I thought to myself: What an asshole. Yeah, that really happened.

Anyways… The pancakes came and I was eating them, and they weren’t as good as they usually were, and I was bummed about that and then I found a hair — cooked into the pancake. Yep. My wife was like “Eww.” She said I should take them back, but I was too embarrassed and figured if they were going to give me a fresh plate, they would probably stuff the pancakes down their pants and jiggle around a bit before slapping them on the plate. You know, like in that movie. I just took the loss because I have serious trust issues. My wife let me buy a cinnamon roll. My woman is good about that. Caring and such. She was very sorry that happened. Now we’re going to take a nap together and that’s pretty good stuff.

Earlier we had talked about the Memphis woman who was killed in Fiji on her honeymoon, allegedly by her husband. Um… On your honeymoon? You kill your wife on your honeymoon? Damn. Talk about a bad time. I guess getting a hair cooked into my pancakes isn’t so bad after all.   


Have you heard of not being summer?

Driving through hot ass western Wyoming approaching hot ass Utah with my hot ass wife in June 2021 / Aaron A. Cinder

I was born in Wisconsin in the middle of winter. It was cold and the waters of Lake Michigan closest to the shore were frozen over. The trees were stripped bare of all they wear. The snow was dirty white and deep. Human breath roared forth like dragon spit down on the sidewalks.

Winter is one of my happy places. I was literally born for it. Winter is cozy, fireplace warm, homeward bound for Christmas.

I hate summer. Summer is a battle for me. I am like opposite bear and want to hibernate May through August – in a cave of ice, with a frosty mug of A and W root beer, my laptop, and really good internet service. What should we call that? How about Fantasy Land answers Thornton Melon (played by Rodney Dangerfield) from the 1986 comedy film Back to School.

Technically, summer doesn’t even officially begin for about another week, but don’t tell that to Tennessee. Temperatures today are forecast to top out at 94 degrees with a heat index of 106.

As the guy on Office Space would say: Yeah, if you could just not be so hot today, that would be great. Thanks.

The bottom line is – I HATE HEAT. I hate to go outside in the summer. I don’t like to be hot. I don’t like to sweat. I don’t like to be uncomfortable beneath a blazing sun. I burn easily. I hate the bugs. I hate getting into my lava hot car and burning my palms on the steering wheel. Summer is not cozy. Summer is obnoxious. I spend most of summer indoors in the air conditioning and with fans roaring in our bedroom.

Then why did you move to Tennessee? Someone might ask with a crooked face of wonder.

Well, I do like some things hot. Like my wife. She’s the reason I live in Tennessee. So, I put up with the summers here, but still bitch about it. The other day I suggested to her that we get a summer home in Antarctica. She thought that was a bit much. Okay, how about Iceland? She was more receptive to that.

Now, I’ve lived in other hot places – Colorado, New Mexico, South Carolina, West Texas, Missouri. Colorado was the most seasonally diverse. New Mexico (the southeastern part) boasted an unbearable desert heat that would thrust one into agonizing days on end of temperatures well above 100. South Carolina was a wet, heavy heat that made everything, and everyone drip. Texas was a dry, windy, wildfire-like slap in the face. Missouri was like, eh, Missouri – there were good days and there were bad days.

I thought as I got older, I would become more adaptable to the heat, you know, on a purely biological level. I went into this current impending summer of doom hopeful that would be the case, but as the mercury climbs higher day by day, I’m like NOPE. It’s not working. I’m not built for it.

Just the other day in a hopeful trance, I was talking to my wife about Thanksgiving. She looked at me like I was crazy. I think I must be. But I truly wish I could erase the summer months from the calendar. Come on Mother Nature, can’t we just extend autumn and winter a couple of months more each? Please. If only I had a light-duty time machine.

On a societal level, summer is often portrayed as the fun time of the year. For example, people painfully smiling as they cruise in lipstick-red convertibles on their way to play with their balls at some beach in paradise – inflatable rainbow-colored beach balls are what I mean, but then again, I’m sure there are some weirdos who play with their balls at the beach. Okay, that was unnecessary but I’m going to leave it because Cereal After Sex is a playground for pushing the literary envelope off the swing. Literary? Maybe not always.

But I’ve gotten off track. Where was I? Oh yeah, summer. I have no desire to jump up and down on a beach in my skimpy swimsuit slapping around a volleyball. (No one would want to see that anyways.) I don’t want to wear shower shoes or shlippy shloppies (what us folks from up north call flip flops) down by the pool. I’m not a swimmer. I’m an always on the verge of drowning kind of guy. Pools don’t impress me. I like to look at the ocean and listen to the ocean, but I don’t necessarily enjoy putting my body in it. I’d rather play in the icy waters of one of the Great Lakes before heading back to my woodsy cabin. With the ocean, I’m afraid of getting stung by a jellyfish or eaten by a shark or being swept away by a giant wave. Do you remember what happened to Greg Brady in Hawaii? But then again, he was probably high.


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Have You Heard of a Library?

Has the definition of LIBRARY changed, and nobody told me?

I’ve always considered the public library to be a place of quiet solitude where people go to browse books, read, write, do research, study, and surf the internet — among other things — in a distraction-free atmosphere. Apparently, things have changed.

Once again, I found myself in the local public library to get some writing done. I use the library at times because I don’t have a home office and since we live in the country, our internet is a bit challenging at times. But more importantly, since I am presently a house husband trying to be a writer, it’s nice to get out occasionally and be in a different environment.

This particular trip started out peaceful enough. But then, a gaggle of schoolchildren (probably late elementary, early junior high years) descended on the place and chaos ensued. As the clamor of young voices rose and bodies stampeded to and fro throughout the building, I began to wonder if it was something more akin to an amusement park or a Chuck E. Cheese and not a library as the sign outside read.

I understand children can be noisy and overly energized at times, but when you are in a public library, shouldn’t there be some semblance of decorum and restraint, regardless of age or hormone level?

When I write on my laptop at the library, I use my earbuds and listen to meditative music for writing on Youtube. Yes, that’s a thing. It’s great. But it’s not enough armor to deflect the yelling and carrying on of rambunctious school kids working on whatever project they were working on. It was probably something useless in relation to their future place in the world. How about having them do a project on how to act in the library? There’s an idea for you. Let’s teach our kids something useful.

Maybe I’m just being a stick in the mud again, as evidenced by this previous post: Have you heard of shutting your face?

But is it really unreasonable of me to expect the library to be a quiet place and not a roaring circus with flying methed-up monkeys bouncing off the walls? I think not.

The sad thing is, there was a teacher involved in leading this pack of wild animals. She apparently didn’t set any rules beforehand and did nothing to temper the noise and running around once it took off. Nothing at all.

And neither did any members of the library staff. How is this allowed? It’s a LIBRARY!

I do not get it.

Am I wasting energy on this? Does it make any difference if I bitch about it?

Probably not. Or maybe it’s just good therapy for me. Congratulations dear readers, you’ve been promoted to psychologist.

Now, even though the schoolchildren weren’t technically heckling me, it kind of felt like it. They were disturbing my work. Maybe I should go over to the school while those kids are trying to take a really important math test and start heckling them. That’ll show ‘em. You know, like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry goes to the office of one of his hecklers and boos and hisses her while she’s trying to work. … No? Nothing? It was a TV show. Back in my days. Look it up on the device of your choice.

My wife says I should go to a coffee shop instead. We have a nice one downtown that is rarely busy, and they have free WiFi… And coffee. And pastries. And a clean restroom. I think I’ll try that out and see how it goes.

I suppose I can wrap this up with simply saying that at times I feel as if I am fighting a losing battle against inconsideration as a whole. I often wonder if it’s just me. Maybe my nervous system lacks a protective shield. Maybe I’m not genetically built to live on this planet. Maybe the star people dropped me off at the wrong stop and I’m just wandering around with the wrong kind of soul.