7 Items or Less

"… so then I'm standin' there in the line right, and I look over and the freakin' sign says 'Express lane: only 7 items or less per person', and the lady in front of me, I kid you not, had at least 30 plus items in her cart. Now this lady she's what I would call, uhh, how do I put this in such a way that I don't sound like a jerk… she was rather… obtuse. Yeah. Obtuse. That's a good word. She could definitely stand to miss a few meals. God, people like that make me sick, 'ya know? Go outside, go for a walk, a run, something. Is it really that hard to lose a few pounds for Chrissake? Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. So I'm standin' there right, and I look at the sign again, then I look back at the lady's cart, and I begin to get that old feeling that you and I talked about. Immediately I can feel my heart begin to pick up a few beats, and I feel my face getting all hot and whatever. I clenched my fists or whatever, and started to do my counting. 'One', I said. 'Two, three,' and so on and so forth until I got to 'bout thirty. After doin' that, I began to feel a bit better, but then some schmuck behind me, who for all I could tell was some kinda fag or somethin', started mutterin' something under his breath, real quiet like. So I turned back to look at the fag, and – "


"Wait, huh?"

"Homosexual. I think the preferred vernacular is homosexual."

"Yeah, that's what I said wasn't it? Anyway…Where was I? Now see what you gone and made me do?"

"You were referencing the homosexual man saying something to you, if I recall."

"Ah yeah, that's right. So yeah, anyway, the fag – err homosexual as you call 'em, said something that I couldn't quite make out, but I was able to get the gist of it or whatever. Dude said somethin' like, 'When will people learn to read signs'. I think that's what he said. Don't really remember for sure, but I'm pretty sure that's close to it. Anyway, I figured the guy was talking about the 'express lane only' sign, so I looked back at 'em and replied, 'Yeah, tell me about it.' Now for some reason or another which I am not privy to, who knows, maybe the guy had some fight with his boyfriend the night before or somethin', my little comment seemed to really sort of set this queen off. The dude repeated what he had said to me, only this time in a much more louder and stern voice. You woulda thought I was some kinda war general who was rallying his troops before a war. So the gay guy makes this comment loud enough so everyone around him can hear him right, and before I can say anything or make a remark, all the other people who are standin' in line behind the queen begin chiming in with him. 'Yeah' they say, 'Only 7 items per customer!' some other lady says, 'Move to a different line!' and so on and so forth. So at this time the checkout kid, who for all I know looks like he just fell out of his mother's uterus last week is really starting to piss himself. As I stood there and looked at him, I began to see the fear in his eyes, and the real dilemma that seemed to be plaguing him. On one hand, he had an angry mob who wanted him to make the fat lady move to a different lane or they were gonna end up crucifying him. On the other hand, he obviously looked like he was lacking the balls to ask some lady if she would kindly put all fifteen hundred of her items back into her cart and move to a different lane. So the kid looks over at me, as if in some desperate plea for help, knowing that I am the only other person in line who hasn't demanded that he asked the lady to move, as well as being the only person that still hasn't lost their mind."

"So then what happened?"

"What'dya mean?"

"Well, what did you do? You were obviously placed in a difficult situation."

"Well what would you have done? I mean you're the shrink and all."

"… I think I would have moved to a different lane. That way you aren't complying with the 'mob', but you also aren't agreeing with the lady who was clearly breaking the store's rules."

"Ha! That's funny. Sometimes doc, you've gotta picked sides. But I wouldn't expect you to understand that, with being behind the desk and all. Anyway, guess I oughta finish the story. So I was standin' there right, and there must have been a million different thoughts in my head. At first I was pretty sure the crazy grocery store mob made up of soccer moms and gay guys were right. I mean the lane did have a seven item limit right? But then I couldn't really justify havin' 'em all gang up on that one lady like that, you know? I mean maybe it wasn't her fault she was so fat. Maybe she was born like that or somethin'. Maybe she couldn't read either. The way I saw it, both sides were in the wrong, and I really wasn't sure what to do. But what happened next really just sorta pissed the hell outta me. Through his rallying and protesting that the fat lady moved to a different lane, the gay guy must've noticed that I wasn't exactly chiming in with the rest of the mob. 'Hey,' the guy said to me, 'Why aren't you shouting with us? You want her to move right? After all, you're the one that started all of this!' I nearly lost it after the dude said that. But I bit my tongue, and asked him what he meant by stating that I started it. The gay guy replied by telling me that if it wasn't for me he wouldn't have gotten all riled up. He said that he actually wasn't speaking to me when he muttered somethin' about people not reading signs, but since I answered him or whatever, he then took upon himself to lead the crusade against the fat woman. As if I'm some sort of revolutionary that helped inspire this certifiable moron to go on his campaign of stupidity! I got that old feeling again, and I tried to do my counting, but it wasn't helping. 'One.' I said. 'Move her, get her out of here!' the mob cried. 'Two.' I said. 'Only 7 items to a line lady!' the mob cried. 'Three.' I said. 'Say something, you're the reason we are here! You're the reason we started this in the first place! Tell her! Move that fat whore!' the gay guy screamed. 'Fo... uhh… Five… no.. wait…' Suddenly, I couldn't remember what came after three. I couldn't move, man. Couldn't breathe, couldn't think. I tried my breathing technique. Inhaling deeply, then exhaling slowly. The mob kept yelling and yelling. I was just standin' there, tryin' to remember what in the hell came after the number three! My face was getting hotter and hotter, I clenched my fists and looked over at the gay guy. 'Tell her! Tell her it's seven items or less! Tell her!'"

"Then what happened?"

"Well what the hell do you think happened? I blasted that gay dude right in his face. I made a fist, pulled my arm back, and stepped into the punch with everything I had. My fist ended up catchin' him right on his jaw, and without a second's notice he dropped to the floor like a sack of potatoes. 'The next person that tells the lady to move it is gonna end up just like this guy!' I shouted to the mob… And that's about it I guess. The crazed shoppers suddenly became much more nicer all of a sudden, the lady checked out and left, and the gay guy called the cops on me, which you already know how that went down."

"So you ended up giving into your anger after all."

"Yeah, but you said it yourself, I was in a tough spot."

"Yes, I did say that, but I also said that you had options. You could have chosen to not get involved. Remember what we talked about in one of our prior sessions? If you don't learn to master your anger, it will eventually become your master."

"I hear what you're sayin' doc, but there's gotta be a point in a person's life when all that guru stuff goes right out the window, and a man's gotta do what he thinks his best and right."

"… I think this is a good place for us to stop for today. I think next week we can talk some more on what is and isn't the 'right' thing. On your way out don't forget to schedule for next week with Charice, and also feel free to leave the check with her for today's session."


Apathy at its worst.

For the past couple of weeks, I feel like I've been in some sort of slump. It's quite odd actually, because I can't put my finger on what exactly has been bothering me. The more I think about it the more I realize it is really a combination of different things. For one, I know it has something to do with my job. At times, what I do gets so repetitive. Make a pizza, cut the pizza, box the pizza, and then hand it over to a customer who more often than not is ungrateful that I just prepared their dinner for them. Then of course there's school. I've been going to college for what seems like forever, and I still have very little to show for it other than a bunch of money that I owe to the government. I guess what I am trying to say is that lately I have been feeling so indifferent to everything around me that is has been more or less affecting the very way I interact with others on a daily basis, and even more so it has been making it incredibly difficult for me to find some sort of motivation to get on with my life.

In short, as of late I have just simply been going through the motions of life.

When I think about this, my mind can't help but to drift to the movie "The Big Lebowski." In this film, the main protagonist The Dude (aka, Jeff Bridges) has numerous encounters with a group of German Nihilists. When the Nihilists eventually catch up with The Dude, Bridges asks them who they are, and they reply by telling him that they believe in nothing. What The Dude says next, is something I still find funny to this day: "That must be exhausting."

Somehow I think this quote seems applicable in some way, shape, or form. Because even though I haven't really felt like doing anything (and truth be told, I haven't really done a thing outside of work and school), I've been feeling super tired everyday. So maybe The Dude is right in that sense. Maybe feeling indifferent all the time really does end up leaving a person feeling exhausted.

But the problem is it's more than just feeling indifferent at times. Lately, I've been having a near impossible time when it even comes to making decisions. I don't know if it's because I simply do not have a preference in most cases, or if it's that I've become too lazy to actually make a case for something, but in any account I am definitely finding it difficult to make even the most tiniest of choices.

Awhile back I can remember looking at the Guinness Book of Records and laughing at some of the various records that people held. At the time I thought some of those records seemed so dumb and pointless. I mean who really cares if you created the world's largest pocket knife,if you  are the owner of more "do not disturb" signs than anyone else, or if you participated in the world's largest gathering of people dressed like Smurfs. But now when I think about it, all of this makes a bit more sense to me. It's likely that the people that hold these records will never really enjoy national fame other than having their name printed in some book that on average has over a thousand pages in it, but to the record holders it's something much more than that: to them,  (in my opinion, anyway) the reason that they seemingly practiced day and night at whatever weird skill, trick, or task they were trying to achieve likely wasn't so they could have a 6 point font of their name written in some book somewhere, but rather it was a reason all the more nobler; it was because they had a passion for something.

Now maybe I am "romaticizing" this idea a bit too much here, but think about it for a second. If you spent an upwards of at least 15 to 20 minutes of your day, each and everyday just perfecting said skill or trick, and continued to do so until you were deemed the best in the world, at what point does that stop becoming a simple hobby/task and actually become that person's passion? Here, I'll give you a hint: when that person makes a conscious decision to say, "I am going to be the best at this, regardless of what people say, think, or do. I'm going to give it my all, and I am not going to quit, nor am I going to give in." I think it's at this point that the said person has gone from simply living out the rest of their existence in an ordinary, mundane way, and instead they have ascended to a higher plateau of humanity: the part of humanity that isn't just settling.

Okay, so for those of you sitting their and still not following what I am saying at all, let me try to simplify all of this for you: As human beings, we are given several choices throughout our lives, and in most cases we are also given different opportunities, some good, some bad. Ultimately however, it is up to us to decide what we do with these choices, as well as the opportunities that have been presented to us. So with that in mind, should we just simply continue going to our boring, mundane 9-5 jobs, so we can buy stupid pointless crap that we don't need, and so we can afford expensive unhealthy food that is really just going to end up killing us in the end? Do we return to our homes every night only to be zombified by our televisions, thus putting us in a vegetative state so that we are more willing to get up the next morning and repeat the whole process again until we are 65? Or for once, do we actually do something with our lives? Even if by some dumb chance that something happens to be trying to break the world record  by seeing how many t-shirts we can put on before passing out from heat exhaustion.

So I guess I am saying all of this to say the following: if we are going to do something, why shouldn't we try our best at it? If we want to achieve something, why not go all out for it? And finally, if we really want to get the most out of our existence, why not show a little passion in the things that we do everyday? The more I think about it, the more I'm realizing this is probably what my problem has been all along. Somewhere along the line I lost some of my passion in the things that I used to take so seriously, and because of this it's affected my outlook on life. So in that sense, I think it's time I tried to find some of the things I've lost, and take back that pride I once had.


Of Bard's and Bob's (part 1)


Listen my readers and I shall tell you a tale

Of adventure and mystique, not unlike the search for the Grail.

This quest that I speak of involves a great deed,

And a man capable of withstanding great evil and greed.

This man was a hero who wasn't quite a hero.

That's not to say that his works aren't remarkable enough to be noted by my biro,

On the contrary my dearest reader, this man was unlike most other,

He was abandoned at the age of nine by his whore of a mother.


An act, if I might say, is something truly awful,

This act no doubt, initially led our Hero to seek a life deemed unlawful.

But I shan't dwell upon these details, for they are quite boring.

Rather, my reader, I shall focus on the 'venture, so that you won't be left snoring.

Sometime our hero spent, righting his wrongs in a cell,

Fighting to survive, agonizing through what I can only imagine as utter hell.

But then O reader, on an ever fateful night,

Our Hero dreamed a dream of both darkness and light.


The Hero saw a truly profound and compelling vision,

This dream had left an impact on him, he now knew his true mission.

And what was this dream, you, reader, likely ponder?

Shall I tell you, or should I keep you in the dark, left to wander?

Although the idea is quite tempting, I fear I may lose you,

So then reader, I shall give in, and pay what is due.

The Hero's dream, it truly was a sight to behold!

And now finally, the secrets of the dream shall be told!


But first lovely reader, let me tell an abrupt allegory.

It is neither lewd, nor is it particularly gory.

Once there lived a maiden, fair as can be.

There also lived a knave, one of the bravest, he.

In a tall, tall, castle doth the maiden live,

And so then the knight journeyed to rescue her, and soon did he arrive.

And then… ah… umm… err… well my reader it does appear

That I have forgotten the rest of the story, I do fear.


At any rate, I suppose it does not matter.

So on then, enough with this futile chatter.

Let us then truly begin our story; like most epics it starts "in medias res"

Or to the layman, we begin in the middle phase.

As we finally join our Hero, his quest shall likely leave the reader wowed.

And my narration no doubt would likely make Keats, Shelley, and Byron quite proud.

So then dear reader, let your humble narrator begin,

It is time for this woven tale to finally take its spin.


This tale shall begin in the heights of sorrow and misérable.

And for those of you still wondering, are Hero's name doth be Bob.

Sir Bob as it may be, was sitting at his desk like any other day,

And that's where I shall begin to tell the tale, if I may.