"So what's pissing you off today, Big Dave? Aren't you ever happy?" Well, joke's on you Company, I am happy all the time. And to prove it I am going to tell you about something that I love. You know what I love? I love it when I am walking around town, to work, to the post office, to the pharmacy, to the grocery store, to the cell phone store, wherever, and some out-of-towner drives by and stares at me like I am a leper or something.
Let's analyze me. I am walking down the street, acknowledging the businesspeople that I go by because I go by them every day. It is shortly after 4 pm, a time when just about every business in this town lets out. I am dressed in office clothes, black dress shoes, gray pants, blue shirt, today I even added a matching tie. I was looking very middle management. Okay, so maybe the bright blue backpack with the loaf of French bread leftover from Soup Day sticking out of it was a little odd for a businessman-type person, but still. I was on my way PAST my apartment to go pay my cell phone bill and as I walked down the sidewalk, right down the main drag with all the tourist stores, where THOUSANDS of people walk every day during the summer, I totally get the treatment from some lady.
Let's analyze the lady. She fits the type. First of all, I know she was an out-of-towner. You can usually just tell the type. But in this case it was easy because she had Illinois plates on her SUV or crossover or whatever it was. And I assure you that I do not live in Illinois. Second, she was old. Real old. Like, I am pretty sure that when she was a little girl she rode a stegosaurus to school. And wrote on a stone tablet with a chisel. And went to the prom with Jesus. And her social security number is probably 7. Well, not just 7. 000-00-007. There, that's better. That's probably it. But anyway, you get the picture, she was old. And she was frail. And she obviously had some money because she was driving a sort of robin's egg blue Japanese crossover vehicle or SUV that is pretty expensive when brand new. And she was cruising it at about 10 mph down Wall St. headed east. I don't know how she was going that slow, most cars' cruise control refuses to work under say 25 mph. And I don't know why she was going that slow. I am guessing that with five people hanging out on the sidewalk on that block she maybe thought she was in a parade. Either that or she's old and has terrible cataracts and with the tunnel vision she thought she was going 112 mph. I just don't know.
Let's analyze The Look. It was not the usual look, oh no. This was like the balls to the wall version of The Look. Because there are several different versions of The Look, but they are all based on the same platform. Kind of like how most Fords and Mercurys are different but underneath they have all the same underpinnings. So there are different versions of the The Look. There is the "I'm better than you," the "What's your deal," the "You're strange and I want nothing to do with you and no I don't have an attractive daughter," etc, etc. But what I got from this ancient lady was probably the most amazing version of The Look that I have ever seen. It was a mixture of so many emotions that I don't even know where to start. So I guess I will start with the start of The Look. I believe that it was the combination of my bright blue backpack and rampant desire to look at anything that is moving in my vicinity coupled with her 4.2 mph hit parade down Wall St. and rampant elderly rear of everything out of their ordinary that made The Look possible. So the lady is trolling eastward, and I am meandering westward, and I happen to glance towards the drivers window of the car. And what I see is her, starting back at me, with this gaping look of abject horror and fear on her face that I will never be able to forget. She was actually recoiling in pure, unadulterated fright from the sight of me stepping onto the curb. She was acting as if I had just made a move towards the door of her car, wearing an old-style hockey goalie mask, wearing a bloody flannel, holding a fireman's axe and a running skill saw and carrying a dead baby with a t-shirt underneath that said "I eat seniors." Honestly, I can't even explain it. It was so priceless. It was like I just wandered in and told her that the Earth was round. Or that she had just seen an interracial couple. Seriously, The Look was all horror and confusion and repulsion and fear and despair. And I think that it was just a little bit more than necessary.
Let's analyze the effects. It made me laugh actually. And it definitely made me confused because I thought I looked perfectly acceptable. But I guess not. And in the end, it's not just this lady that gets to me. I always seem to get The Look like I am the sick freak when I am the one getting paid to be at the casino for eight hours, or when I am the one who lives town and can walk across the street to the pizza place, or when I am walking into Pamida. And it's always by someone who is not from around here. They have an out-of-state plate or a parking pass from somewhere far away. I will never understand why they seem to think that they have the right to make the outsider, the foreigner, when I am the one who actually spends all 52 weeks of the year in town. But then again, what do I know. I mean, I am just a man walking down the street, right?