Editor’s Scratchpad

Thursday, June 21, 2001

Stop the world,
I want to get off

Just one of the those days, although the world seems to have more and more of them. Nothing works properly, and people move too slow. It's not that I'm exactly speedy -- I generally feel like a brontosaur in a field of gazelles -- but there are times when the zeitgeist feels more geist than zeit. Everything conspires to keep you from getting on with it.

Lumbering trucks in the left lane. Mouthbreathers on the elevator, staring numbly at buttons, or scratching their heads ahead of you at the ATM. Wide-loads in narrow aisles. Folks who lie down on sidewalks. Women drivers who fix their hair at stoplights. Store clerks who tell you you can't buy that in Hawaii. All government employees. Only half of what you ordered at the drive-through is in the bag. Cell-phone talkers discussing their sex lives. Counter help with no working knowledge of English. Parents who teach their kids that good manners are for sissies, instead of a lubricant of society. Any sort of institutionalized "esteem" program that convinces a kid he is the center of the universe, and the rest of us must orbit around him.

Tap your foot. Bang on the steering wheel. Growl at strangers. Take a breath.

Tomorrow is another day.

--Burl Burlingame

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