June 16, 2018

congratulations, sir, you got a new high score in Candy Crush or something

And the reason we all know this is because you have been playing it at your phone's highest volume for over an hour.  In a crowded lobby.  Oblivious to the glares.

I live in the Toyota dealership customer courtesy lobby.  It's my third home, because the Lodge is my home-away-from-home, but if you can't find me at home or Lodging, come by Toyota's service area.

We can share a cup of coffee.  Or five cups.  They have one of those industrial-grade Keurig machines with a water line and the thingie that flips the last person's pod backward into a void so you can put your new one in, along with a decent selection of pods and enough Splenda to suit me.  There is always one imaginary person (one of my cucumber friends) watching me put Splenda into my paper coffee cup and thinking, "God damn, what the hell?  How many packets can you possibly use at one time?  Seriously, even more?  Just you wait until they discover what the terrible health effects of it are.  You know aspartame basically turns to formaldehyde in your bloodstream, right?  Splenda's bound to fuck you up down the road.  They make it with chlorine, you know."  To which I glibly respond, "Do you eat table salt, you idiot?"

The lobby is divided into two sections by an inadequate jut of wall.  One area, the larger one, has two large-screen TVs mounted on the wall.  I was sitting right under one of them this morning until an employee walked up with two remote controls the size of military walkie-talkies and turned on some blaring morning news talk show discussing Trump this and Trump that.  It wouldn't have mattered what was on, though.  I was intentionally conspicuous as I got out of my club chair and packed up my laptop, unplugged the power cord, picked up my coffee cup, and aggressively relocated to the other side of the lobby, where there is complete visual obstruction of the screens and some measure of auditory relief.

Once, they had the Dora the Explorer channel on.  I kept waiting for my ears to bleed.

I settled in, taking the far corner, behind a display of what worn brake rotors look like and why you should replace them with the shiny new ones at the top.  Roughly ten minutes of peace.  I spent time doctoring photos and posting things for sale on Craigslist and eBay.  (If anyone needs Boy Scout shorts, size 10 men's dress shoes to go with a tuxedo, a cello, or a gaming desktop, hit me up.)

Then it started.  Blip-blip-blip-click-click.  Obnoxious upbeat female voice.  "Amazing!"  Clink-clink-click-slide-WHOOSH-tinkletinkletinkle.  "Way to go!"  Blip-blip-blip .... I stared at the man who was immersed in his phone.  So did everyone else.  Clink-clink-clink-clink-slide-slide-WHOOOOOOOOSH-tinkle.  "High score!"  Click-click-click ....

Why hasn't his phone battery died?  Die.  Diiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeee ....

In the South, we say, "He ain't know how to act."

Once, my son attended his fifth-grade school dance (yes, fifth grade) and while all of the boys had gone off to play soccer outside, the girls squealed when "Let It Go" began.  They danced with abandon and the gym was full of spinning, arm-flinging Elsas.  I fished around in my computer bag and son-of-a-bitch, I found an ear plug.  There was no reason whatsoever for an ear plug to be in the bottom of a computer bag.  This is another of those things that contributes to tinges of agnosticism.  I had to break it in half but it worked well enough to keep my soul from melting like a green glowing blob in a 1982 Dr. Who episode.

(I might be gay, but I would go back in time and have Tom Baker's babies.)

I just fished around in that very same computer bag, and there is fuck-all in the ear plug department.

I used to filter things out with ease.  I earned my entire college degree in the local laundromat, because I studied best when surrounded by chaos.  Those days are over.

I'm just here for an oil change.  Is it ready yet?  Is it ready yet?  Is it ready yet?

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