Some Moments Last forever, Whether You Want Them To Ot Not

If you say you’ve never been embarrassed, I don’t believe you.


I have been. Many times. Like this.


I parked my car at the back of the bicycle shop and my son and I walked through the back door and up to the counter. “I want to see about getting my son’s bike fixed,” I said to the guy standing across from me, but the guy looked disinterested and said nothing.


“I want to get my son’s bike fixed,” I repeated, with my voice rising.


The guy looked at me again, then said maybe someone over there would help.


“Look,” I said. “What kind of an employee are you? This is ridiculous. What are you getting paid for, anyway?”


I was really pissed off, my son was looking uncomfortable, but there’s was no way I was going to take this incompetency from this no-good, lazy employee. Employees can’t treat customers like this.


“Where’s the manager?” I yelled. “This is bullshit. Where’s the manager?”


The fellow looked at me, as did everyone in the store.  “I’ve no idea,” said the guy. “I’m just a customer like you. You’re standing on the wrong side of the counter.”


My son didn’t talk to me for several days.


It’s similar to a story I heard years ago. A guy was sitting in a restaurant drinking a coffee, and got up and went to the bathroom. When he returned, there was a guy sitting at his table drinking his coffee.


The guy from the bathroom was obviously upset and said, “Hey buddy, you’re sitting in my seat and drinking my coffee.” The guy at the table just sat there and said nothing, but continued to drink the coffee. 


“Hey buddy, you heard me. You’re at my table, drinking my coffee. Beat it. Get lost. Get your own coffee.”


The guy at the table just looked at the other guy and sipped a little more coffee.


So the fellow standing up had had enough. He went over, tipped the table over, and the coffee, of course, went flying. He was just about to slug the guy when, out of the corner of his eye, he saw his own, empty table a few feet away with his coffee sitting there getting cold.







4 thoughts on “Some Moments Last forever, Whether You Want Them To Ot Not”

  1. DK,

    I enjoyed this vignette, the situation wasn’t hard to visualize and it’s certainly an experience that I have had. Here’s one way that I use to account for what’s happening here. It lies in the difference between an infant and child/adult: infant = out of sight, out of mind; child/adult = out of mind out of sight. In other words, we’ve got a scenario already in place and this preconceived idea shapes our behaviour and momentarily (sigh, sx and for some people forever) blinds us to other possibilities. Hehe, like the previous piece, you have connected two aspects of `abstract’ human nature to concrete behaviours, recurrent and general, they are well-known to be at the root of much dysfunction yet proof positive that self-knowledge in itself is at best a brittle prophylactic against our `nature’. In both cases, it is clear why we have also evolved a sense of humour – hehe, laughing at ourselves has got survival value.

  2. You know, I honest to goodness can never recall any embarrassing moments when asked. I don’t think I’ve ever been truly embarrassed. Sure, little stupid things, but nothing huge. When it happens, I’m sure it will all come on at once, and it will be horrifying.

  3. You’re just lucky. Or smart. I can also remember when I was in my early twenties and I was at a party and in the washroom practicing my Richard Nixon imitation so I could be hilarious and looked over and a girl had been standing there watching me the whole time.

  4. la P,

    UH? What about last season? What about every season? What about punkdom? Sigh, I guess when you exist in a constant state of humiliation it seems, well, normal.

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