Do you remember when you were in gym class and it was dodgeball day? It was possibly the greatest day in class, aside from the use of the square sliding apparatuses. You knew the day was coming all week. You had the day circled on your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wall calendar. The date was circled in red with a bright marker. You wouldn’t care about anything else. No other news could compare to the excitement of playing dodgeball or sliding around on what is just short of being labeled as death on wheels. Maybe not death but I am sure many of kids have lost a few fingers while pushing themselves across the room and into each other. It was much more fun to ram each other than to actually race to the other end of the gym.
With each day that passes and each box on the calendar getting marked off, you can hardly contain yourself with exuberance and pure, unadulterated excitement. With the final day here and you’re on your way to the gym, you wonder about how many people you’ll tag out or worse, wonder if you’ll get tagged out seconds into the game. You’ll wonder if maybe you’ll be that kid who they see as an easy target and taking out the weak will make the game more challenging than just toying with you and making you feel that maybe, just maybe, you’re actually good and could hold your ground against the kids who have hit puberty years before you.
Now imagine if all this gets ripped away from you. Imagine that you and your classmates are denied thirty minutes of brutal and savage beatings from a rubber ball. Imagine that the one thing you looked forward to all week is gone and you won’t see it again for sometime. This isn’t a sick joke by your teachers. This wasn’t them deciding last-minute to try something else. It is none of that. It is because some other student in the class decided to make a nuisance of himself and piss off the teacher. The teacher, obviously enraged by the childish antics of a bothersome student, made an example of it and since he didn’t want to behave properly and enjoy a break from the regular scheduled class required work out, no one will get to enjoy the break either. He ruined it for us. He ruined it for all of us. But don’t worry, kids. He got what he deserved. He was pelted savagely and brutally not by rubber balls but by the fists of twenty or so angry kids who were denied the privilege of playing dodgeball.
There are people like the dodgeball kid still walking around ruining things for us adults. These sort of people look at the world differently. They see the world as if it is a bowl of Halloween candy that is not being overlooked . They disregard the sign that reads, “take one” and without following the honor system, they empty the bowl into their pillowcase with one swift swoop. They took away that and now on Halloween, a single candy bar is dropped in each bag by a parent with a watchful and untrusting eye on each visiting youthful trick or treater. We get a single bar and nothing more. Just another pleasure yanked away from our tiny hands. That is what they do. They ruin everything. Sure the sign said take one but we all took two. It was fine. We weren’t going to get arrested for swiping two but for them, the absence of an adult or a protector of the bowl, gave them free rein to once again, ruin it for the rest of us.
I hope I made a point. Let me explain what this is all about. Let me explain to you why I am talking about the people who feel it’s ok to walk around with their cocks out and think that the world and all that it offers is their for the taking. Let me tell you why these poor excuse for humans are the reasons things are ruined for the rest of us.
I was working today. I was all dapper in my captain’s hat and my bright orange tie that could easily replace the orange cones at any construction zone. I spent the day working with fish. For a guy who doesn’t like seafood and will never consume it, I find it funny that I was all gun ho about setting up and selling a seafood buffet to my customers. This is the second week of my doing this buffet. It is going well. Not as well as I wanted but things don’t always go as planned…
I am a nice guy. I mention that often. I am a super nice guy and even though my heart is black and cold, I will do anything for someone because, like I said, I am a nice guy. Someone decided to take my graciousness for granted and to keep this broken record going, ruined it for the rest of us. I was disgusted by their actions. I have never seen someone show little respect for me or for other people. They took the world, stabbed a flagpole in it and proclaimed it theirs. That’s how greedy, selfish, ugly, and nasty she was to me and the other people around her. She might as well just spit in our faces because that is what it felt like.
I had just put out about 7 pounds of freshly, boiled shrimp. I already mentioned that I don’t do seafood but from the mouth of a Jew, I did an okay job on it. I walk out there with the pan of shrimp to offer my customers. I am not offering this on the buffet at all. From a manager’s point of view, it is a costly item and for I am selling the meal at, I will not make much money if I continuously offer the shrimp at what is basically free. I put the item out today as a fluke. Just a nice gesture and something that is different from just fried food and baked cod. This was at 5:02. I put the shrimp out at two minutes after five.
Now, this is what killed me. This is what ruined and tainted my thought of people. A woman and her daughter crowded themselves around the shrimp I had just brought out. I offered people the option to dine in or if they want, they can take a single plate to go. I know some people will take advantage of it. I know some will try to stuff in as much as they can but they at least grab different items that I am offering. This lady and her daughter felt no need to do that. They single-handedly, took the entire pan of shrimp. I am not kidding. She took it all. She had three plates (which she did pay for) and pluck every morsel of shrimp I brought out. The pan was left empty as she headed outside to her car. I looked at my watch. It was ten after five. These two ladies attacked the shrimp like a lion to a gazelle. At least a lion will leave the carcass for scavengers to peck at but not this lady and not her daughter. They’ll head home to tear into those tiny crustaceans and while her and her daughter eat the freshly, boiled shrimp whole, they’ll laugh and chuckle at their greediness and proclaim another victory for them and others who have zero respect for those around them.
The lady left and I was left with a void in my soul. I was left with a questionable respect and trust in people. Even another customer questioned me about the woman and her hunger for the freshly, boiled crustaceans. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t tell the ugly woman that, “No. You can’t take all the shrimp.” I am not calling her physically ugly. I am calling her aura or whatever word you feel like using, ugly. She is just an ugly person. I have a black heart and her heart is ugly. She upset me today. I was pissed. I am not going to pretend that a customer has never pissed me off. Some do. Anyone who works or worked in retail will tell you the same thing. We all have horror stories about people we’ve dealt with. While some of those people do send me cursing and throwing a tantrum, I’ll be upset for a bit and I’ll move on. Today was different. This lady really irked me and just made me question the good in people.
Why did she feel the need to take all the shrimp? Did she not see other people around her? Did she not see them eying the shrimp too? Was she just trying to be rude and selfish and claim it all for herself? Share the love. Share the shrimp. Use that thing your parents taught you. If you need help, I will gladly share with you a little advice I learned in kindergarten. My teacher, Ms. Sandberg taught me and my class that, “It’s fun to share.” I learned that over 20 years ago and I still adhere to it. I shouldn’t even call that advice. It’s a life lesson. It’s something we all should know and something we should live by. I am sure that just taking 6 pounds of shrimp would have filled you up nicely. The nice lady who questioned you and your selfishness would have been happy if you left her a few shrimps to try.
Honestly, there is nothing I can do. There are no signs telling people to not be greedy. I wasn’t aware I needed a sign to remind people to show human decency and let others have the chance to savor and enjoy the shrimp I freshly boiled that’s so good, even a Jew likes it. I ranted and I cursed. I was furious. I really was. I was upset that she took it all. That she had no disregard for other people. Knowing that and knowing that she and possibly other people will be like her, I decided to use her as an example. I decided to be that teacher in gym class and make her the villain in this. I want her to be the kid that everyone will look for to punch a few times and unleash their anger because The Shrimp Lady ruined it for the rest of us.
I took away the right to take the meal home. No more will people be allowed to take advantage of me. They will not be allowed to fill up their little black plates and head home with the overly stuffed containers. If they want to enjoy a single trip, they can enjoy it inside the store. I am sorry if this upsets people and ruins your plans for the night but it isn’t my fault. I am not the bad guy. If you want to throw some punches at someone, go find the Shrimp Lady. Her lack of respect and ability to share ruined it for you and the others. Sorry but it’s dine-in only.
Maybe next time, don’t be such a greedy bitch. Also, don’t ask me why the option to take it home was canned. You don’t want my answer.