Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Full Moon

Do you ever have one of those days when you say something, and the way people react makes you wonder if you're speaking another language and not realizing it?

The scene: The pricey grocery store
The players: Me, checkout guy, woman behind me
The situation: We are all standing there waiting; the bag of apples I had picked out had a bad one, and a produce guy was getting me another one.

Checkout guy (to woman behind me): Sorry, it's going to take just a second.

Woman: That's OK; I just spent a bunch of time waiting, coming up I-35.

Guy: Oh yeah, I heard there was a big accident. When I came by it totally looked like someone had come down the ramp the wrong way and hit a bunch of cars.

Woman: Actually, I don't know what it was, but it looked like something had fallen off one of the roadways and hit something.

Me: Well, I work at the paper, and I've been overseeing the story and what happened is a road scraper fell off a tractor-trailer that seemed to be taking a turn too quickly; it fell off Piedmont, hit 35, and then landed on the ground.

Woman: Yeah, I don't know if anyone's hurt or what.

Me: Well, the police said that four people were hurt.

Both look at me.

Woman: Well, I don't know what happened, but it sure looks like it was bad.

Me: The road scraper fell off a tractor-trailer that seemed to be speeding, and it fell off, and hit the ground.

Women: Yeah, I just don't know what happened.

Me: Are you ignoring me, or just trying to be a dumbass?

I didn't really say that, but I thought it really, really hard at her. Especially because later in the day, someone listened to what I said, then said, "What are you TALKING about?" in the most insulting way possible, and I thought "Are you ignoring me, or are you just trying to be a dumbass?" really hard at this particular person. What was it about today? Sheesh.


  1. I just want you to know that I heard about the accident and wondered what had happened, and I thank you for telling me! My husband, who also works in news, listened to it on the scanner, but didn't know the details. Maybe the woman just had decided that her topic of conversation with the cashier was going to be how she didn't know what happened but hoped everyone was okay, and she was just having a little trouble assimilating new information and making the conversational shift. (which is essentially being a dumbass, I guess!)

  2. Sharikov8:07 AM

    I don't get it. What are you talking about?

  3. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Oh, that's too bad. First the river floods large parts of Des Moines and then a truck is going too fast on I-35 and a scraper sent down to help with flood clean-up falls off the trailer. I'm just glad there were no serious injuries.

  4. A road scraper? That's like another large vehicle, right? And it was on a truck? And FELL OFF? Good Lord, that's horrible.

  5. Tamara10:30 AM

    SHE was THERE. How could you possibly know more about the accident than she did! Some people just always have to be right, even when they don't know anything.

  6. @tamara: um, because when you're sitting in a car in traffic you can't actually SEE what just happened below you or off to the side, whereas when you work in the news media you have access to all sorts of nifty things like police scanners and the AP wires, where the details of the incident are being broadcast. But yeah, you're right, some people DO always have to be right even when they don't know anything.

    And Krupskaya, I have those days all the time. I didn't used to; I think communication in general has gone screwy over the last 10 years or so. I blame the Internet.

  7. Aw, darn it. Sharikov beat me in my attempt to be a SMARTass.