I noticed the fellow as he came darting through the parking lot at Smith’s.  He had a window down, his left arm hanging out, with a cigarette in his hand.  I circled and came back and parked facing him.  It’s when I noticed he had pulled across the line and didn’t leave me much room.

In the store, I grabbed a bagged salad and some blackberries for lunch.  When I came out, he was leaving.  He left his cart parked against my car.  The collection rack was only a few feet away.  Good neighbor?  Is there such a thing anymore?

The previous day I picked up my lunch at Albertson’s.  I tend to scan sales and pick a spot when I see something on discount.  It’s a big parking lot.  I needed the exercise to improve my ailing ticker, so I parked quite a distance from the door in a wide-open area.  When I left the store, I discovered some fellow driving a jacked-up Silverado decided he needed to park diagonally.  I was barely able to squeeze into my car.

Saturday (the day I’m writing this), I stopped at WinCo at 5:30 a.m.  Is it just me, or do you think the people who stock shelves there find overnight shoppers a nuisance?  Like you’re the ones in the way.  Two things.  One, then why is the store open?  Second, most of the people I see shopping there during the overnight hours have the look of some of the hardest-working people in our community.  This is the time they have to shop.  They’re spending their money and probably expect the same service as someone at 5:00 p.m.

I told some of my coworkers last week that eggnog is already in stores.  There’s a running joke at work every year about the people who drink eggnog and those who won’t.  I often bring in various brands and flavors and tell the people who like it to sample the choices and give me a reaction.

Eggnog was only one of two items I planned to buy Saturday morning.  In the long aisle where it’s sold, someone dropped a pallet in front of the cooler door.  Of all places, that one spot.  The aisle was otherwise empty.  No other shoppers, no workers.  I opened the adjacent door and dragged a carton my way.  And scraped my thumb.

At the checkout, a young man greeted me.  When I shared the story, he just stood there, mouth agape, and said nothing.  I simply wanted to know why someone would abandon a pallet there.

It isn’t just the shopping experience I find more and more annoying.  Driving around town has become a thrill ride.  One day I left work for home and was driving toward Oregon Trail Elementary School.  A truck that had been delivering supplies to the cafeteria suddenly pulled into traffic and made a left turn.  A tractor-trailer.  I’m not required to brake because someone else is in a hurry and thinks he owns the road.  Why would anyone do this when your trailer is a roving billboard for your employer?  Two weeks ago, a bus from a Christian school blew by me on Addison Avenue.  I was doing the speed limit.

We may not be dodging Hamas bullets here, but what I’ve mentioned is a clear sign of a devolving post-Christian society. Everyone is out for one and only one.

Speaking of the remaining Christians, one of our local state legislators would like to close her constituent newsletters.  I believe it’s wonderful that someone representing us believes she answers to an ultimate power.  But one of my predecessors wrote the Senator and demanded she drop the verses.  “Separation of church and state!” don’t you know?

And the people trying to turn us into Boston or New York wonder why they get resistance.

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