Thirty minutes before I began writing these very words, I was wondering if I had anything worth ranting about for next week's Jerks of the Week column. Given that's it's football season, I'm not able to get out all that much. If it happens to rain on a Saturday, there's a good chance I will remain inside my house from Friday afternoon until Monday morning when I drive my girlfriend to the train station. The sun is almost blinding at that point, and it feels like I'm a vampire who can't deal with the light.
I didn't have milk or orange juice to accompany my breakfast - Cocoa Puffs, of course - so I decided to take a trip to Acme. I figured I could think of some Jerks material while driving or shopping.
Some of you might be wondering why I'm going to Acme instead of Bottom Dollar, which I used to frequent at least once per week. There are actually a few reasons:
1. Bottom Dollar doesn't carry Cocoa Puffs. Seriously. I've carefully perused the cereal aisle, and I've even asked some of the employees there. They just don't have the greatest cereal ever invented.
I find this appalling. The basic cereals are Cheerios, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Captain Crunch and Cocoa Puffs. It's those six. Every single store must have them, or they should lose their license as a supermarket. I don't even know if you need a license to run a supermarket, but if I were President of the United States, I would make it so supermarkets had to get one, just so I could strip Bottom Dollar of its license.
I can't think of a reasonable explanation for why Bottom Dollar wouldn't have Cocoa Puffs. The only thing that seems remotely plausible is that the owner of Bottom Dollar is a fat man who is hoarding all of the Cocoa Puffs for himself.
Vice President: Sir, Store 8251 is requesting Cocoa Puffs. The customers would like to purchase them.
President of Bottom Dollar: ALL COCOA PUFF FOR ME, ME WANT ALL COCOA PUFF, ME EAT ALL COCOA PUFF, NOM NOM NOM NOM!!!
What a dick. I'm a fat man, and I'm not even that selfish.
2. Acme is right next to Saladworks and Panera Bread, so as Emmitt Smith once said, I can "kill two stone with one bird" by getting dinner along with my groceries. The poor stones never saw the bird coming.
3. Acme is running this promotion with Cuisinart. For every $10 you spend at Acme, they give you a sticker, which you place into a booklet. If you get a certain amount of stickers, you can trade them in for something from Cuisinart. For example, you can get a small pan for 50 stickers. There are a bunch of prizes, and the one I've had my eye on is a lasagna pan for 120 stickers.
Yes, a lasagna pan! I love lasagna, so why wouldn't I get a lasagna pan? Granted, I have no idea how to go about making lasagna. I figure there's some sort of lasagna store where you can buy the ingredients, plop them onto a pan, stick the pan in the microwave, and voila, you have a dinner that Garfield would be jealous of. I just don't know where these damn lasagna stores are.
Unfortunately, getting to 120 stickers seems like quite the daunting challenge. I've done the math, and I'd have to spend $1,200 in Acme to get a lasagna pan. I have no idea how much a lasagna pan really costs, but I doubt it's anywhere near $1,200 (though I could be wrong). Plus, the employees there are typically stingy with their stickers. I once bought enough things to have a bill of $19.95. The lady working there, a skinny, old woman, who resembled what Skeletor would look like with a blond wig, came over and gave me one sticker.
Me: I can't get two stickers?
Skeletor Lady: You need to spend $20 for two stickers.
Me: Ugh, I'm just five cents short.
Skeletor Lady: Sorry, rules are rules.
"Rules are rules." F*** you, Skeletor b***h. It's almost like she thinks she's the president of Cuisinart and happens to be losing money on this promotion. Seriously, how would it affect her life if she gave me a second sticker? Now, I need to spend $1,219.95 for a lasagna pan. I have 32 stickers, so $880 to go!
Oh, and I should note that to get these stickers in the self-checkout section, you need to approach the person in charge and show them your receipt. Since asking for Cuisinart stickers doesn't seem very manly, I always say something like, "Hey, my girlfriend said that I need to get stickers or something?" Works like a charm every time - except my girlfriend yelled at me when I told her I was using her as an excuse to collect these Cuisinart stickers.
Girlfriend: I can't believe you're using me as an excuse!
Me: I'm sorry!
Girlfriend: No, you're not! And once you get your lasagna pan, I'm going to be the one making you lasagna!
Me: But... but... but... lasagna...
Anyway, I thought that I could conjure up some Jerks material during my trip to Acme. I never thought that I'd actually be able to write about this particular trip, but that's exactly what happened.
One of the benefits of Bottom Dollar is that it's a 3-minute walk to get there. As long as the weather wasn't crappy, I used to just stroll over there and carry everything back. Acme, on other hand, requires a car to get to. I could probably walk there, but it would take me 20-25 minutes each way. Call me lazy, but I have no interest in lugging around groceries for nearly a half hour. Besides, I work nearly 80 hours per week during football season, so it's not like I have time now for leisurely walks.
It was 12:40 when I left my house, and by 12:41, I was stuck behind a vehicle. A freaking school bus was blocking this one-lane road, as it was driving around 15 mph and frequently stopping to let middle-school kids off. I lost it.
"F*** THESE KIDS! WHY THE F*** IS THERE A SCHOOL BUS AT NOON!? MAKE THESE F***ING KIDS WALK HOME!!!"
One of these kids obliviously tried to cross the street right in front of me. I had to slam my breaks to avoid hitting him. The worst part is, if I would've crashed into him, I'd be the one in trouble. I feel like if a child who happens to be around 13 is stupid enough to not know when to cross the street, he should be the one responsible. Not me. This is just Darwinism taking effect. If he survives, he'll breed and produce babies that won't learn to cross the street either, and soon enough, this entire world will be populated by oblivious idiots. All because I couldn't run some 13-year-old douche over.
Life is just extremely unfair sometimes.
The school bus mercifully turned onto some street, so I was finally able to venture on without any delay - until I approached some guy who parked his car in the middle of the road. This guy was blowing leaves around and had headphones on, so he didn't hear me approach or honk at him. All he was doing was blowing leaves, and he didn't seem to be accomplishing much because all the leaves were doing was flying into the air and landing where they were in the first place.
I hate people who spend time doing stupid things like blowing leaves. Who the hell cares about where leaves are? Just let them sit there. It seems so completely pointless to just waste time doing anything with them.
It took this guy a couple of minutes to realize that several cars were waiting for him to move. He rushed out of the way and gave us a thumbs up.
Thanks, bud. Keep up the great work. You're really going to change the world by moving leaves around a couple of feet.
The Acme parking lot is a mess. No one looks where they're going; drivers ignore rules and blow stop signs; and turning left at this one spot is pretty much the equivalent of committing suicide because it's impossible to see if another car is coming, since some a**hole always parks at the worst angle possible.
My blood pressure always rises a bit when I enter this parking lot, and it happened to be soaring on this particular afternoon because of what I happened to hear on the radio at that particular moment. It was one of those sleaze people I discussed in my Selfies and Spammers entry - gossip douche bags on the radio who rave about what celebrities are doing, as if anyone with half a brain cares.
This woman, who was shrieking at the top of her lungs shouted, "OMG I HAVE SOME GOSSIP YOU'LL REALLY ENJOY! STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT WHO KATY PERRY HAS A CRUSH ON! SHE'S DATING SOMEONE, BUT SHE REALLY HAS THE HOTS FOR SOMEONE! YOU'LL NEVER GUESS WHO!!!"
I was praying for this woman's larynx to spontaneously combust. That would make for a great morning. Unfortunately, she continued to yell until I changed the station.
Why does anyone on this planet care about whom Katy Perry has a crush on? Why would this matter to anyone? I don't understand the infatuation people like this tramp have with celebrities. Do celebrities like Katy Perry ever gather and say stuff like, "That guy Tom White, the 35-year-old man who still lives with his mom in Portland, totally has the hots for the Wal-Mart cashier! We've never met him before but this matters so much to us OMG! And he's creepily taking pictures of her each night from outside her bedroom window OMG OMG OMG so cute I hope they get together!"
This doesn't happen. Celebrities don't give a damn about normal people, so why should anyone not affiliated with these celebrities give two s***s about them? I don't get it.
I was cursing at the radio when I tried to pull into a spot. I had to slam the breaks because some douche crossed over the median from one spot to the other so he could drive off later without having to back up. I honked, gave him the finger and then searched for another spot. Seriously, what a dick. Is backing up so difficult that you nearly had to cause an accident in the process?
I found another spot seconds later. I thought about it and decided to pull the same maneuver. In doing so, I nearly hit someone else, who was trying to occupy that same spot. They honked, swore at me and drove off. Wow, such dicks. I'm just trying to park so I can get out of this crazy lot easier; why is this such a problem?
Nothing interesting of note happened while I was gathering my food items. I grabbed Cocoa Puffs, grape juice, fudge-striped cookies, milk and orange juice. I also picked up a pack of hot dogs. I initially considered the turkey kind because they seemed like they'd be healthier, but upon reading the nutritional facts, I realized that the beef ones have less fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Umm... so why would anyone buy the turkey dogs then? It's like going into a car dealership and seeing two cars that are the exact same price - yet one is a fancy-shmancy convertible that'll help you get laid, while the other is a broken-down pile of junk. There's no reason those two cars should cost the same, much like there's no reasonable explanation for selling turkey dogs.
Anyway, I went to the self-checkout line. I didn't even think of the $20 threshold I'd have to eclipse to receive two stickers. I wasn't sure I'd get there as I was scanning my items, but the Cocoa Puffs, my final purchase, took me to $20.15. YES, TWO STICKERS WERE MINE!
I waltzed over to the guy watching over everyone at the self-checkout station. He was an obese, bearded fellow who looked like he was half-asleep.
Me: My girlfriend said I have to get stickers for this?
Bearded Fatso: Uhh...
"Uhh...?" This guy just grunted at me, as he seemed so disgruntled that he'd have to move and actually do something. God forbid he'd have to exert some energy while on the job. I could understand if this were slave labor and he wasn't getting paid at all, but he apparently just wanted to sit on his fat a** and collect money.
He sluggishly picked up the sticker booklet, ripped out a couple of pieces and handed them to me, grunting "uhh..." once more upon doing so.
I realized that I made a sworn enemy that day. Bearded Fatso actually had to move while on the job, so he hated my guts for doing so. But that's OK - because I collected stamp Nos. 33 and 34 for the Cuisinart promotion. Now, all I have to do is spend $860 more at Acme, and that precious lasagna pan will be mine!