By Jason Arango
There are some things people do that disrupt the normal order of things to the point where you’re actually forced to stand up and take notice. Unable to go about your typical routine of pretty much shuffling past anyone you don’t already know without giving them a second thought, you have to immediately stop what you’re doing and focus your full attention on judging the person and their actions that you’ve just witnessed. Sometimes it includes giving the stranger a name and an elaborate backstory, and other times it merely consists of making a quick judgmental dig and then getting back to your normal business. Either way, here are eight things guaranteed to make you stop in your tracks like a cartoon character that just realized they’ve run off a cliff.
8) Seeing an attractive guy with an ugly girl
When you see an ugly or overweight guy with an attractive woman you don’t typically give it much thought. Usually you jealously rationalize ?that guy must have some serious money? and then grip the hand of your average looking companion a little more tightly. But when you see a real uggo of a girl with a guy who looks like he’s out of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog, you start to wonder what the hell she has going for her that might not come across without a ten point inspection. It kind of makes you mad until you realize it’s one less douche bag you have to compete with when you’re wooing the opposite sex.
7) Having someone who’s really loud in a bathroom stall next to you
Nothing throws you off your ?get in / get out? game like sharing a public bathroom with someone that sounds like they’re being anally raped by a burly gang of Deliverance enthusiasts. The wild grunts and what you’re pretty sure is intermittent sobbing requires you to not only focus all your attention on the unspeakable atrocities that must be going on just a few feet and a thin partition away, but also to try conjuring up an image of this shrieking public pooper.
6) Strangers that try to tell you their life story
Sure, meeting new people requires you to talk to strangers, and sometimes friendships spring up from all sorts of unexpected walks of life. However, there are certain instances where the chance of becoming bosom buddies with someone is about as likely as a Louis Anderson exercise video (survey says! ?Crunches?). And there’s a point where friendly small talk hits a crossroad and veers off into you politely nodding your head and pretending to listen while your inner dialog is rapidly brainstorming escape routes. How lonely is the grocery store clerk that has to tell you all about growing up in a single parent home right outside Chicago? What lead you to believe I care about who you are or what you do? Was it the way I avoided eye contact or the fact that I chose a shaving gel for sensitive skin? Because if it was the shaving gel then I guess that’s my bad.
5) Witnessing someone have their credit card get denied
Most people have probably had some times in their life where money was a little tight. And if they haven’t, then chances are they’re a spoiled a-hole. But one thing you should be able to grasp no matter how little money you may have is that if the amount required to buy something exceeds the amount you have then you are plum out of luck. So, when you’re held up in line by someone shuffling through their Rolodex of credit cards looking for the one that’s got room for the Friends Season Two DVD, it’s impossible not to wonder what exactly is going on in their head. Is seeing Joey get a gig as Al Pacino’s butt double really worth all this aggravation and the almost certain over limit fees that come along with it? And, was that episode even in season two or was it season one?
4) Seeing a haggard looking woman with several screaming children
Raising kids is a tough job. No one is disputing that. But, like any job, there are certain people that handle it better than others. And when you come across a woman who has seemingly lost her will to live and you see several screaming little shits running amok while she exhaustedly pushes her shopping cart down the grocery store aisle, you can’t help but wonder if she didn’t make a wrong turn somewhere way before canned goods.
3) A really fat person that uses handicapped parking
Is it possible that some legitimately handicapped people merely happen to be overweight? Absolutely. Unfortunately, the lazy ones are ruining it for the genuine cripples by refusing to walk the whopping fifty yards between the parking lot and their motorized shopping cart that whisks them around Target like some sort of hovering manatee. Since choosing to be overweight already opens you up to scrutiny, tacking on additional distinction and adorning your minivan with a sticker entitling you to increased laziness only makes things worse.
2) Parents with a preteen daughter dressed like a whore
Children grow up so quickly. Ten-year-olds with cell phones aren’t entirely uncommon, but at least that’s not as grossly irresponsible as letting a twelve-year-old doll herself up like she’s auditioning as bait on a Chris Hansen special. Seriously, are these parents so desperate for grandchildren they’re trying to ensure little Kristanna gets knocked up before she even hits high school? There’s a time and a place for excessive eyeliner, glitter makeup, and low cut tank tops, and a family dinner at the Olive Garden isn’t one of them.
1) Walking through someone’s fart trail
You know it when you smell it, and it causes you to stop dead in your tracks and begin scanning for the culprit. Most likely it could be anyone, but you instantly rule out the hot blond browsing through the travel books and turn your critical gaze toward the greasy middle aged man that just meandered past you on his way toward graphic novels. It had to be him, look at him, he looks like the kind of guy who’d crop dust a Barnes and Noble aisle without ever giving it a second thought. Plus, if you don’t want to be accused of foul odors, you probably shouldn’t be wearing sweatpants in public.