I am pretty sure the annual trek to the mall area is over with for this year. I am of course talking about Christmas shopping which for me is almost but not quite as pleasurable as having root canal done without anesthesia by a drunken sadistic dentist. First there are the drivers who only venture out this time of year. Of course there are stupid motorists on the roadways of Northeast Pa all seasons of the year but the Holidays bring them out in packs. The latest trick of these once a year road nuisances is the traffic light surprise. Apparently the concept of green means go takes a while to register this time of the season. Over the weekend I sat behind at least five drivers who just didn’t move when the light turned green. At first I waited fifteen to twenty seconds before tapping my horn. Later on in the day when my patience was all gone it didn’t take that long before I leaned on the honker quite a bit faster. Like maybe ½ a second.
Then there is the parking space Olympics. The game begins when you see someone get in their car. You wait for them to vacate the space and then you have a space, right? Oh if life was only that simple. First of all the estimated time it takes someone to actually move out of the space is measured best by using a calendar. Usually by this time a line of cars has appeared behind you, some of them honking at you to get out of the way. Then chances are about 50/50 someone in the opposite direction will zoom in the space while the person is backing out. I have seen homicide committed over this.
Now you are actually in the store. The long-suffering wife is always well equipped with a list and a clear sense of purpose of what she wants. But she is also possessed (and I use that word with no reference to Linda Blair) with an unshakable idea that everyone on our list needs to get the same amount of gifts. This means many last minute agonized decisions about what to get someone to even it up. This is where many stores make out like bandits as frantic husbands grab anything on the shelf and say “What about this?” The “this” in question of course may be a bag of kitty litter but it seems like a good idea at the time.
Also, and not to be unkind but many of the other shoppers appear to have come from other planets. There are hair styles and clothing matches that make you wonder if any mirrors were in the house before they ventured out.
In the words of Andy Williams : It’s the holiday season
With the whoop-de-do and hickory dock
And don’t forget to hang up your sock.