Crazy People

Who remembers the good old days when if you saw someone walking down the street talking to themselves, you’d think that that person was crazy?.

A short while back, it startled me to see so many people talking to themselves while walking down the street.
Why all of the sudden an influx of crazy people?
What was the world coming to?

That is, until I realized they were chatting on cell phones using indiscreet hands-free devices.
“Ok, they’re not crazy”, you think.

But from the volume of their voices, you realize they’re anything but indiscreet.
I’ve heard everything.
Business deals, surgical results, cussin’, personal details of last night’s date…all for everyone to hear, whether we want to or not.

Then you realize, “Ok, they are crazy.

Last time I was a Chicago O’Hare airport, riding the inter-airport shuttle between terminals, a businessman in a poly-blend yellow shirt, super-stylized wavy hair, and a JC Penney navy blazer (and I’m quite sure a gold ‘power’ necklace underneath it all) was literally screeching into his cell phone.
It was something about a disk.

And it was a very important disk.
So important, he made sure we all knew it.

“I need that f&$cking disk. If she doesn’t get that f&%cking disk to me to by tonight I’m gonna…and this f&$cking airline. They’ve f%$cked up again….why can’t they get anything f&$%cking right.”

What a charmer!
(And I’m thinking…“Please God, don’t let me be seated next to him on the plane, please God…I’m a good person, I just bake cookies for a living…”)

I wondered if he was married, if he had any friends.
And if so, if his friends were just like he was. I couldn’t imagine anyone in their right mind voluntarily spending more than 7 seconds in his presence.

You get the picture, but I mean, this asshole (pardon my French) was SCREAMING into the phone, so that even those of us huddles together in the back of the bus just to avoid him had no choice but to listen. If anyone had the nerve to say something, I’m sure they were at risk of getting punched out. The driver, who he was sitting directly behind, looked like he was going to drive the shuttle under an approaching aircraft wheels just to get this guy to shut up.

And those kind of people are always itching for a fight, thriving on any kind of confrontation with others.
And why do they always seem to be the ones getting upgraded?
(Is it because they’re such a pain in the backside to the airline employees? I bring the ticket counter people cookies, but all I ever get is a seat with a meager 4-inches of legroom, until the idiot in front of me slams their seat backwards the nano-second the Fasten Seat Belt light goes off.)


So…this morning I’m taking the bus to yoga. I know it seems funny to ‘ride’ to do exercise, but I was running late.

Anyhow…this man of Indian-descent, who’s kinda nerdy wearing big, dark-rimmed glasses that I’m sure will be held together by white tape in a few years, is talking very LOUDLY into his mobile phone….

“Yes, I said Capricorn.”…..”Yes, CAPRICORN!”

He’s speaking in broken-English, and unaware that he’s sharing the bus with someone who has an excellent command of the language of Shakespeare.

Then he starts shouting about how much it’s been costing him to chat…
“It costs me 200 euros per month on my SFR bill….200 euros!…yes, these calls!”

He finally begins winding up the conversation, saying he’d like to meet the caller that afternoon…after his doctor’s appointment, then began describing his horrible, scaly skin condition that’s running rampant over his legs and feet, prompting the medical exam.

Now that’s hot,really hot.

Thanks for sharing.

Anyhow, I’m watching CNN International last night and they’re showing images of the devastation in New Orleans, instead of the usual stories of Maddox Jolie’s hairstyle or The Runaway Bride or the latest tv Bachelor-star that cable “news” is normally preoccupied with.

After showing images of overworked police and military people who have the unenviable task of wading through the flood wreckage, unearthing bodies and rescuing trapped families, the story continues on to the looting.

The CNN reporter begins interviewing a man trying to scurry away, hauling away plastic sacks of trousers he’s looted from a local store.
(And no, he wasn’t taking baby food for his starving children, or medicine for this elderly grandmother.)

When the reporter asks the man if he feels any guilt for what he was doing in the aftermath of this horrendous catastrophe, the man responds…
“If it was wrong, the police would be stopping me, wouldn’t they!…”

Later I watched as the head of FEMA mentioned that workers had to stop delivering supplies to the disaster-stricken area because people were shooting at them.

Maybe it’s me. I don’t know.
But I think people are getting crazier.


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  • Alisa
    September 2, 2005 7:21am

    This is very nice David – yeah for you.

    As for why the loud and obnoxious get upgrades and other perks…it’s the squeaky wheel theory.

  • Melinda
    September 2, 2005 10:19am

    You sound like a very nice person.
    I’d give you a hug if I could!
    This disaster has really happened to all of us, not just the people of the Gulf Coast.
    I think of all the people who have never been to New Orleans might never have a chance now.
    Good words, thanks!

  • September 2, 2005 5:44pm

    “I just bake cookies for a living. . .” You never fail to crack me up (and make me hungry).
    Great post. Thank you!

  • September 2, 2005 7:37pm

    Re. the current craziness quotient:

    Mayhaps reality TV’s dog-eat-dog approach to everything from high finance to baking cookies has something to do with it?

    Why can’t they just let we dogs eat the cookies and be happy?

  • September 3, 2005 6:14am

    reminds me of this conversation i overheard of this guy telling his friend he was drunk the night before and pee-ed at the back of the bus… gross! seriously, toooooo much info!

    by the way, you’re sooooooo nice to bring cookies for the airline people… :)

  • September 3, 2005 8:27am

    I’ve been thinking the same thing, David: they are getting crazier. The BBC had a story about snipers stopping the evacuation of a hospital and how looters were holding up hospital staff at gunpoint. What a world.

    Oh and as for things-one-hears-on-public-transport, my favourite was hearing a couple of Scots in a suburb of Munich discussing their drug habits. Loved the looks on their faces as I turned and politely said “Have a lovely evening, guys!” as I stepped off the train!

  • September 3, 2005 8:39am

    Reminds me of David Sedaris talking about how he was riding the métro here in Paris and these Americans started talking about him (thinking he was French). One was saying how ugly he was, then the other person said something about him smelling funky!

    And that’s an interesting point about reality shows making everything, from dating to getting married to baking cookies, a competition. That’s why I don’t pay much attention to those professional pastry & cooking competitions…I don’t think cooking, and eating, are really ‘competitive activities’!

  • September 4, 2005 8:18pm

    I saw that guy too…it was quite the odd answer. Not nearly as odd as the people running off with plasma screen televisions though…considering they have no electricity, or HOMES…sigh.