June 28th, 2006

krazy koati

It came from out of the blue

I was waiting on line at a video store (were you aware The Bob Newhart Show, third season, is out? Or that there are three Greatest American Hero seasons out, including buttons on the covers to press to play a bit of the theme song and drive the poor clerks crazy? And that it was 31 years ago today that taping started on the pilot for One Day At A Time?) and there was a little unexpected delay. Specifically, the guy at the register was acting in thet ways consistent with trying to ask the cashier for a date. Except the guy was in some fashion connected with the Green Party, so instead of just asking her for a date like normal people would, he was giving her a little campaign spiel.

He wasn't shy about the connection: he was wearing the Green Party T-shirt, complete with web site for the state organization, and he explained to the cashier how they're in favor of worker's rights, and for nationalizing health care, and for opening up debates to include the parties whose candidates have never won a majority of the vote of their immediate families. The cashier was taking this with admirable good cheer. I don't claim to be particularly sensitive to people's moods -- my natural obliviousness overwhelms my common sense -- but it was unmistakable to everyone except the Green Party guy that she was just being nice, and she was just waiting for him to pay for his DVDs already. Then he got into explaining how he used to be with the party's student group at the county community college.

In case the scene wasn't enough of a living Onion article, the Green Party guy went on to mention he had some tenuous connection to Evergreen State College. The cashier nodded, patiently, and he explained, ``It's in Washington, it's got a lot of awesome graduates. Like, Matt Groenig from The Simpsons, Kramer, bluerain.'' That last isn't true, in the technical sense that he actually stopped at Kramer, but I was ready and wondering how far down the alumni rolls he would go. Finally he wrote out an invitation to some kind of party for her, and he left, and as soon as he was out of earshot the cashier apologized profusely. She had mistakenly mentioned his shirt.

Trivia: A 1340 law in the Kingdom of Aragon prohibited ships sailing without a map on board. Source: In Quest of Spices, Sonia E Howe.

Currently Reading: The Design of Everyday Things, Donald A Norman.