A brief holiday story

We’re nearing the holidays, people.  Christmas is only 20 days away.  That’s less than three weeks for those of you bad at math, and calendars.

I keep thinking about last year’s holiday season.  A few weeks before Christmas, Laura and I went to our friendly neighborhood K-Mart for… whatever someone might go to K-Mart to buy.  A popcorn tin or something, I’d imagine.  Can’t be anything more important than that.  It’s K-Mart.

We approached the door and a man suddenly burst through, practically knocking me over, slamming me in the chest with his left palm.  He was a smallish fellow, certainly no bigger than myself, and maybe about 40 years of age.  Rough beard, ball hat, hoodie.  You could tell he formerly did heroin or at least was an avid smoker, because he seemed older and weirder looking than he should have.

“WHAT THE FUCK, IDIOT?  CAN’T YOU GO IN THE RIGHT DOOR?”  He looked me in the eye and yelled this as he pushed me to the side.

It’s a K-Mart. There is no “right” door.

I looked at the door to make sure.  There were no words or papers, aside from a Salvation Army flier and something about the latest Little Caesar’s pizza deal.  In its center was an up arrow, which in my mind implies, you know… people can go through it.  Because it’s a door.  At K-Mart.  And up arrows mean “in.”


That’s pretty much how it looked.

“There’s an up arrow, jackass! I can use the door,” I shouted back at the man.

“SHUT THE FUCK UP!” he yelled in retort, semi-jogging into the parking lot. “LEARN HOW TO READ, IDIOT!”

He really emphasized the word idiot.

I wanted to stab him so much.

I also wondered how I’m supposed to “read” an arrow.

“Fuck off jackass!” I yelled back.  He kept going.  I yelled some other long tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space somewhere over Lake Michigan.

We continued through the door.  I was shaking with rage and boiling that a man could be that big of a douche to a total stranger entering a store.  A woman inside who witnessed the situation said “Wow, that was unnecessary,” and we totally agreed with her.  She called him a dick, and I calmed down a bit.

For the past 12 months, I’ve regretted not punching that dude in the face.  Every now and then, when entering a place, Laura and I talk about how we need to make sure we’re entering the “right” door so a grumpy middle aged dickbag doesn’t scream at us.

I really wanted to Derek Vineyard that guy right there in front of K-Mart, and crush whatever teeth he had left.

Happy Holidays, everyone!


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