Welcome to Situation Normal, a weekly newsletter of funny slice of life stories. Be sure to subscribe for new stories every Sunday.
Quick housekeeping item. I’m back on Facebook. I’m an author, and my goal is to sell one trillion copies of my novel, NOT SAFE FOR WORK. That’s going to be tough because the world’s total population is 7.6 billion people. It all comes down to marketing (it always does), and I can’t ignore the fact that half the world is on Facebook. So, I created an author page. If you love this newsletter, nothing changes. But if you want to let Mark Zuckerberg in on the fun, follow my author page.
Christina asks if I have time to pick up lunch at Subway. My writing is ahead of schedule and she has to “jump on a call,” so I grab my wallet, keys, and mask and head out the door.
Our local Subway is usually on point, but today’s sandwich artist seems distracted. Or, maybe it’s the masks and plexiglass that accounts for the communication breakdown. Whatever the reason, extra pickles translates to “mayo.” Well, the thing about mayo is there’s no going back. You can scrape it off bread, but try scraping mayo off shredded lettuce. It’s a fool’s errand, and this sandwich artist is no fool.
“Sorry, but I’m going to need to start again,” she says.
Turns out the second time is the charm. The sandwich artist does her thing, then rings up two six-inch sandwiches, two bags of chips, and two fountain drinks.
“Thanks for being so cool about that,” she says.
“Thank you for getting it right.”
We both agree that life is too short to be an asshole. Then she tells me my order comes with two free cookies.
“Is this a reward for not being an asshole?” I ask.
“No. It’s part of the deal. Besides, if we gave out cookies to people just for being cool, we wouldn’t need to make very many cookies.”
That tracks. But I tell her I’m trying to cut back on sweets, so I decline. The sandwich artist says that’s a good move because “our cookies aren’t worth it.” I suppose that’s why they’re free with purchase.
On the drive home, I find myself waiting in the middle of a busy intersection to make a left turn. As it happens, the man behind me isn’t cool. He’s an asshole. He leans on his horn and screams out his window for me to move my “fucking ass.”
Well, I’d like to move my fucking ass, I really would. But there’s an old man limping his way through the crosswalk, and if I turn the wheel and hit the gas, that old man will be in for a world of hurt. So, I wave at the driver behind me and point to the pedestrian.
More honking, more yelling.
Eventually, the old man clears the crosswalk, and I make my left turn. The driver behind me makes a left a few seconds later. Then he hits the gas and catches up to me at the next red light. With his window down, the driver looks straight at me and screams, “Learn to drive, fuck-stick!”
Now, it’s possible that just like with the sandwich artist, something got lost in translation. There’s no plexiglass, and neither of us are wearing masks, but maybe I misheard the angry motorist. Maybe he didn’t call me a “fuck-stick.” Maybe he called me a “fuck-face,” or a “fuck-head,” or simply, a “fucker.”
“Dude, there was a pedestrian in the road,” I shout. “You gotta be careful.”
But the angry motorist doesn’t appreciate my advice. Why should he take driving lessons from someone who, in his estimation, needs to learn to drive?
“Eat a bag of dicks!” he yells.
The light turns green. The angry motorist may be faster off the line, but I’m quicker to the punchline. I hold up my sandwiches and scream, “I’ve got a bag of dicks right here!”
Now, I don’t know if telling the angry motorist that I have a bag of dicks to eat makes me cool, or funny, or even interesting. But I do know that the man’s expression changed from angry to confused in the blink of an eye, and that for the rest of his days, he will be haunted by the bearded man in the blue Prius driving around Los Angeles, carrying a bag of dicks.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back next Sunday with a new story. Meantime, sharing is caring, so PLEASE share Situation Normal with everyone you know 😎
Also check out my hilarious new novel, NOT SAFE FOR WORK. As one Amazon reviewer recently wrote, “It’s funny!” There you go, folks, social proof in action.