Good Intentions, Flawed Results
The Batty Broad tries desperately and futilely to have patience with the general populace. It is an endeavor that provides many moments of muttering under my breath and homicidal thoughts, followed by the need to write this blog. Generally a singular thought is the crux of my issues with my fellow man/woman -Get Out of My Way – Dammit!
I live in a perpetual state of disbelief that people are:
1. Completely unaware of their surroundings. It’s like most of the world came out of the womb and entered an invisible plastic bubble which makes it impossible for them to recognize that their actions and activities include other people and/or animate and inanimate objects. It’s a mystery and I am certain that it is my life-long mission to discover the origins of this disease and cure it.
2. So slowwwwwwww. From what I can tell most people have three speeds – slow, damn slow and stop. My favorite demonstration of this is when people are walking down a shared space – like a sidewalk and they just stop in the middle, blocking the way for everyone else who is walking behind them causing a sidewalk traffic jam to which they seem completely unaware of. See #1.
3. The only exception is when people are in a vehicle which seems to have the same effect as when kids get a new pair of sneakers – “look at me Mom, I can run FAST!”. Suddenly these same people whose normal speed is “slow motion” have donned imaginary racing gear and have begun channeling Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder – “I feel the need, the need for speed”. Good thing they are in control of a large device that can easily kill the operator or anyone else around them (see reference to invisible plastic bubble above).
4. Have no idea that everyone else can hear their conversation when they are in a communal space – restaurant, bar, movie, concert, etc., etc. The idea that someone would come to an event or a place where other people are trying to enjoy themselves and have PAID to enjoy it and then conversate at a level that is clearly beyond acceptable for that venue should be punishable by public ridicule or stoning. Okay that’s a little harsh, I’ll settle for public ridicule.
And finally –
5. Why all of the above defined humans seem to be attracted to me. It’s like I am annoyance magnet and they gravitate toward me like tiny metal shavings. Metal shavings with thorns.
Normally, I have the pleasure of suffering these vexations intermittently but recently the universe conspired to test my patience over the course of an entire day. By the way, I hear that patience is a virtue. I’m not convinced.
The day started out great. The plan was to go to San Francisco to run in a 5K race that would end on the field at AT&T Park (home of the SF Giants). Awesome, right? After we took in the glory from standing in the outfield where our favorite team plays and received our medal and basked in our accomplishment, we were planning on heading home, changing and going to see The Americanarama Festival of Music featuring Bob Dylan, Wilco and My Morning Jacket. I mean seriously, how can this day get any better? Needless to say, I was pretty darn excited.
I had been preparing for this race for awhile and wanted to set a personal best record for my time so I was really looking forward to running it. Running is a weird sport. The best part is when you are done. During the race your brain is posing the following questions: Why, I mean WHY are we doing this? It hurts. I hate you. No, I really HATE you. You’re going to pull something. You should stop, I think you’re having a heart attack. Is this over yet? How about now? Look, a place to sit down, let’s sit down. This goes on for the length of the race on repeat. To say that running is mind over matter is a vast understatement. When you have finished, your brain is so relieved that it forgets what just happened and starts saying: Again! Let’s do it again! Your feet usually tell your brain to shut the hell up.
So I was R E A D Y for this race to begin when we lined up. I did, however start to get a little concerned when I noticed that there were many people around us that didn’t look like they had ever run a race. In fact, they looked a lot like they woke up from a night of partying and someone dragged them here against their will. That shouldn’t seem like a problem but as you will find out, IT IS.
As with most events that involve large masses of people, there are rules. When you don’t follow the rules, people usually get hurt. In my case I just end up spectacularly enraged at the non-rule following minions. The first rule is that you line up based on time. Which means that you line up based on your time per mile. For instance, if you are me, you line up at the 11:00 minute mile marker. If you are Usain Bolt you line up at the front. If you are a walker, guess where you line up? AT THE BACK. Simple, right? The website had these rules listed, the announcer announced the rules and yet the large crowd still suffering from last nights hangover was not listening.
The first problem appeared as soon as we crossed the starting line. Walkers. Everywhere there were walkers. It was like the Walking Dead except I wasn’t allowed to hit them in the head to get away from them since they weren’t actual zombies. Since we were running down the street in San Francisco, this caused a huge problem and bottleneck. People were forced to run around the walkers and into the street which had actual traffic. This did not go over well with the police officers, so we had to cross back over into the walker traffic. Okay, so I get that you have never been to a race and your crusty eyes and bad breath indicate that you are still suffering from last nights bad choices but can you just GET OUT OF MY WAY? You know, move over so that the people who are actually RUNNING don’t have to run into you as you stagger, bleary eyed, half-awake down the MIDDLE of the path. This whole situation is made worse by the fact that it isn’t individuals who are causing the problem but packs of walkers who are tra-la-la’ing down the street together.
It looked a lot like this but with running clothes instead of party clothes
Luckily, my boyfriend was running with me so I had someone to vent my frustration to when I was forced to stop running and try to get around the masses of non-rule following, oblivious, slowww obstacles…er…people. The proof that I am not exaggerating this problem is that the race was supposed to be 3.1 miles long and according to my running watch I actually ran 3.25 miles due to the necessary zig-zagging around everyone. The good news is that we did get to finish on the field at AT&T Park and got a cool medal. The bad news is that my official time is slower than my best time due my need to run an additional .15 miles.
Rick, standing in front of home plate with his medal
Once that was finished, I decided to focus on the fruits of my labor (cool medal) and the possibility of beer in my near future. The night was going to be great. A concert featuring some of my favorite bands in one of my favorite venues was just what I needed to relax and forget about the plastic bubble people who thwarted my grand plans.
We had the choice of purchasing seats or sitting on the lawn for this concert but chose seats as we knew we would be tired and wanted a better view. We figured that it would be a crowd that would be sitting in their seats and getting up on occasion to dance. We were wrong. What we ended up being surrounded by looked like a group of people who had recently finished following the Grateful Dead on a World tour that started in 1969. They must have been tired from sitting on the bus for so long because they all decided to stand for the 3 1/2 of the 4 hour concert. Lucky for us they all happened to be in our section because as I have established, annoying people are attracted to me.
Here is what our view should have looked like:
Here is what Rick got to see for 3 hours:
And here is what I got to see:
Apparently we had stumbled into a dreadlock convention.
The guy in front of me was carrying on a full doctoral dissertation with the guy next to him who I assume was his dad. Even when I stood up I couldn’t see a damn thing between the two of them with their heads together having clearly the most important and interesting conversation of their lives while they smoked a lot of pot. At least I could blame their lack of awareness on the fact that they were high and probably tired from all that touring. Luckily for them I was too tired to grab them by their pot permeated, tied dyed shirts and give them a piece of my mind, Instead, we acted like grown ups and left a little early to drive home and pass out. The sign of a truly successful day.
My life may seem like a never-ending day at the carnival but just remember that if you want to hang out with me, you are going to get the full Batty Broad experience; obliviously annoying strangers and all.
You have been warned.
The Batty Broad
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