Life’s Little Insanities

It takes a big man to find fault with little things.

Or, something like that…

Life has no shortage of major crises, from wars to terrorism, from auto accidents to health problems to family disputes. But sometimes it’s the little things which drive you crazy. And it’s therapeutic to vent about them, I’ve found, if for no other reason than to find some humor in life’s little insanities. So here’s a few of the burrs sitting under my saddle at the moment.

First stop: the supermarket.

Most supermarkets have fairly generous aisles, as a rule posing no impedance to the normal pursuit of culinary commerce — unless you have the misfortune to encounter one of these:

Ahhh, yes, the shopping cart race car — two-seater, four-on-the-floor, dual carbs, about three-quarters of an aisle wide: just wide enough so you can’t get another cart past this sucker. It’s the Humvee of shopping carts — albeit with a better repair record. Of course, mom — in the next aisle looking for strained beets to feed her little Nascar-ettes (or brewskies to help cope with them) — is no longer around for her driver’s ed instruction. And so the contestants — with two steering wheels, who’s driving this bus? — are busy beating each other over the head with a handy banana, while screaming at the top of their lungs. Very bad driving etiquette, to be sure — at least you could hold the banana to your ear and talk, like mommy does when she’s driving. And notice the safety webbing on the windows — which proves to be of somewhat limited effectiveness, as the unsupervised road jockeys tumble out rather easily, striking their soft-shell unhelmeted heads on the linoleum below — clearly a Nascar safety violation, yellow flag on the course! But not to worry: the in-cart advertisement is for a law firm: mommy’s lawsuit against the store will more than cover the cost of her groceries — and drive up the price of mine to boot. Nice.

Just around the corner from this Formula One racer is another special treat: the customer-in-training.

This lovely idea is almost always under the able guidance of a little girl (who knew girls had to be taught to shop??) — although the occasional ADHD male munchkin makes for a most entertaining diversion as well. The tall flag flying over the cart announcing their apprenticeship is woefully inadequate as a warning for the unwary shopper: there should be a white pickup with flashing yellow hazard lights in the lead, loud sirens, and a flagger behind. These little carts strike the back of your legs just below the knee — typically at high speed, as the diminutive sugar-addled shoppers are plowing ahead while simultaneously succumbing to temptations left and right — cookies to the left of me, candy to the right, here I am, struck in the middle by you. Mom, of course, is nowhere to be found as they race recklessly down the aisles — or else she’s so preoccupied with removing the junk food from the minicart that she is blissfully unaware that both she and the unruly urchin are completely blocking your aisle. Bumper cars is another ribald sport of these reckless novitiates: it is prudent, should you see one coming, to move the egg carton from that top shelf in your shopping cart — unless, of course, you love the sound of “Cleanup on aisle 8!” over the P.A., and your new spring fashion coordinates well with Egg Yolk Yellow.

OK, moving on to smaller things, here’s another nit to pick: who’s the marketing genius who thought this one up?

These ridiculous little candy bars are labeled “Fun Size.” Barely over an inch in length, hardly enough to raise your blood sugar 10 points.

Fun size??

“Fun size” is a candy bar you need two people to lift. “Fun size” requires a pickup truck to carry it home. “Fun size” gives you such a sugar high you’ll be up all night cleaning your closets. “Fun size” is not a one-inch candy bar.

Now, we’re all adults here, so I must share this with you: I’m a urologist. In my day-to-day practice I occasionally see patients who are, ummm, disappointed, shall we say, with their physical endowment. Never, ever, — not even once — have I heard such a foreshortened fellow refer to his micro-member as “fun size.” That’s just wrong. Call them “Lil’ Stubbies”; call them “Godiva Geldings”; call them “Not Tonight, Dear’s” –but by Apollo and the gods, do not call them “Fun size.”

Now, this, on the other hand — this is “fun size”:

Enough ranting for now — so this is officially the end of clowning around:

Back soon — take care.

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