never talk to strangers

I’m kind of an introvert, and go on my merry way.  But nobody can know this if they’ve never met me.  So when somebody gets in my face out of the blue I kind of wonder what planet they’re living on.  They could be talking to anybody.  Why would anybody want to talk to me anyways?

What if I had a medical condition?  What if I turned out to be a salesman and wasted a half-hour of their day hocking ties to them?  What if I was a closet serial killer?  What if I could care less what these people had to say?  What if I let them in on the gig that Santa isn’t real?

I guess they don’t care.  It’s like they’ve got this ‘on’ switch inside their brains.  They can’t help themselves.  They instinctively interact with their fellow human without any coherent thought.  This can be a neat thing sometimes, I guess, but it can also get very weird very quick.

Today as I’m getting in my walk during lunch (I take my lunch break for exercise and eat at my desk) a guy steps in front of me and stops me.  He then proceeds to ask me a bizarre obscure question about why a downtown building is located in one place instead of the other.  Like why the builders chose that one spot.  Eh?

I’ve got no idea what he’s talking about.  He doesn’t look like he’s criminally insane, he appears a perfectly normal person.  But him stopping me like that, and the weird question were rather off the charts.  So I told him I didn’t know and was on my way swiftly.

And what was it, some day earlier this week, I can’t remember which.  I’m walking through the grocery store parking lot.  I’ve got my one big reusable bag.  I’ve also got a fist full of plastic bags which had reached end of service life.

Once upon a time you could put those old plastic bags in the local curbside recycling.  They banned that in my town, so you have to put them in the plastic bag recycling bin at the grocery stores.  I mostly use the reusable bags at the grocery store.  But will occasionally get plastic bags because they have oh so many uses other than carrying groceries (eat it bag tax politicians).

So I’ll use the plastic bags until they are unserviceable and then recycle those at the grocery.  I suppose the grocery store could just put them in the trash later, for all I know, but it’s all I can do.  Recycling is such a crap shoot.  If you doubt this, just do some reading online to find out how much of that glass you recycle is actually not currently recycled today.  This is why you should get canned beer and box wine.  They’ve fixed the can / box quality issues folks, it’s cheaper, and cans and boxes are 100% recyclable.

Anyways, so I’m strolling through the grocery parking lot with both types of bags.  A car viciously pulls right up next to me on the passenger side.  This guy is shouting at me from behind the steering wheel.  In the 1.5 seconds of mental processing time, I’m wondering where I can run, hide, or fight.

But eventually I determine that he’s shouting at me about how awesome it is that I’m recycling.  I guess he saw me carrying the old plastic bags, I guess?  I keep walking, all I offer in response is my most deadpan, “Okay.”

Then he peels out like he was escaping a robbed bank.  There was no mocking or irony in this dude’s voice.  He was dead serious.  Guy actually did an aggressive drive by on his fellow man just to voice his approval of supposed recycling.

If a brick had been at my feet, I’d have picked it up and chucked it at his car.  You can’t recycle broken rear windshields, the planet is worse off now, and it’s all your fault.  That would’ve been my robotic / lame 1986 action movie line to this idiot.

There’s a reason you tell kids not to talk to strangers.  Even us adults end up dealing with folks who in one way or another, just don’t seem wound right.  I mean, I’m a lunatic, but I’m pretty sure if I stop somebody on the street cold, my reasons and demeanor are legit.

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