What in the world happened?
Some people believe that the “Decline & Fall of Civilization” as we knew it was precipitated by the abolition of Prayer, and later Arts Education & Phys-Ed, in public schools. Others still, when folks just plain stopped saying “Please” and “Thank You”.
Some believe doom rained down upon us the moment baby Sam Walton first opened his eyes and burped up greenbacks. There may be one or two who think it all happened at Yalta, but they’re mired in a soup of political history so thick that I don’t anything would change their opinions.
There is even a small contingent that steadfastly clings to the advent of the Minimum Wage, and the repeated preference by management (private sector) and bureaucratic administrators (government) for their persistent hiring of the mentally infirm and incompetent to positions of authority, as the cause of said decline.
There are myriad perfect examples available – Sadly far too many to adequately list herein.
HR: “Name, please.”
Future Employee: (dull silence)
HR: “You do have a name don’t you?”
FE: “I’m thinkin’.”
HR: “We’ll come back to that. Education?”
HR: “What was the highest grade level you completed in school?”
HR: “You did attend school…Didn’t you?”
FE: “Elmer ‘Bubba T-Bone’ Rafsanjani O’Farrell.”
FE: “Tha’s mah nay-yam.”
HR: “I can certainly see how that would require deep thinking on your part. Now, it says here that you’ve been convicted for armed robbery. Been arrested once for aggravated assault as result of a car-jacking and are currently out on bail pending a hearing on charges of possession with intent to sell and are suspected of being a serial rapist.”
FE: “Yep! Mah old diddy only made it to the fiff grade! Ahm the first in my ho fam’ly to go all the way to the seb’mth.”
HR: “I’m sure their pride knows no bounds. Well, Mr. O’Farrell, good news!…You’re just the kind of person we’ve been searching for. Welcome to the Department of the Interior. You’ll be assigned to the Minerals Management Services Environmental Impact Affairs Division. You’ll be starting as a Vice President with an annual salary of $250,00. Incidentally, your aptitude test shows you’re also perfectly qualified to work at the Mall, the DMV and Airport Security…Though I doubt they pay as well as we do for someone with your illustrious qualifications.”
FE: “HOT DAY-YAM!!”
While all of the aforementioned reasons might be very good examples, and I do agree in principle that these are significant promontory points indicative of the depletion of our social graces, my personal belief is the die for our complete and utter downfall was cast by the “Invention of the Automobile Turn Signal”.
The turn signal was invented by Oscar J. Simler in 1929, but was not offered on consumer autos until 1939. In the late 1940s, car manufacturers made them available to American consumers en masse and the world has never been the same.
With that single lauded act of super-convenience, placed at everyone’s fingertips in their “Home-Away-From-Home”, the death knell of common courtesy was sounded, signed, sealed and delivered.
Once given the opportunity by the simple flip of a switch to indicate your directional motivations, it was only a short clumsy step to completely ignoring it and in turn the broad acceptance of total disregard for ones’ fellow-man.
Personally, I’m quite fond of yelling out my car window at the lazy and disrespectful driver in front of me who fails to recognize the need for those superfluous indicators: “Oh, don’t bother…It’s quite alright. I’m a mind-reader!!!”
Now, it’s true that each of us at one time or another has failed to properly indicate a turn, whether it’s because we were preoccupied with thoughts of sex, thoughts of lunch…We were having sex or having lunch… Whatever – I’m not chastising the occasional act of distracted forgetfullness….It’s the Habitual Social Criminal for whom we must be ever vigilant.
When our Government, and our moral ambiguity, finally permits the acceptable public use of extreme violence in cases of minor traffic infractions, Valet Boy – for one – will rise up and give thanks. I firmly believe that a few well placed rounds from a .357 Magnum through the Offender’s Vehicle will do more than all the Traffic Cams in Christendom toward curbing this blatant abusive neglect of common courtesy and help to re-establish Society’s natural order.
Who’s with me?
And Another Thing
On the subject of Fate vs. Coincidence – and after all isn’t that what we are all concerned with here? “They are not mutually exclusive, but rather are wholly subjective after the fact, indicating that any study thereof would be inherently flawed and prejudicial.”
By way of an example:
Chronically Unemployed Fred is in the shower lathering up his stubbled face with a freshly purchased 2 lb. block of soap. Temporarily blinded by the suds, he misses the soap dish dropping the block on his great toe. After screaming a foul obscenity, Fred bends over to retrieve the slippery soap bar. The exact same moment, a misfired Hercules II ICBM Missile slams into his bedroom wall, penetrates the shower stall singeing his thick crop of back-hair and continues uninterrupted through his house just as a rampaging horde of Islamic Terrorists are breaking in, having mistakenly acquired his address as that of a cartoonist reportedly guilty of drafting funny images of The Ayatollah having sex with a goat. (They don’t object to having sex with the goat, it’s the exaggerated depiction of a drunken Ayatollah that has them all a-flutter) The Terrorists are instantly evaporated, along with half of Fred’s home. Fred’s homeowner’s insurance pays off handsomely for the ICBM’s devastation and his attorney successfully sues the Federal Government for $23.6 Million because the Terrorists were accidentally freed from Gitmo on a work-release program with Con-Agra Foods as corn shuckers.
Fate or Coincidence?
Neither. It’s just Fred’s damn good luck— Finally!
Til Next time –
Thanks for reading,
For those Readers who have been occasionally checking out my novel “The Grimm”, I have added 2 new chapters (3 & 4).