If there’s one thing I can’t stand…. Oh, who am I kidding? There are a monkey ton of things I can’t stand. But the thing I can’t stand right now, right this minute, is an asshat. Now, there are many different classes of asshat, but the type of asshat I’m annoyed with today is the teenage, petulant, inconsiderate, ungracious asshat.
I encountered just such an asshat Friday evening while diving headfirst into O’Hare Airport.
The kid was no taller than me, which suggested he still had some growing to do, with buzzed blond hair and glasses. A clean-cut enough looking kid, but a total asshat. He was a wanderer. The sort who drifts as he walks, checking out the scenery, dawdling along; clearly NOT a seasoned traveler. These are all things I’m willing to forgive.
I’m even willing to forgive the fact that this little asshat felt the need to commandeer three bins at the security line, even though he was only carrying his shoes, his belt, and a narrow cardboard tube. Apparently, he felt that each of these items required an individual bin.
Again, this I can forgive.
What pissed me off, though, was this kid’s complete, asshatted ingratitude. As we’re leaving the X-ray line (I managed to put my laptop and my shoes in one bin and my bag, being a bag, did not need a bin) the little asshat forgot his cardboard tube.
I notice this as he’s walking away. I pick it up and use it to tap him on the arm (two birds, one stone and all that) somehow the little asshat still doesn’t notice me trying to get his attention so I whap him a little harder and say, loudly, “Hey! You forgot your… thing!”
He turned, gave me a blank look, grabbed his tube and said, “Oh,” flatly before turning and walking away.
I blinked stoopidly.
There was an instant in time. A moment frozen and lost forever when I could have pretended I didn’t notice. There was no name or other markings on the tube. If he hadn’t noticed its absence, it would have been lost forever. And so I did the right thing.
I don’t expect a medal or fawning adoration (it was probably just a lame-o poster from the Shedd or – more likely – the Science and Industry Museum) but how hard is a simple “Thank you” ???