My friends and family know this. I am either a source of amusement or I make them want to find the nearest rock and crawl under it. I talk to strangers, hell I talk to anybody just about. When Em and I go to the store for instance and she buys either alcohol or tobacco I insist that the clerk check her ID. I then tell the clerk that it’s fake. I believe Em was mortified the first time I did this, now she just rolls her eyes. Everyone else in line and the clerk just kinda look at me and wonder what planet I’m from.
Here is a back and forth discussion I had with somebody online in response to an article of prostitutes being murdered up in New York and about how dangerous the profession of prostitution is. This is shortened and paraphrased a bit because I don’t feel like looking it up at the moment but you will get the gist of it:
Him (I believe it was a him): Prostitution is the most dangerous job a woman could have.
Me: Really? And how many years were you a prostitute to have this kind of experience? Were you a streetwalker or an internet escort?
Him: What? No. This is based on 50 years of life experience. I just know.
Me: Oh! Life experience! So then you can also tell me the mating rituals of the African Pygmy when they migrate in the summer?
HEB (a Texas chain grocery store) has become an endless source of entertainment. It used to be an endless source of pain in my ass. Granted, we also have a Wal-Mart but it is further away and the quality of the groceries is below that of HEB. I like to go to HEB on Sundays, usually because that’s when they have employee’s giving out the free samples of some food items. Unfortunately, it’s also the day when there are extra vendors set up right outside the doors trying to sell you crap from subscriptions to newspapers, to family portraits, to energy companies. I have come to hate these people with a passion and there is not a way to get into the HEB without passing one of these people.
So I complained to the manager (who I also slightly know and I’m paraphrasing again here):
Me: I hate coming to this store.
Assistant Manager: I’m sorry to hear that. What can we do better?
Me: These vendors that you allow outside your doors are a nuisance. I can’t walk in or out without somebody stopping me and trying to sell me something. What’s next? Hookers? Are you going to allow women to stand in front of the doors and sell their stuff?
Assistant Manager: Oh no ma’am. We wouldn’t allow that.
Me: Well why not? They would be better looking and probably have something more valuable to sell than these people trying to get me to switch my electric service.
Assistant Manager (laughing a bit nervously): I don’t think our customers would appreciate being approached by prostitutes.
Me: And what makes you think they appreciate being approached by the newspaper?
At this point I think he had signaled someone to rescue him as he excused himself and went to one of the cashiers. Now realize that I am still pretty irritated and was on a roll. But I go buy my eggs, butter, whatever, check out and Oh Golly Gee! Who should stop me on the way out except for a fairly attractive young man. Please note, if this had been an unattractive old geezer or woman I may not have done what I did next. Well, actually – I might have.
Salesman who is trying to be charming: Excuse me ma’am! Can I interest you in joining a raffle?
Me: *Sigh* For what?
Salesman: It’s a benefit yada yada where we are giving away blah blah sponsored by the (my local area) newspaper. Tell me, do you receive The XX news?
Me (who should have just said I already subscribe and went on my way): No, I read my news on the internet.
Salesman (really turning on the charm now): Well, we have a special going on and if you sign up today you can get blah blah and yada yada for half blah blah AND we will throw in yada yada for free.
Me: How did you get here?
Salesman: Um, excuse me?
Me: What did you have to do in order to be able to set up your little desk that almost blocks people from coming in and out and be able to harass them? I’d like to set up something similar and sell my product.
Salesman (faltering a little bit): I had to apply for a vendors permit from the city and then ask HEB if I could set up here. What is your product?
Me: Okay, so neither the city nor HEB has a rule against something that can be considered a public nuisance. Good to know. I’m going to sell sex.
Salesman (jaw dropping, eyes bugging): EXCUSE ME?
Me: S-E-X. I’m going to set up a table next to yours and sell blow jobs. Oh don’t worry, I won’t actually do IT here. I’ll just sell tickets or something and I’ll use condoms so it won’t be a public health issue.
Salesman (laughing nervously, so funny how I can make people do that): I don’t think they will let you do that.
Me: Why not? You can sell what you’re selling.
Salesman: Well for one thing it is illegal.
Me: Why is that? Why is selling my product illegal and yours is legal? Basically we are doing the same thing. Just bothering people walking by trying to get some groceries.
By this time, there are about five people who must have heard part of our conversation and have stopped to listen. Yes, I’m starting to feel a little self conscience now. When he ignores me and turns on the charm to one of the on-lookers and starts his little spiel again I let it go and leave. Funny, I see the same guy two days later when I stop in for milk and he smiles at me. Hehe, wanna buy a raffle ticket?
I remember the time my daughter accidently bumps into me and I stumble against the guy in front of me at the checkout line. I start to apologize and realize Holy Crap this guy is gorgeous! I turn back to my daughter and say (loud enough where he can here me) “Push me again!” Poor girl, she was blushing the entire way home saying “OMG MOM!”
The local Mormon’s or Jehovah Witnesses or whatevers don’t come by my house anymore either. Apparently they talk amongst themselves and told each other of the time I answered the door in my black t-shirt with a blazing pentagram on it. When they told me they would like to talk about Our Lord Jesus Christ The Savior and what he can do for me I answered with I worship the Sun Goddess and they have interrupted my spell-casting and my Gods are going to be furious and will put a curse on you and you should really be careful about knocking on any doors unannounced because you never know the consequences of what your actions have the potential of doing. I then shut the door quite forcefully.
Similar people came to the house one more time after that. I was more tame. I just told them that no I didn’t have time to talk but if they gave me their address that I would be happy to come over unannounced and discuss the Pagan Gods and what worshiping them can do for YOU in the near future. Oh and don’t tell your neighbors I might come by. I want to knock on their doors as a surprise too. I will tell you it will be on a cloudless night with a full moon and I’ll be in my natures best dress (which of course is naked). I actually didn’t say the last sentence there, it was one of those DAMN I should have added that to what I said moments.
Why do hookers get such a bad rap with people like all of the above being allowed to bother you as much as they want? Occupational discrimination is what it is.