Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fun Times With Stupid People

I was out to lunch with my daughter the other day and was sharply reminded that stupid people come in all sizes, shapes, colors and ages.

There were two well-over-55-years-old women in front of us at the restaurant. They were staring at the hostess stand as if they'd never seen one before. They stood well back from it, lest the hostess leap over and attack. My daughter waited a bit, then moved around them and put our name in. Then and only then did the women approach the hostess to put their names in. They did it in clear English, so they weren't foreign visitors.

Okay, I know what you're thinking -- they just weren't sure if they wanted to eat there, right? That's what I thought. I mean, they looked like any other set of older ladies, and they didn't have a handler with them, so one assumes they dressed themselves and drove themselves to the restaurant.

I didn't give them another thought...until I went to the bathroom.

While on my way, I passed one of the women. The restaurant owners have pictures of famous and semi-famous people who've eaten there on the walls. The woman was looking at them. I walked right by her, and she looked straight at me, and the ONLY place I could go once past her was either the women's room or the men's. Period. The pictures are literally outside the bathrooms. One step away from the pictures puts you at the restroom doors.

There were two stalls, one was occupied, I took the other. Said woman wanders in after me.

NOW. She's SEEN me go past, so she KNOWS at least one person is in here. But we're being rather quiet. So she sort of pushes on the doors. They don't budge. At this point, a normal person says to themselves, "Both taken, I'll wait. Or look under the doors for feet. Or listen for the sound of flushing." But not this woman.

Another woman comes in, and the woman says to her, "I can't tell if there are any stalls here." She's standing in front of them, mind you, and has already pushed on the doors. The new occupant shares that, look, there are stalls. Mrs. Idiot then says, "Well, there's no sounds and the doors won't open." The other woman shares that, perhaps, just maybe, there are women IN the stalls already and they aren't having gastrointestinal problems so are being quiet. Mrs. Idiot replies, "Oh, I don't know how that could be."

Really? It must be nice to live in a world where you never have to wait for a bathroom stall, EVER. I don't live there, but apparently on Planet Stupido, they have a no waiting policy.

At this point, the other toilet flushes, and shortly thereafter, the occupant leaves. At which point Mrs. Idiot says, "Oh! Is there only one stall and it just fills the whole place?"

Keep in mind, this woman SAW ME GO IN and had NOT seen me go OUT. I'm fairly positive my doppelganger wasn't in the next stall and, sadly, I'm not some tiny wisp of a thing no one would ever notice. Therefore, why would she assume there was only one stall? Where did I go, where was I? France? In the plumbing? Lurking at the back of the "extendo-stall" she apparently decided this was? In the men's room? I'm clearly a girl, so that one's out, too.

The other occupant says, "No, there are two stalls. Two doors, two stalls." Mrs. Idiot says, "Oh, but I didn't hear anything and I couldn't open either one." The other occupant says, "Yes. Because people were and are in them." She chose not to deal with the sound comment -- I was awed by her restraint.

Mrs. Idiot is still remarking on this phenomenon as she enters the stall, I flush mine, and so forth The woman waiting for my stall gave me the universal look for, "what an idiot" and waggled her eyebrows at the other stall. I nodded. No words needed to be said.

But, here's my question. How do you reach AARP age in a big city in the USA without understanding the basic concepts of hostess stands and bathrooms while at the same time having no apparent major learning disorders?

Has this woman's life been SO charmed that she has never, EVER, had to wait for something, not even a bathroom stall? Has the concept of telling someone you'd like to be seated never been one she's had to pay attention to? She didn't look like some former celebrity, if she's part of any royal family they need to stop inbreeding immediately, and no one was acting like her picture needed to be added onto the Wall of Fame by the bathrooms.

Which leaves me with this conclusion: I'm really glad I was in the stalls BEFORE her and got out before she did whatever it is that she does that would alert the world to her stall being occupied.

It's the little things you cherish, after all.


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