Plus ça Change – April 18th

Most of the restaurants in our area have made the shift to delivery and pickup only and we’re trying to do the best we can to patronize them and keep them going. Tonight I had an interesting and enlightening experience picking up dinner.

One of the local pizza places that was a standard, go-to place for kid’s birthday parties, team parties for soccer and baseball and basketball, Monday Night Football viewing, and so on (a mom and pop place, not a national chain) has reopened with limited hours and strict ordering and pickup routines. Not onerous, but they’re not fooling around.

You order online only, pay for it online in advance, then go down and park. They have a fairly extensive area in front of the restaurant cordoned off and you don’t go inside of the barrier. They’ll come to the door and holler at you to see who you are, give you an update on your order’s timing, then go back inside. Once your order is ready they’ll put it on a table outside, they’ll go back inside, THEN you can go inside the cordoned off area to pick up your food and leave. Simple.

I got there and parked. There were two or three people sitting around in their cars, waiting for their orders. Everyone’s wearing masks and observing social distancing and then some. I told the folks in the restaurant who I was and was told it would be another ten minutes. I moved away from the door area to wait.

In comes a huge SUV, which parks right next to the doors in a handicapped space. No sign of any handicapped tags or plates. Out pops a woman who would fit a Central Casting call for “middle-aged white trash.” She does not have a mask of any kind, but she’s smoking a cigarette. She goes up to the ropes, is told it will be another ten minutes or so, and chooses to start giving a ration of shit to the waitress.

She finally goes back to stand next to her car, crushes the cigarette on the ground (yet another of my favorite antisocial behaviors), and lights up another. Someone new has parked over yonder and is walking up, sees her, and makes a comment about her not having a mask.

“I can’t smoke if I’m wearing a mask!”

Well, that’s probably true. This new guy decides to point out the option to not be smoking.

“FUCK YOU! Mind your own business!” At which point she got into her illegally parked SUV and shut the doors to wait for her food.

My order came up about then so I took it, walked the long way around Patient Zero, and left.

It’s America in a nutshell right now as I see it. 80% or more of people doing the best they can, a bit confused perhaps, almost certainly trying to function way outside of their comfort zone, but getting by and working for the common good. All accompanied by a very small minority that are either not intelligent enough or not mature enough (or both) to be able to do what’s right.

I don’t have a dog in the hunt re: Ms. Chain Smoker. I didn’t get involved, just moved further away.

But I will say this – I’m rooting for the lung cancer.

Let’s bring back consequences for stupidity.

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Los Angeles

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