I sat around for a while trying to decide if I wanted to address the current state of our beloved USA and other worldly affairs in this weekly look back at events, and I decided not to because it’s all just too darned depressing. If you want to get up to speed quickly, just open Twitter. You’ll find no shortage of angst and negativity there!
It’s all quite divisive too, and that’s not a direction I want to take around here. I might touch on these things in the future, if I can conjure up Will Rogers from the dead and learn how to put a satirical spin on it, but until then I’m going to stay local and personal for a while.
You might just say, “But what about Jon Stewart?” I’d love to ask him but he won’t return my numerous calls, and I’d be violating the restraining order.
During this week’s bus tours I met a little guy taking the tour with his mom. He was about 6 or 7 years-old and he was wearing a Star Wars T-shirt. I asked him if he liked the Star Wars movies. He does! Big fan!
So, I told him and his mom about Letterman Digital Arts that would be coming up at the next stop in about 15 minutes. Right across from The Palace of Fine Arts it’s in The Presidio, built by George Lucas some years ago to house LucasFilm and Industrial Light & Magic.
Disney bought the whole thing from George around the time my little Star Wars buddy was born, and I told them of the visitor center and its free admission.
“It’s so much fun to so see how those movies are made!”
Mom smiled and thanked me for the tip, but the little guy looked kind of puzzled. The bus had just pulled out and we were about to cross The Golden Gate Bridge back into San Francisco, so I told her she was welcome and I quickly returned to giving my tour.
They were sitting toward the back, so when we pulled up to the stop next to The Presidio, I said, “Where’s my little Star Wars buddy with his mom, are you guys jumping off for a look?” Mom indicated “no.” Several other people got off, so I saw them on their way and then went back up to the top deck while the driver was processing some vouchers of new arrivals.
I walked to the back, doing a seat count, and I asked the mom, “Not this time, eh?” Then I noticed the little guy had been crying. I assumed he’d gotten all excited about it but mom decided not to get off, so that’s probably why he was looking so upset, burying his face in mom’s side and sobbing.
Nope. Turns out he “thought the movies were real,” and I’m the one who accidentally told him they’re not.
So apparently, I’d helped a young man through a rite of passage. I felt so bad I blurted out, “Oh, I’m so sorry!” to the mom, but she just shrugged and said, “It’s okay, we’ve had this talk but I don’t think he really believed me until you said “they make the movies there,” so he finally accepted it, but it’s just a shock for him.
I offered him a bumbling “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” type of assurance, saying something about how movies DO exist in our hearts, and he smiled at that as his mom nodded and said, “Did you hear Dave? They are real, in a way!”
He seemed to accept that, but now there’s a kid in the world who isn’t such a kid now. He grew up a bit that day.
I’ve actually burst that bubble before, with my little neighborhood friend “Richie,” fifty years ago when I was ten and he was six. Oh, the trauma! But his mom forgave me too, since I was only ten and didn’t know better. I have no excuse for what happened on my bus a few days ago.
I’d be really interested to hear from anyone who might remember thinking that movies and TV were real when they were a kid, or from parents who had that experience with their offspring. Comment below.
(NOTE: If you’re commenting for the first time on this site, it will be held for moderation and my approval. If you prove to be a decent human and not a spammer, robot or otherwise someone full of demons, you won’t have to wait for moderation after you’ve been approved the first time.)
Let’s leave Star WARS behind for now, and head over to Star Bucks:
I know a young fellow who is kind of strapping, being the gym rat that he is, and he walked into a Starbucks on his way to work yesterday. When he got to his office, he noticed what the order-taker had written on the cup, so he shared a pic of it with me:
I’m not going to publish his name – privacy and alla dat — but his name does not sound in the least like, “GET NAKED,” so this was likely intentional.
He asked me if I thought that a complaint would get him a free coffee next time. I said, “Dude, if you’re willing to be more upset about it than you actually are, and you blink back a few crocodile tears in front of the store manager as you tell him/her how offensive it was, I bet you’re good for a year’s supply!
Don’t forget to mention your lawyer somewhere in there, and be videoing the exchange on your phone when you go in.”
He’s not that kind of guy though, and between you and me I think he saw it as a compliment.
That reminds me of a random tweet-thread I saw this week, where a guy described an ordeal at a McDonald’s drive-thru. It was one of the restaurants that has two windows after the ordering sign; you pay at the first one and then scoot up to the second to collect your order.
He described how some annoying woman in a car behind him had laid on her horn when she thought he was taking too long to order. She actually yelled out her car window at him, “Come on jerk, we don’t have all day!”
So, he said that when he got to the first window, he paid for his order, and then he offered to pay for hers too, and they let him.
I thought this was shaping up to be a wonderful tweet-thread, showing how we should all be kind in the face of adversity, and all of that.
But when he paid for her order, he was given the receipt, since he’s the one who’d pay for it. So, when he got to the second window to collect his order, he took hers too, and zoomed off.
He seemed pretty happy with himself in that tweet-thread, getting a lot of replies like, “Way to go, pal!” and “That’ll show her!” Well, if I knew the guy, I’d tell him a thing or two.
You see, if someone at a fast food joint steals your order, they’ll replace it no charge. I had a guy swipe my breakfast order off the counter at a busy Burger King once, before I could respond, and the manager just resubmitted my order.
That woman sounded like a hell-raiser, so I am absolutely certain they just replaced the order and apologized to her for what he did, which of course meant everyone waiting in line had to wait even longer.
Also, it just pissed her off more. But if you really want to burn her? JUST PAY FOR HER ORDER AND LEAVE IT AT THAT. Toss a smile and a wave her way as you pull out of the drive-thru, because people like that have absolutely no idea how to respond to a gesture of that kind.
She would have been thinking about that three times as long as she spent being ticked-off about him swiping her order, which was essentially food he didn’t want in the first place and he’d paid for.
So who’s the idiot?
The Starbucks cup guy I mentioned above would just totally pay for her Happy Meal and then toss out that wave and smile at her as he pulls out. He was raised right; his mom and dad are good friends of mine.
Here’s hoping everyone has an excellent weekend. Be kind to strangers who yell at you, and if you see any little kids, try not to burst their bubbles. I still feel kind of bad about that, but the little guy had to find out sooner or later.