NORMAN — Even though we are aware of what it means to be human, we still experience a jolt or two when we come face to face with the reality of things humans can do. For today’s purposes, let us exclude the evil that humans are capable of inflicting on others.
Many of the general things involve good judgment and/or logic. Some people may refer to it as common sense. Whichever word or phrase you choose and when you observe behavior contrary to any of the foregoing, you have several choice responses.
One of the frequent and shocked exclamations which may pass our lips is “Oh my God!” However, in this acronym infested time in our linguistic history, your go to response may be
“OMG” or the more drawled out “omigawd.” In either case, people will know what you mean.
This is usually used after we hear someone open his or her mouth and insert both feet, just to make sure we notice his or her bad judgment, inattention or stupidity. In our father’s case, the most common reason for some of his OMG moments was inattentiveness on his part.
For example, he enjoyed visiting and exploring cities. The exploration was more often than not conducted on foot. As you may have guessed, this practice was not necessarily the safest method, but he had his own platoon of guardian angels who managed to keep him safe in spite of his best efforts to endanger himself.
On one such walking tour (but not necessarily the only time this may have happened), father entered a café and bought a coke. Back then cokes cost well under one dollar and he handed over a bill, telling the cashier to keep the change. Fortunately, the cashier was honest and pointed out that the bill was a twenty dollar bill rather than a one dollar bill. Heaven only knows how often our absentminded professor parent did the same thing and the recipient kept the change.
Feel free to exclaim “OMG!”
Another example of an event which demands an exclamation is a sign seen on an SUV: “I help women stop aging.” Your response may include a snarky facial expression as you say “Seriously?” Your humble reporter’s response was “Does that mean she or he engages in assisted suicides or perhaps murder for hire?” After all, how else can someone stop the aging process? And do not ever try to utter the words “face lifts,” “beauty creams,” or other sundry and costly potions that make the potion makers richer and the users poorer.
Finally, there are people who seem to avoid learning anything. The reasons may be attributed to laziness or disinterest rather than inability. Sometimes those folks cannot count to twenty even if they take off their gloves and shoes. Or, they cannot pour fluids out of a boot even with the directions written on the bottom.
There are always exceptions, such as a tangling of the tongue by a family member. When said family member saw Marines in their dress uniforms collecting toys and said “Marines give Tots to Toys.” Smirk. Chuckle or laugh out loud. I would pay to see that wouldn’t you. “Merry Christmas, Toy. I have a Tot for you.”
Then there are those terrible moments when we hear that a friend’s loved one have been diagnosed with cancer or some other dreadful disease. Or, when you pass traffic accidents, with or without fatalities, and it is clear the accident could have been avoided if the driver or drivers had been more attentive or in less of a hurry.
After offering condolences and prayers in the case of the former and prayers for the latter, deep in our hearts we may also whisper “There but for the grace of God go I.”
Perhaps the best New Year’s wish one can offer is “May the grace of God go with you always.”
Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Her novels “The Dionysus Connection” and “The Marathon Man” are available on amazon.com. Visit her website: www.elizabethcowan.com.
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