Pointless Stories about Education, Shopping, and Star Wars

Last Wednesday, I was standing in line at the grocery store, and the lady in front of me was having a conversation with the cashier. I caught the last part when the cashier said she was suspended from school because of grades. My first thought was, “That was quick. School only started last Friday.”

Yeah, for some reason, the school system thinks that this is the way to go. And this year, the school day begins at 7:30. Ouch. We never understood the school year starting on Friday back in the day, but it doesn’t bother me now. To compound the problem, there was a math teacher in high school who always assigned homework on the first day. Oddly enough, he was one of my favorite teachers. He was the only math teacher who ever got through to me. To be fair, my freshman algebra teacher did nothing Monday thru Thursday, and I would always fail the test on Friday. But he was a nice guy.

If they had suspended students for poor grades when I was in school, the place would have been two-thirds empty. At a mimimum. It wouldn’t have helped me any since the school went out of the way to make sure all the bullies and assholes got passing grades. This was because they were fearful of the parents. And they had every right to be. I remember the day the vice-principal’s secretary rushed into the classroom looking for the V.P., whom we refered to as “King” for reasons I won’t get into, for they are unoriginal. Let’s just it’s the same reason LeBron James has that nickname as well.

She was right to go into panic mode. King had caught a bunch of students who had hot wired a tractor, and now one of them had told their dad what had happened and he was on his way up to the school. This was a guy you did not want to piss off. Legend has it, he was once shot at almost point blank range, and didn’t even flinch. He just looked the shooter square in the eye and said, “What’d you do that for?”


It was my turn to check out. The cashier looked at my T-shirt and asked, “Ain’t they making a new Star Wars movie?” I was like, “Um, yeah.” As we waited for the slow-ass chip card to do its thing, she said, “I saw the new one two weeks ago.” All I could manage was “Oh,” when I really wanted to say was, “Well… That explains a lot.”

But my best shopping experience was the day before that, when I was in a totally different store. I say best, but what I mean is funniest. When I have time to kill standing in line at a store, I like to scope out other peoples purchases. I once saw a couple who had a cart filled with massive sacks of dog food and a houseplant. If I am in the mood to mess with someone, I will buy toilet paper and a magazine, or book.

On this particular day the light was on, but no one was at the cash register. I didn’t mind the wait because the woman in line ahead of me was attractive. I think Albert Einstein said something about this sort of thing once.

I glanced over at the items she had placed on the counter. Then I did that thing where you wheel around one hundred and eighty degrees, reach in your pocket, pull out your cell phone, and pretend you are laughing at a text message you just received. It’s not that she was purchasing anything all that hysterical; not in the slightest. It’s just that the combination of only two items struck me in the same way the correct mixture of nitrogen and oxygen come together to create laughing gas.

So what was was it that tickled my funny bone so much? I must warn you that I have an odd sense of humor. Ready? Okay, here it is: She was buying a can of Monster energy drink, and wait for it . . . A tube of off-brand KY jelly.

I know that for for some of you this is not at all humorous, and others would have found it funnier if the first item had been a loaf of bread. I may not know much, but I do know that humor is subjective. And I didn’t need school to figure that one out.


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