I sought a ride to Idaho Falls for Thanksgiving, hoping to leave on Wednesday but knowing that beggars can't be choosers. If I couldn't get one I would take the Salt Lake Express bus, but that's a lot more expensive. It costs a staggering amount to fuel them and I'm sure it doesn't help that they have to go south to Brigham City before going north to Idaho Falls for some reason I can't comprehend. I looked at a map and it looks to me like you could go directly from Logan to Idaho Falls, but I'm no expert. Anyway, I did get a ride, and it was on Thanksgiving itself but we would be leaving at 10:30 so we'd get there in plenty of time and it would be great. She'd only be staying for one day so I'd just stick around and take the bus back, but that would still be a lot cheaper than taking it both ways.
Early Thanksgiving morning she got sick and canceled. She was very apologetic and I told myself not to be upset with her because it's not like she chose to be sick and not get to go at all. I chose instead to be upset at life itself for pulling this kind of crap on us. So I would have to take the Salt Lake Express bus after all, which was pretty annoying because if I'd known I would have to take the bus I would have left on Wednesday. I tried to get the soonest departure, which was just over an hour away. Usually you can just get tickets online with a few mouse clicks, but apparently since this one was so close, it said to call a number instead. I did, and got an automated voice blathering on about some promotion and concluding, "If you are fifty or older, press one."
It repeated, "If you are fifty or older, press one."
I swore at it. (I swear a lot when I get mad. I'm not proud of it, but I'm just being honest.)
It said, "If you are fifty or older, press one. If you are not fifty or older, press zero." I pressed zero. It said "End of call" and disconnected.
I swore at it again, redialed and this time got an automated menu with actual options. I pressed the number for customer service and was informed that I was the sixth caller in the queue. Okay, fine, it was a holiday so that was understandable albeit still really annoying. I waited for twenty minutes, with it repeating the standard forgettable music and "We appreciate your patience" stuff, and then I was in the first position. And then for a further ten minutes it continued to inform me that I was in the first position. I was getting pretty aggravated as time ran out, and thought about rude things to say to the person who would answer, but told myself not to because it wasn't their fault and I worked in a call center for almost four months so I know what it's like when people treat you like you're not a person because they can only hear your voice. But when it finally came to be my turn, the line went silent.
"Hello?" I said. "Hello? HELLO??" No answer. I waited maybe thirty seconds and swore and hung up in disgust. I still had about twenty minutes, so I ran down to the bus station to see if I could just buy a ticket right there and get on.
"Sorry, I don't sell the tickets," the driver said. "I don't have any tickets to sell." And I just stood there for a moment staring at him as I silently told myself not to yell at him because he was just a driver and he didn't decide the policies and none of this was his fault. I turned away and swore under my breath. "We still have a couple minutes," he said. "You could try calling them again." I did, and it immediately told me I was caller number one, but given my previous experience with being caller number one for ten minutes I wasn't about to go through that again. I hung up after two minutes and walked home fuming.
Then I saw Jordin Sparks' Facebook status: "Before getting upset always ask yourself: will this even matter in six months, in a year, or in five years? If the answer is no, just let it go."
Jordin Sparks, ladies and gentlemen.
So I bought a later ticket arrived after my family had eaten dinner and I got to eat leftovers by myself and it was the crappiest Thanksgiving of my life, but the person who was going to give me a ride probably had a crappier one since she was sick and didn't end up going at all. I reminded myself of that to try and stop being all "me me me". Even without that perspective, there is the whole issue of first world problems versus all the people who were starving, being abused, and what have you on Thanksgiving day. And even without that perspective, it's already in the past and doesn't matter. It took some pride-swallowing but I followed Jordin Sparks' admonition to let it go. Except that Salt Lake Express.refused to even dignify me with a response when I asked for a refund even though their incompetence ruined everything. Regardless of whether you think I deserve a refund, they could have had the simple decency to acknowledge my existence. So I'm keeping my promise to tell everyone about my immense dissatisfaction with them. You guys, I'm immensely dissatisfied with them. That's all. I've let it go now.
I would like to completely change the subject by sharing something that has already been shared over a couple hundred thousand times, and expressing an opinion about it that does not fall in line with the general consensus of most of those people. Some will undoubtedly hate me for daring to do so, but I've given up caring about that sort of thing. I'm quite tired of being held to a double standard just because white people who aren't me have done and said bad things to other races in the past, or even today.
There is no such thing as "African culture" or "Asian culture". Africa and Asia are both vast and diverse continents with anywhere from dozens to thousands of different cultures, depending on how one measures such things. And if black = African as the post asserts, then white = European, right? And surely white people can have pride in their European culture and heritage, right? Especially since Europe is a far smaller and more cohesive continent than Africa or Asia so the phrase "European culture" is slightly less absurd, right? No, descendants of European stock can only take pride in their specific country, not their continent, or else the social justice warriors with their mind-reading powers have determined that they're just proud they don't have a different skin color. How do we know people with black pride aren't just proud they aren't white or brown? Why aren't they required to choose Ghanaian pride, Ethiopian pride, Rwandan pride, and so on*? For that matter, why doesn't this guy grant permission for Mexicans to have generic Latin American pride? What did they do?
*Of course, even acting like a particular African country has a uniform culture and heritage doesn't really work, since most of their boundaries were drawn by Europeans who didn't know or care that they were breaking up tribes, ethnic groups, and languages with no rhyme or reason. And while we're on the subject, Africans have a wide spectrum of skin tones and are more genetically diverse than the natives of any other continent, so I think that lumping them all together as just "black" is kind of silly.
The Mouse on the Mayflower
This cartoon first aired 48 years and three days ago. I watched it as a kid, maybe fifteen years or so ago, and then I watched it again on Wednesday evening for nostalgia purposes. Everything was familiar. I hadn't realized as a kid, however, that it features the versatile voice actress June Foray of "Rocky and Bullwinkle" fame. She did the voice of Rocky and virtually every female character. Like Kirk Douglas and Vera Lynn, she's still alive at the age of 99 years, and I very much hope that all three will survive the Celebrity Massacre of 2016. Kirk only needs to make it less than two weeks until his hundredth birthday, knock on wood. Anyway, the opening song of this cartoon is as awe-inspiring as I remembered it, so I include it here (starting at about the 0:54 mark) followed by the entire thing for anybody who has the time and interest (which will probably be nobody, but just in case).
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.