But let me be honest here. Maybe I am a horrible person. When I pay attention to the people around me, so often it leads to questions I want to ask but don’t dare. To ask some of these questions would often be rude, unkind and mean. Still, those questions remain in my head.
Here are a few people I’ve met and/or observed lately. I’ve got questions I’d like to ask them, but so far I’ve managed to keep my mouth shut.
My mailperson happens to be a woman. Actually she looks like a young girl and she’s so nice and friendly but she happens to be a bit heavy. She’s out there walking all the time delivering that mail, so she’s getting plenty of exercise.
I know this is an awful question but I want to ask her, “How big would that butt of yours be if you had a desk job at the post office?”
A gentleman gets on my bus most mornings. Only after he gets on does he think about his bus fare. He’ll dig through his pockets for a least a minute counting out change — sometimes even pennies.
Watching this guy and also looking at my watch, I want to yell out, “Hey, asshole, would it kill you to count out your change before you get on the bus so the rest of us won’t be late for work?”
Speaking of the bus, there’s another passenger that rides regularly and I can’t help but notice the hair growing out of his nose. It’s almost like he’s got a potted plant growing out of it.
I know it'd be mean-spirited, but I feel like saying, “You know, sir, there are plenty of excellent nose hair scissors on the market, or is that the look you’re going for?”
I have a friend in his eighties and can’t hear all that well.
When he talks he thinks I can’t hear either and yells every sentence he utters to me to the point where I get a headache.
Now he’s a good friend, and I’ll never say this, but often I want to ask him, “Why are you yelling? Are you afraid they can’t hear you over in Indiana?”
I see this woman in the Walgreens on Fourth Street a lot. She’s always in the candy aisle looking over and buying candy bars. She always smells a little musty and/or sweaty.
The odor is very noticeable and sometimes I feel annoyed when I smell her. I want to ask, “Do you know the Febreze is over in aisle four?”
I know this person from a restaurant I went to for a long time. I also known her boyfriend for several years, and I consider him a good guy. Her? She’s too high-strung for me. They have broken up now, and this woman is calling me way too much telling me what a bad guy her ex-boyfriend is, telling me things about their sex lives that she shouldn’t be telling and coming across as a real troublemaker.
Again, I consider myself a polite person, but sometimes during her “rants” I feel like asking her, “Did it ever occur to you that he broke off the relationship because you’re a total and complete bitch?”
There’s this guy I work with at a freelance job. I think he’s gay — not that there’s anything wrong with that — and I think he likes me. Whenever we meet up and talk, he’s always got his right hand in his pocket, kind of playing with himself.
This can be a bit unnerving. Sometimes I want him to know I’m noticing this activity. I think about asking him the age-old question, “Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?”
I see this much too often — young guys walking around downtown with their pants pulled down almost to the ground showing me the kind of underwear they’re wearing and exposing their butt cracks. I feel like asking them, “If I give you this 10-dollar bill, do you promise to go to CVS and buy yourself a goddamn belt?”
I was in the Izzy’s on Main Street one afternoon having lunch. A gentleman a few tables to my right gets up, apparently to use the restroom. He had on tan pants. The only reason why I noticed the tan pants is because when he came back, he had a big old wet spot near his zipper.
I found this a bit amusing. It occurred to me as I got up and left to go by his table and say, “Sir, next time you decide to wet all over yourself, do you think it might be better to wear darker pants?”
I could write more of these observations and questions that go with them, but you probably get the point of my sickness, so I’ll stop.
Please don’t call me names for writing this. As I think you know, that would be rude, unkind and mean.
CONTACT LARRY GROSS: firstname.lastname@example.org