Christmas shopping season brings out the worst in the worst people. (Jerry Thornton/WEEI.com)
I like Christmas. I want to be clear about that. I know it’s not for everybody. Plenty of people go all Charlie Brown around now and can’t wait for December 26th. But I’m a big Christmas guy. I push my emotional chips on the table every holiday season and go all in.
Yeah, I love Christmas. It’s human beings I hate. And it gets worse this time of year.
OK, not all of you. Not even most. Just that tiny subset of the human population who make the holidays worse for the rest of us. The ones you can largely ignore all year long until they crawl out of their spider holes and interact with their fellow man because they’ve got the same list of stuff to do as us normal people.
My Exhibit A is the Land Barge captain pictured here. Some dink pulled this move at the Hanover Mall over the weekend. At a section where I can always, even in the height of shopping season or in the middle of a blizzard, snag a space within 50 feet of the door. (Don’t bother trying to learn the location; the secret dies with me.) I mean, we’ve all been victims of the jerkstore who straddles the line with his left and right wheels before. But that is so 2013. The Vertical D-bag Double Space Park Maneuver is the new hotness.
And this begs the question: Where does this guy rank on the list of the worst people you encounter during Christmas shopping season?
The Five Christmas Shoppers You’ll Meet in Hell:
5. The Bargain Huntress — This is the lady for whom shopping isn’t something you just have to get through. And it’s not even a funtivity. It’s a competition. An all out bloodsport you only win by getting better deals than everybody else then bragging about it. She’s the first person lining up for the doors to open on Black Friday, hoards coupons by the ream and will burn a full tank of gas to save 10 bucks. That’s how she got a 70-inch LCD for what you spent on your last movie popcorn. The worst thing is, the whole experience means nothing unless she tells everybody about the deal she got as they open the gifts. She’d rather take the taunting penalty than give up the chance to spike the ball in your face. She’s usually married to the guy who tells you lottery stories and the sister of the guy who gives you the details about how his fantasy team made out.
4. All Lost in the Supermarket — These are the people with absolutely no sense of their surroundings. Slack-jawed, mouth-breathing undead who wander the aisles with no peripheral vision and no clue if they’re blocking anyone. You’ve got the box of tree lights you came in for and you’re just trying make your way through them like a bike messenger weaving through traffic? Forget it. There is no space so wide they cannot set up a road block of carts to impede you. And you couldn’t get their attention if you shot bottle rockets at them. They often travel in pairs, but sometimes you’ll find the female of the species out on her own, while her mate waits out her journey in one of the comfy chairs by the kiosks, with the 1,000-yard stare/look of death in his eyes.
3. Just Enough of Me, Way Too Much of You — These are the people who are perpetually hacked off that the stores are crowded. At the peak buying season. Does that mean they stay home and shop online and save everybody their misery? Hell, no. They still go to the malls, but live by the premise that anyone else taking up the exact same space as them has no right to do so. The best subspecies in this particular phylum are the retirees who could go any time, any day of the week, but choose to go nights and weekends to be extra bothered by those of us who have to go around our work schedules. They’re closely related to the ones who wait until Friday afternoon of a long weekend to head to the Cape, then get mad the roads are crowded. Or as my friends who live on the Cape call them, “New Yorkers.”
2. The Terrible Parents — The TPs usually fall into two categories: The ones who are stressed out, and the ones who are not nearly as stressed out as they should be. The first kind scream at their kids and make things really awkward for everyone else. The latter raise their kids like free-range chickens, allowing them to roam free and make things really miserable for everyone else. Personally, I’ll take “awkward” every time. The worst of the TPs are the ones who let their kids loose with shopping carts of their own, creating havoc and borderline vehicular homicide playing Grand Theft Auto in the housewares aisle while mom and dad are wandering around in their pajama bottoms utterly ambivalent to the mayhem they’ve unleashed upon the world.
1. The Parking Doosh — I have to give the top (bottom) spot to this guy. Because he’s got issues with the kinds of issues with the size of his penis that can only be solved by driving an expensive whip, he feels that empowers him to take up two parking spots, either horizontally, diagonally or, in my man here’s case, vertically. The rest of us be damned. If some older gentleman who was wounded at Chosin Reservoir but doesn’t want a handicapped placard has to walk a couple of hundred extra yards in the cold and the elements, so what? This guy’s midlife crisis counts more than your comfort, safety or well being. To him the true meaning of Christmas will always be “F-you.”
I won’t let these jagoffs spoil my Christmas, and you have my thoughts and prayers as you try to do likewise. Remember that while their ranks are growing, we’ve still got them outnumbered. And there’s nothing about the worst of them that we can’t solve. Like the saying goes, every time a parking doosh gets his vehicle keyed, an angel gets its wings.