02 Nov 2017
Unit 03 LIGHTEN UP
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Monologue by Trent McClellan
I know I seem cool as a cucumber up here, but there are some things that really get to me. Pet peeves, I guess you call them, and for me, some of them are actually about pets.
My wife wanted to get a cat but I couldnâ€™t do it. I grew up with cats and I know what theyâ€™re like. They take off for a month and donâ€™t even leave a note. Once, my familyâ€™s cat named Mittens took off for weeks and we were worried sick! We put up signs and posters trying to find her but with no luck. Then, one day, when my mom opened the door to check the mail, Mittens came running in, dirty as a mechanic. Her attitude was like, "Yes, Iâ€™m home. I do what I like around here. Yes, I got a tattoo, big deal. I was gone for a month and you couldnâ€™t even fill up my bowl? Brutal! Just a second â€¦ dog, if you keep staring at me, I will claw your eyes out. Back it up!"
Adding to this arrogant attitude, I also know cats feel absolutely no remorse. Our cat felt no remorse for taking off, and it felt no remorse after it wrecked our house. That truly is the difference between cats and dogs. Cats can destroy your house, rip down your drapes, chew up a shoe, and when you come home, you catch the cat on the phone talking to their buddy: "Yeah, I destroyed this place while they were gone. I chewed up stuff and stashed a sock they arenâ€™t ever going to find! I do what I want around here. I took off for a month. Just a second, I think theyâ€™re home â€¦ Yep, theyâ€™re home, so Iâ€™ll call you back. Puss, out."
Now, a dog, on the other hand, is full of remorse. If a dog rips down your drapes, chews up your shoes, and messes up your house, itâ€™s totally different. You come home, open the door, and the dog comes straight to you with the most pitiful face and says, "I messed up real bad, man! You look great, by the way. Come in. I donâ€™t know why I did it! You leave me alone here for eight hours a day, so what do you expect me to do? Do you know the cat uses the phone?" (I told that story in my comedy routine on stage one night and everyone was laughing pretty hard. But there was one woman in the front row who wasnâ€™t laughing and just kept shaking her head. She looked up at me with a scowl and said "Cats canâ€™t use the phone!" Now that was funny to me because she had no problem with a talking dog.)
Another pet peeve I have is trying to explain technology to people. I am not an expert myself, so it is always a challenge. When I got married, my seventy-one-year-old aunt tried to send me a message on Facebook. She later told me, "I wrote you a message on the book of faces."
I said, "Book of faces â€¦what are you, a wizard?"
I mean, who talks like that? We never got the message, and the reason why is that my aunt writes messages to people on her own Facebook wall! She has no names attached to or tagged in her messages, though, and just puts random comments on there, thinking people will know sheâ€™s messaging them!
My aunt might write "Congratulations!" Well, Auntie, who are you congratulating, yourself? Or she might write "Pick me up at 2:30." Who is picking her up at 2:30? No one, thatâ€™s who!
So, I tried to explain to her how Facebook works. I said, "If youâ€™re writing messages on your own Facebook wall with no names attached, how will your friends know that you are talking to them specifically?"
"Because all my friends can see my wall," was her response.
"Yes, but, for example, you wrote â€˜Congratulations,â€™ and how would I know that that was for me?"
"Because youâ€™re the one getting married!"
I just thought to myself, How did I lose this argument? You win this round, wizard â€¦.
Years ago, when I used to go to the grocery store, it was simple. I would get a grocery cart, fill it up, pay for the groceries, and leave. Now, so many stores have this self-checkout option which is the worst! I have never had any success trying to work this thing. I lay my groceries down, find the bar code on the back of the first item, and swipe the code in front of the sensor â€¦ nothing. I swipe it again â€¦ nothing. Now, Iâ€™m frustrated because my entire objective while using the self-checkout is to not have that staff person come running down to help. I call her the self-checkout life guard.
But going to the human cashier is no less stressful. That experience is nothing but a pop quiz, and you better know the answers or you canâ€™t leave. You lay your groceries down to get rung through and the cashier starts drilling you: "Are you going to need bags?"
What? Yes, Iâ€™m going to need bags. Otherwise, I have to make 205 separate trips! You would never see that philosophy anywhere else. If you ordered a pizza and you went to pick it up and asked ,"Is my pizza ready?" they wouldnâ€™t say, "Yes, but would you like a box for it? Itâ€™s hot." The box is included in the price!
Then the cashierâ€™s questions get harder. "How many bags are you going to need?"
I think, Wow, this really is a quiz. Does she have any scrap paper so I can work this out? After thinking long and hard I say, "Why donâ€™t you just put all my groceries in bags and that will be the exact number of bags Iâ€™m going to need?"
Next time a cashier asks if I want any bags, Iâ€™m going to say, "No, I brought a hockey bag. Fill it up! Put the bread right next to my skates."
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