Some may not know that words like "idiot", "imbecile", "moron", and others were all part of an actual scientific scale to determine the level of mental intelligence of an individual, much in the way "genius" does. People are a bit more aware of the posiutive association of "genius" level intelligence (IQ in excess of 145) than the less flattering designations.
Which is where the idea of calling someone a moron might be an insult to TRUE morons comes from.
Sunday Roni, Kim and I went to Dickens Fair at the Cow Palace. I had skipped last year's fair because the preceding year (the first since losing Linda Underhill) was too goddamn hard. As it was I was a bit taken aback to discover they had re-named the "traditional school of crafts" to "Mme. Underhill's Traditional School of Crafts" -- all proceeds going to fund Falconcourt and the birds that Linda loved so much -- especially the Owl, Socrates. Thus number three of spontaneous tearing up (number one interupted the innocuous query on my part of "I wonder who's playing Mad Sal this year?", number two was when I walked past Mad Sal's).
At one point Kim decided she wanted to get braided. Whilst Roni and I sat up front, we pondered the mystery of the apparently abondoned harp (as in the instrument,not the beer), complete with CD's, basket (WITH cash in it!), even someone's wrist watch (apparently removed because it was far from period).
Why do some people think that, simply because something is there, that it's a good idea to TOUCH it. It would never ocurr to me that it was okay to handle someone's tool(s) of their trade without their prescense or permission, especially something as emotionally connected as a musical instrument -- I know I've gotten twitch when busting someone who was touching my DRUM without permission. Sure, kids can't always be expected to know these niceities -- but when the parents are clueless as well, out come the real claws.
Case in point: I went to get some water for Roni, and when I came back she was having words with the kids and parents thereof about touching the harp. THe two boys were being real twits, but it's not hard to see where they came by it when the parent (upon being told that they shouldn't touch the harp) actually asked "Is it yours?!"
To which I replied "No, it isn't -- but you still shouldn't touch it anyway" while looking them dead in the eye.
In response, the daughter walks about and deliberately strums it.
Later we encountered these same "morons" (see? It IS insulting to morons!) blocking a main walkway between the bays the fair was being held in as their kids were spinning a stroller while one rode. As Roni noted, why on earth they had a stroller when the youngest was maybe 8 is a bit of a mystery.
Back at the harp, I wound up having to chase an elderly asian gentleman down when he picked up two of the CD's sitting on the table next to the harp, dropping a buck into the harpist's basket. The problem was that there was a sign next to the pile of disks that indicated that they were $15.00 each.
I actually ran after him, and asked him to please come back and either pay the full price of the CD's or return them. I was polite but firm (so that retail schtick was good for something!) and he did come back... but then only put 15 more into the basket.
He was making a big show of not speaking english well and such, and I was not up to making a big deal about it. That was when I went to find security to ask them to take care of it -- though in the true spirit of Murphy, the harpist had (finally!) returned when I did.
We continued to have a lovely time and drove home with only minimal traffic issues at the bridge. However, as I took the right hand left turn lane to the Webster Tube into Alameda (there are two lanes that merge into the tube entrance -- stupid beyond words, to be sure, but true), the moron in the THIRD lane from the left decided she wanted to go to Alameda as well. That's right, three lanes of merging traffic to one, and she acted surprised that I hit the horn.
In one of these delicious ironies, she wound up sitting next to us at three red lights in Alameda proper -- she actually tried to APOLOGIZE. As in "I'm sorry I ignored the signs and the fact that you were in the right and forced myself into a lane I had no right being in". She then seemed incredulous when I flipped her off while looking her right in the eye.
Folks, I screw up while driving. We all do, from time to time. But she seemed to think that deliberately screwing up earns the same level of compassion that an honest mistake does. For the record, it doesn't. Not even if you're driving a silver Audi and are REALLY in so much of a fucking hurry that taking the extra five minutes to drive around the block to catch the tube entrance from the other direction is simply too horrible to contemplate.
Anyway, I really wanted to record, for all of prosperity, the acts of foolishness that make me doubt the future of the human race. I specifically told Roni and Kim as much when these moronic acts ocurred, if only as a means of revenge delayed.
Next time I'm going to take pictures.