Thursday, August 29, 2013

Things that Shock and Horrify Me

So earlier in the week, Miley Cyrus shocked the free world with her lewd and crude performance at the VMA awards.

I don’t regularly watch awards shows, but the photo published ‘round the world of a horrified Will Smith and his children as they watched the Miley wreck made me want to satisfy my curiosity.  Once I did, I was actually more sad than horrified. 

But, believe it or not, this is not a blog about Miley. Or not entirely, anyway.  I’ve read plenty about her in the past few days and my two cents isn’t really going to change anything. 

Let’s just say that I hope Miley grows up sometime soon and learns that there are better ways to keep the fame train running than by her feeble attempt at titillation.  Like by working on her craft. I never saw Hannah Montana and don’t really know if Miley Cyrus has talent or not, but if she does, she should continually strive for improvement. And if she doesn’t, she should thank her lucky stars for the run she’s had and she should move on. 

Garnering publicity - especially if it's it's in a negative context - really shouldn’t be a goal.  Yet I'm still shocked when it is.

I don’t know why. I mean, it’s not like I’m young and naïve anymore. But I guess I’m not yet completely old and jaded either.  Because people still have the ability to shock and horrify me.

Take last week, for example. There I was, walking from the parking lot toward the entrance to Sam’s Club. I was happy that I hadn’t waited until the weekend when the wholesale club is beyond packed. And I was mentally going over the list of purchases I needed to make so I could get in and out quickly.

Sometimes Vince and I see someone who has just finished stowing their purchases in their car – and we’ll offer to take their empty cart. We figure we’re performing a minor act of kindness by saving the shopper the minute or two it would take them to wheel the cart to the designated cart return. 

Now before you think I'm trying to place shiny halos over our heads, let me also confess that it's convenient for us as well. We can unload my purse and the reusable shopping bags into the cart so we aren't trying to juggle them while digging for our membership card.     

Nevertheless, on this day I saw an older woman who had just finished putting the last of her purchases in her trunk and I was thinking I’d ask her if she’d like me to take the empty cart off her hands.  But she did something so completely repulsive, I got the shivers.  First, she hocked up a big loogie and spit it on the ground in front of her.

Yeah, I know.  Pretty disgusting, right?  I apologize for putting that mental image in your head, but no other phrase could possibly work in this instance.

I was so shocked I stopped completely in my tracks and, with my mouth hanging open, had to reboot my brain.  I went from preparing to get the words, “Would you like me to take that cart…” out of my mouth, to keeping the words, “Oh, GROSS!” from escaping my lips.

But that wasn’t all. Right in front of me, she held her finger over one nostril and blew out the other.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I could not imagine doing that in the privacy of my own home – let alone standing in a public parking lot surrounded by people.  All I could think was thank goodness I hadn’t gotten close enough to get any overspray on my shoes.

But my mouth was still hanging open and I was shaking my head back and forth in denial of what I’d just seen as I rushed past her and hurried into the store. And, of course, I immediately revised my list of purchases to include a big bottle of antibacterial hand sanitizer.

Perhaps she is an elderly “Nell”-type character who earlier in life raised herself in some remote woodland cabin and still isn’t familiar with etiquette or the rules of common courtesy. Or maybe grew up right here in Columbus, Ohio, and she simply doesn’t care.  Either way, it was just plain disgusting – and I still haven’t gotten that image out of my head.

Yeah, I’m probably scarred for life.

I was going to come up with a third example of something that shocked and horrified me, but, frankly, after describing that last thing, I lost my appetite and don’t think I can come up with anything else today. But, never fear, I’m sure my arsenal of things that shock and horrify me will be replenished soon enough. 

I’ll bet you can’t wait ‘til I share, eh?!


  1. oh Jane, that reminds me of when my husband worked at the Jays in Alliance. He saw a woman who had little runny nosed children one day put her mouth over the nose of one of them and suck out the snot. Now that's disgusting and I never got that mental picture to quite go away since snotty nosed kids are quite a common So sorry for that.

  2. Marianne - I just made that same horrified face when I read your note. Egad. What are people thinkin'??

  3. Mucous...gotta get it out somehow, right???