If you follow this blog long enough you discover that I fritter away an inordinate amount of my life sitting outside Panera with coffee and a bagel, growing increasingly distraught at the human condition. The human condition had its way with me again this week.
Like most states, Florida forbids smoking indoors at places of public accommodation. Such as Panera. But we're Republicans here, on average, so they can't stop outdoor smoking. This morning, this perfectly reasonable-looking gent sat down at the neighboring sidewalk table and promptly fired up one of Fidel Castro's finest. Jaysus! The good side of this is that all the mosquitoes in Pinellas County have now departed for the Everglades where God meant them to reside.
Now it turns out, as I was packing up my bagel for a a strategic retreat, that the dude with the stogie was not quite the insensitive brute that I had silently labeled him. If fact, when the lady on his upwind side whipped out her cell phone and launched into a diatribe about her ex's manifold inadequacies, the stogie-stoker rose in disgust and departed in a swirling blue cloud for his pickup truck, muttering obscenities. I continued my retreat nevertheless while preparing a diatribe of my own.
The rule to take away from this interlude is that crude behavior can be loosely defined as any conduct that you yourself are not currently engaged in. Like when you drive on the highway, and half the idiots on the road are going too fast and the other half are crawling along like snails on Valium. I tell you, it's enough to ---
Wait, where are you going?