A War of Words . . Sans Words

I have this annoyance/dislike/semi-hate relationship with a cart attendant at my local supermarket. Let’s call him Robert, since that’s his name. He’s a fifty something black dude with a Barry White baritone to his voice and . . well, that’s it. There’s nothing else even remotely cool about Robert, outside of the Barry White baritone.

Robert likes to sing spirituals as he works, and he’s really quite shitty at it. This annoys me. I mean, if ya got Barry White voice and you can’t tuck a lick of soul into the equation, donate your voice to someone who can . . . please?

This cat is eccentric as all get out, and I ain’t judging. Hell, me judging someone based on their eccentricities would be like Alec Baldwin calling anyone a blowhard. (Too soon?) Anyways, Robert wears long sleeve shirts inside the dog days of summer. He talks up the ladies with a rap that should have been retired back when lava lamps and shag carpets were de rigueur. He snorts when he talks to himself, after which he immediately says excuse me! He spits, after which he doesn’t immediately apologize at all.

Yes, I’m building a case against Robert . .  so I feel the need to winnow away his dimension in order to lodge my grievance. You see . . Robert has never greeted me. Never as in ever. It took a couple of silent rebuffs on his part before I stopped greeting him.

Honestly, I don’t get it. I mean . . I didn’t run over his dog in the parking lot. I didn’t disrespect his mama. I didn’t piss in his Cheerios or snicker at his station in life or issue a robust series of guffaws the first time I got a look at him all bundled up in a ski jacket during a heat wave.

And then recently . . this happened.

“Heeeey! How you doing sir! Good to see you!”

I was floored. Just like that, Robert decided that he was going to glasnost my ass with a greeting, as if we were long lost friends on Facebook or something. He had successfully punctured the bubble of silence that had created a crater sized chasm between us. He was extending an olive branch, sans the Martini, but hey . . it still counts.

This is where my prefrontal cortex hit the snooze. Because I figured that with the long silence yoked, the embargo on words had been lifted. It was a new day- One where me and Robert could exchange bad jokes, avoid any talk about the weather and excuse our respective snorts. It was as if all those years of Robert treating me like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense never happened. I was ready to forgive and forget, because isn’t that what life’s all about?

“Hey Robert, how are you?” I replied.

And then reality crash landed on my head when I discovered that I wasn’t the recipient of Robert’s greeting after all. Robert was talking to the elderly gentleman walking behind me. And then they were engaged in conversation, while I muttered to myself in four lettered variables for having been so clueless.

His latest move was so diabolically crafted that I have been left with no choice but to respond with something equally petty. Because, isn’t that what life’s all about? Maybe I’ll stop returning my cart to the corral. Or maybe I’ll return it to the corral but push it in backwards. Or maybe I’ll turn it upside down . . or push it into the grassy meadow.

The possibilities are endless.




54 thoughts on “A War of Words . . Sans Words

  1. Dear Marco,

    I’m not sure if this is fact or fiction. (Ah Dale tells me it’s fact). There are those people in everyday life who get under our skin, aren’t there? I worked with a young woman of color who liked to pull the race card. Turned out she was a wealthy little #@%$& who lived a privileged life. Her parents bought her a brand new car when she turned 16. Yeah…she irritated me mightily and like your Robert never gave me the time of day.
    At any rate, turning it back from being about me, 😉 Your storytelling style roped me in and held me captive until the end. Bravo!



    Liked by 2 people

    • Rochelle,
      The racial component doesn’t really come into play . .for me, in this instance. Mayhaps that is the case for Robert. I wouldn’t know, because we have never had a conversation! LOl
      My kids get such a kick out of this ‘cold war’. They’ve gone out of their way to further the chasm, by testing the waters themselves. All of them have received a greeting . . so there’s that.
      The theories are abundant, and as you can see . . I have plenty o’ fun with it. In the end, I kinda look at it in a glass half full kinda way. Robert is one less person I have to interact with over the course of the day, so really . . he’s doing me a favor, lol.

      Thank you for the chime!



      Liked by 2 people

  2. B,

    Oh. Em. Gee. I am killing myself laughing here. Not laughing at you per se, of course!
    I’ll tell you why: I have this hate/hate relationship with a cashier at my local grocery store. For no reason. It is a mutual dislike. If she’s at the “quick cash” where she also has to take care of bottle returns or cigarette purchases? When I arrive, she’ll pass two peeps at the other cash instead of doing one at one and one at the other. Pisses me off every time. And she has a face that I just want to punch. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am NOT a violent person by any way, shape or form. But she could make me become so. Just a weird thing!

    Here’s to Roberts giving us something to rant about!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q,
      You can laugh at me, I’m plenty fine with it. If it gets you laughing, I’m all about it.
      That cashier deserves to get punched in the face! And no, I do not condone violence . . except in hockey. But sistah . . you KNOW this is yet another shared experience to which we relate wholeheartedly.

      Fuck the Roberts and Robertas . . . Here’s to US for suffering their sandpaper personalities!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We all encounter the Robert’s of the world. Sadly I had to work with a bunch of them and eventually came to make it my mission to garner a smile or any kind of acknowledgement. While I’d never be BFF’s with them (ever) I felt better knowing I smiled. And in all truthfulness, it ended up being more for me than them. And you know what, it actually felt good. Yeah, I’m a half full glass kind of girl. Especially if it was half filled with red.🍷

    Liked by 2 people

    • I tend to notice the smallest things, sometimes. I knew Robert and me had zero connection, after which I realized he never greeted me when I entered the store. And it just snowballed from there!
      Thank you for the chime!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I see some passive aggressive actions in the future. Loved being the observer in your world. Smile moved ear to ear as I read, “ Robert was talking to the elderly gentleman walking behind me.” I think I see a new series, grocery store tales …

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My Dearest Marco,

    As you know I am a shy and retiring sort, but if I had a nickel for every time this situation had happened to me, I would be living in St. Tropez with an 18-year-old-blonde-haired-blue-eyed house boy.

    THIS, as an exercise in writing is certainly, as always, nothing short of brilliant. Why? It has every element of what the writing process should be, a constant questioning of the life of the writer. I am going to use two examples that one might find pretentious, granted, but I have been reading them a good deal, because of my thesis : Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud. Both of their works are them venting their collective spleens, through the written word and always working on writing and wondering what writing actually is, and of what writing is made.

    [Now I’ll give you time to roll your eyes to the back of your head!}

    The dawn of the Early Modern Period, in the history of philosophy, has always been thought to be with work of Réne Descartes, which in a sense, is true. I have always argued, however, that it actually started a bit earlier with the work of Montaigne. Montaigne was the first to write in the vernacular, i.e., Modern French, not Old French, and Montaigne was the first to start writing about his daily life through observation that was neither a version of theology, nor a Judeo-Christian view/moral.

    Being a trained humanist, I can’t help but give a history of ideas, and give some context to my comments. A pet-peeve is when someone says : Oh that’s just great. Um . . . OK, what the hell is that supposed to mean, if I needed mental masturbation I’d read Kant. Hence . . . the aforementioned.

    All that to say : The gave me a chuckle !


    Liked by 1 person

  6. I… won’t be leaving eloquent comments… I did laugh a bit to much over this post … and haha you are mean! 😛 I guess we all have people like that we encounter in life,eh? We just aren’t their cup of tea or coffee for whatever reason, it’s life right? And maybe, someday, we may or may get a hello. If not we just journey on doin’ our thing.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.