Pet Peeves, Miscellaneous Observations and Books

Pet Peeves, Miscellaneous Observations and Books

I could provide a long list of everyday frustrations. One of the most common involves sullen salespeople whose demeanor reflects how much they hate their job and who could not count change if their life depended upon it. Even with the cash register read out telling them the amount of change they have trouble doing it right. Each time one of these people sticks out their hand full of money and dumps the  change with a "here’s your change" I think about my Italian father who ran a neighborhood grocery store. Every clerk had to know how to correctly count the change directly into the hand of the customer, smile and say "thank you very much." But that’s not my complaint for today.

No, my story for today is what happened this morning at the barber shop. I climbed into the chair and a middle aged woman barber said to me "What can I do for you?" Now I will admit I was tempted to say "I’m here for a colonoscopy this morning," but, I resisted the temptation and answered "I need a haircut" She said Barber to me "what kind?" Now, I am almost bald and keep the hair on my head clipped very close to the scalp, just a little short of shaving my head, so this question threw me. I’d wanted to say "please part it in the middle and curl the sides" but what I said was "Well I don’t think I have a lot of choices, so I’d like it trimmed closer." She said "So you want a Number one?" Now, I’ve had my hair cut with the electric shaver enough to know that she was referring to the thickness of the guard that clips on the shaver, but I wondered what other customers might make of that question, so I said "that’s fine." People are funny and I wonder if she had any idea how ridiculous her questions were?

In Sheridan Morley’s biography of the great Shakespearean actor John Gielgud, the book repeats a quote from a letter Gielgud sent to his mother. He was talking about a wealthy older woman whom he had lunch with and described as quarrelsome with everyone. He said "she was like a sinking ship, firing on all her rescuers" What a clever line.

I read a biography of the country western singer, Garth Brooks on the cruise. What an enormous success he has been over the years. Amazing sales of records, all of his concerts sold out including a sell out of three consecutive concerts in a 65,000 seat football stadium back to back and has won every award there is for country western singers. His success was done with dogged determination to succeed and nothing but hard work. No silver spoon in the mouth, but a self made man. I love stories about hard work resulting in success.

I also read a book of stories by Regis Philbin, Who wants to be Me? Amusing stories about all the mistakes he makes and the frustrations of his life, each told in a very self deprecating way. His story of accidental turning on the alarm on a rental car and not figuring out how to turn it off while driving to a number of important meetings is typical of the stories in the book. Amusing and quick witted individual.

The comedian Robert Klein wrote a biography which had amusing stories as well. I laughed at his relating how he told his publisher he wanted his book title to be "Gone with the Wind" and when the publisher objected because the title had already been used, Klein replied that titles are not subject to copyright laws and he thought this title would improve the sale of his book.

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