Saturday, July 3, 2010

Glass Houses

Yesterday afternoon I had just come from the city of cones of shame, NYC DMV and headed to capital of cones of the shame, the subway. The subway, sadly, always provides endless material for this city kitty. Alas, yesterday was no exception. The train arrives, it's fairly crowded but not to the point of feeling like I'm in the the middle of a stuffed meatball-parm sandwich. Oops, I digress.

As I walk onto the train I see there is an open seat. I walk over to the area and there is a woman sitting perpendicular to the next set of seats with her feet on the seats. As the train begins to move forward to it's next stop, there is a man a few seats away who begins clipping both his and his son's nails on the train. This absolutely skeeves me out. It makes me want to vomit. It's utterly disgusting and just flat out gross. Obviously deserving of a cone-of-shame.

With that said, however, what I found more amusing was the feet-on-the-seats woman. She was obviously disgusted by the man's behavior -- so much so that she began to loudly protest his actions -- talking about how this is "not a beauty parlor." I too agreed with her sentiments. Let me make that clear: I AGREE WITH HER COMMENTS. Yet, this is the same woman who saw fit to place her disgusting, dirty, filthy, shoes on the seat of the subway. Shoes that have been traversing the city streets, walking through all the grime, grit and grizzle that covers the streets of the cement jungle, NYC. So this woman, who put the bottoms of her feet onto the seat of the subway wherein other passengers will sit, sat in her glass house throwing stones at the, albeit gross, nail clipper.

So my feeling is, yes, nail-clipper-man gets a giant cone of shame. But you mam, in your glass house of filth, you too shall get a cone of shame.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Coffee Shame

So it's 90+ degrees here in the City. And nothing soothes ones soul on a hot summer day like a nice cup of iced coffee. As I sat at my desk with the 3PM doldrums, I thought I could really use a little pick-me-up to get through the rest of the afternoon. What better than a quick little trip over to the local D&D for some iced coffee. I quickly make my way downstairs, out the door and over to the nearby D&D. I happily wait in line, knowing that in just a few short minutes I will be privy to a great summer time treat: An iced coffee with half & half and splenda. My mouth continues to water as I sit writing this blog now. But 'wait a sec' (you are thinking to yourself) why would my mouth still be watering if just hours earlier I quenched my thirst with this special treat. Well, that is because those boys behind the counter at D&D are sporting cones of shame today for their poor iced coffee etiquette.

I get to the front of the line, I order my iced coffee and wait as it is prepared. And then they bring it over to me: it has 3 ice cubes in it. Really, I'm not joking, I counted them -- there were 3 ice cubes. So I take it back to the cashier and ask if I can have more ice. He looks at me as if I have just asked him in French for more ice. So again, I repeat: please, can you add some more ice -- it's all going to melt as soon as I step outside. Annoyed at my request he pushes it over to the side and yells at his sidekick: "ughhh she wants more ice." A few minutes pass and Mr. Sidekick finally makes his way over to put some extra ice in my cup. He hands it back to me and promptly walks away. There is more ice this time, but not much. I couldn't count the cubes, but let me just say this: it was an insufficient amount of cubeage to make me happy. However, I had already wasted enough time and needed to get back to work. I also secretly hoped that I was just being picky and that it would be perfectly fine.

However, my own ice-cube instincts proved me correct. Before I even got back to my office the ice had completely melted, thereby making the iced coffee a watered down yucky, un-delicious, unhappy mess.

Thus, I am still craving that nice summertime treat. I think I would have been better off just ordering a piping hot cup of joe. At least it would not have been watered down.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cob of Shame????

Traveling always provides fresh fodder for writing on human behavior. Having traveled to the southwest of late, one would think that the choices of topics would be endless. However, there is no place like home!

By the end of June, the first fresh produce of the season is being sold in supermarkets, on street corners, and in numerous farmer's markets around the city. It is one of my favorite times as going to the market is like a department store at Christmas. There is so much fresh produce to choose from that one can easily get carried away and purchase much more than you can possibly eat before it spoils.

Corn on the cob is always a popular choice. The gentleman, I am using this term loosely, that I met today is surely a corn connoisseur. How do I know this? Well, if you are a serious corn buyer, you must know how to check each ear of corn for it's suitability for your upcoming meal. You can peel the husk down far enough to insure that the corn is indeed mature, the kernels are plump and juicy, and that there is no evidence of disease. Most corn vendors provide buyers with a large barrel in which to discard the husks if they prefer to husk the corn at the market rather than at home. It can be a messy job so many like to leave the mess at the store.

Picture in your mind then, one large commercial trash can sitting by a huge bin of fresh corn. There are several people sorting through the offering. It is Saturday afternoon and the market is very busy. Two or three of us have selected our ears and turn to the trash can to clean our corn for the evening meal. It is not to be.

The entire LARGE trash can has been commandeered by the a fore mentioned gentleman. He has piled his treasure in easy reach, has extended his elbows for maximum coverage, and has planted his feet in a wide stance to be able to withstand any frontal attacks by fellow corn pickers. He is hunched over the barrel with only quick glances as the possible invaders while working diligently to get his ears completely free of corn silk. I am not sure if he is more fearful of losing his selected ears of corn or his prime location in front of the barrel.

There is a line forming, and I can tell you, it is not a friendly line. As the chatter becomes louder and more aggressive, it only inspires him to increase his cleaning efforts. It looks as if he actually trying to increase his personal space even further. I am perfectly content to clean my corn at home, but am sure that several of the other shoppers are not of the same ilk. As I was walking away, I believe I heard some comment about a place where the sun does not shine.

I hope he enjoys his corn as much as I enjoyed the spectacle.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm beginning to see a trend. . .

I hate to constantly vent about the same thing -- but I have noticed a trend in my complaints about human behavior and specifically etiquette. . . so in keeping in line (pun intended) with the trend of my observations it seems as though people have a real problem with behaving when it comes to lines.

So, once again I was back at the deli. It's hard to imagine that the sandwiches at any particular deli could cause such stress in one's life, but the sammys at this particular locale are so good that it inevitably leads to lines, which apparently leads to human misbehavior.

Today I was at the deli waiting in the extraordinarily long line. The line is always long. It does not matter what time of day we go to get our sandwiches -- lunch, dinner, morning, afternoon, evening, late night . . . the lines are long. It's worth the wait. There are three men who make the sammys. There's a clear sign indicating that you have to wait behind the sign before you are called up to order your sandwich. Everyone typically follows the rules. They wait. . . patiently. . . talking to their friends about what sandwich they are going to order; calling people on the phone and catching up as they wait in line, or like me they wait playing crosswords on their cell phone as they wait for that one divine word: NEXT.

Everyone watches the line to make sure it's moving; watching to make sure that no one is taking too long with their orders. But most importantly, we all are looking up to make sure that there are no line jumpers.

On this particular day -- the line was insanely long. It was sunny and bright outside. Everyone wanted a nice yummy deli sandwich to enjoy. We were all waiting patiently. I was next. I was so excited. When out of nowhere comes a man. He walks up to a woman he recognizes -- she is already in the process of ordering her sandwich. I heard him say: CAN YOU DO US A FAVOR AND ORDER MY DAUGHTER'S? The woman appeared reluctant to help the man out -- feeling the stare of the of hundreds of eyes in the back her head. She glanced slightly back towards the line but refusing to make eye contact with any of us who had patiently waited our turn.

Sensing her reluctance, he proceeded to waive over a girl who appeared to be in her late teens or early 20s. He introduced her to the woman as his youngest. The woman, now stuck with the girl standing next to her father and her giant father hovering over them both, acquiesced and put in another order for another sandwich for this girl.

There did not appear to be anything wrong with this girl. She had both her legs. They appeared to be in proper working order -- i.e. capable of standing in a line long enough to wait until called to order her sandwich. There appeared no reason other than sheer ridiculousness as to why this girl needed this other woman to order her sandwich. . . nothing other than pure laziness and more importantly rudeness.

As I watched my sammy being made, I could hear the girl barking "MORE MAYO. I SAID MORE MAYO" to the man making her sandwich. I looked over and she was snapping her gum and rolling her eyes that he was not making the sandwich properly. Finally their sandwiches were done and I watched the girl and the woman walk to the register where they of course paid for their items separately. They left the deli and went their separate ways.

So of course the father gets a cone of shame for being so obnoxious to even ask the woman to let his daughter cut the line. And for teaching his daughter this terrible behavior. Bad parent. Big cone of shame.

The woman getting the sandwiches, you too shall wear a cone of shame because you had an opportunity to say no and you chose not to. Bad fellow line-stander. Big cone of shame.

But also, daughter of the rude man, you too shall wear a cone of shame. I referred to you as 'the girl' throughout this narrative only so as to differentiate between you and the woman ordering the sandwiches, but you were clearly not a girl. You were old enough to know better. If I had to guess, perhaps it was your idea because you told your daddy that "you just couldn't be bothered to have to wait in that line." So you too shall wear a cone of shame and yours shall be the biggest cone to date.

What is it about the line? The inability to wait in line to pay; the inability to wait in line to merge with traffic; the inability to wait in line to place an order; the inability to wait in line to board the train. Is there a personality disorder that affects one's ability to wait in line? Or is it just straight up narcissism? I'm going to continue to investigate. But until then, I will just have to keep my eyes peeled and dole out the cones as is necessary.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Double Cone Please.

So today you get two for the price of one...two cones of shame.

I went to the park today to enjoy a beautiful afternoon on this Memorial Day Holiday weekend.
I was sitting in the park, enjoying the sun, the scenery and my quaint little picnic that I had brought for me and my boyfriend.

I noticed two women with two cute dogs sitting caddy-corner to us when we first arrived. They seemed normal enough -- not two people that I thought would be so deserving of the double-cone-0f-shame. But alas, the winners of these cones come in all shapes and sizes, and we can never know when someone will be deserving of such an award.

The first one gets an award for her ridiculously annoying dog and her obnoxious cigarette smoke. As all of the park goers sat there today attempting to enjoy the beautiful outdoors that this NYC park provides, this woman's dog continued to interrupt the tranquility that I assume everyone at the park sought. Let me take a detour for one minute before I crown this woman with her cone. I am a gigantic dog lover. I love them -- all of them, any dog, anytime, I love them. I laugh at dogs, I cry for dogs that have no home, I get happy just seeing dogs walk down the street. I often think it's cute when they bark or snort (as my favorite breeds do -- you know who you are). I love dogs. I watch every National Geographic, Discovery, TLC or Animal Channel program about dogs. I love them. I do not however, love the annoying owners who make no attempt whatsoever to control their dogs when their dogs are nervous, stressed or worried. Which was clearly the case today. This woman had a small breed -- and every time anyone or anything walked within 25 feet of the dog, it began barking like a maniac. It was obviously stressed or fearful or just suffering from a Napoleanic complex. The owner, however, was either deaf (which I don't think was the case since she was more concerned with her cell phone conversation than with her barking dog) or she just did not care that her dog was being somewhat annoying. As she sat in the grass, with the dog pulling on the leash barking incessantly, she did nothing to calm her dog down or stop it from barking. Unfortunately for me, this barking lasted during our entire picnic which made it somewhat less enjoyable. On top of that, she was more concerned with lighting her cigarettes and having the smoke blow across the laps of the other park goers. Yes, I know smoking in public is not a crime and that it's where people who smoke go to smoke: outside. And I doubt that I would have coned this woman today but for her double-whammy: the dog and the smoking. One, standing alone, probably would not have earned her the cone of shame. However, today, with her two annoying features, she gets the cone of shame. So to you Smokey the Bear in the Park with your annoying barking dog -- you shall wear a cone of shame.

Now, for your second dose of conedom. Along with the a smoking dog owner, came her SWF friend. Many who know me know that when someone copies me, it really gets my goat. I know the ole expression goes: "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." But it annoys me more than flatters me. As we sat attempting to enjoy the day, I found clover in the grass where we were sitting. I told my BF that when I was younger and had to entertain myself at my brother's various sporting events, my mother had taught me to make necklaces and bracelets out of the sturdy clover. So I walked around the area where we were seated and gathered up some clover to make a lovely Memorial Day weekend necklace. Alas, when I was finished, I put the necklace on and we began to admire my handy-work as I sang "Crimson and Clover." When suddenly, we look over, and the pal of the aforementioned annoying dog woman is walking around, gathering up clover. She then begins to start making a necklace out of the clover. This along with the yipping Napoleanic dog and the cigarette smoke made me annoyed and I deemed that this Single White Female shall get the cone of shame for copying me. I said right then and there: That's it. She shall wear the cone today as well. (I know, I know, now I'm just being a brat. . . . I think it was the smoke that went to my head, because even as I sit here now typing this, I realize it's really not cone-worthy, but oh well). To at least help justify her cone I will say that she should get a cone of shame just for not telling her friend to quiet the dog or stop the smoking.

Well that's it for now. I have more cones to dole out, but they will have to wait for another time. Until then, try to be conscious of those around you and maybe you won't be the target of my next cone of shame.

So there you have it, the double cone.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

KC Cone of Shame

Well, here is my first attempt to bring Midwestern rudeness to the forefront. After reading about the incident with the subway lines I was prompted to write about a similar phenomenon that occurs regularly here in KC.

Let me start by stating the obvious. It is much easier to be rude when you are completely anonymous. We live and die by the automobile here. Our city is so spread out that public transportation is only a passing thought to most of the residents. We are very independent and prefer to be able to travel when and where we want without having to answer to anther's schedule or timetable. Hence, the anonymity.

When you are behind the wheel of a car, you are only a driver amongst thousands of others, without eye or physical contact. For example, last weekend a group of friends made a concerted effort to car pool (fyi, this is what we call more than one person in a car), to aid in reducing the weekend traffic congestion. There were several large events planned, so it would seem obvious that traffic would be a problem. When this occurs, a line forms on the entry or exit ramps of the highway. The problem arises when there are two lanes to enter or exit that must eventually merge into one.

This procedure routinely provides a vehicle to expose the most narcissistic people on the road. They will speed by the people waiting in the line to get to the point where the two lines merge and expect someone to graciously allow them to enter the line without having had to wait like everyone else. If that gracious person does not show themselves in an appropriately short time, the king of the road will use his vehicle as a wedge to force the other people to allow him to enter the line or hit his car. Of course, since he is usually in front of someone when he is trying to push his way in, if the other driver hits him from behind guess who gets charged?!

I have long contended that having your name and address as your license tag would drastically reduce this type of behavior. Naturally, human nature being what it is, we will never eliminate it altogether. I also believe that if we had to wear a cone of shame on our car, the road would become a much friendlier place. Does anyone really believe that this type of maneuver actually gets them any where quicker?

Friday, May 28, 2010

So many subway lines, so many cones of shame

So it was only a matter of time before I began my rant regarding etiquette on the subway. I have resisted thus far because I know that many a blogger has complained about the rudeness on the subway . . . but alas, I cannot take it anymore and feel as though I have to dole out a cone today.

Lines. They are formed to create some order in our society. (i.e. see post regarding deli lines below). And lines at the doors of the subway are there for a purpose. To the "oh-too-cool-to-wait-in-this-line-hipsters" who don't seem to get why the line is there in the first place, let me enlighten you as I crown you with your cone of shame. You see, those of us who are waiting in a semi-formed line at the doors of the subway, we are letting the people off the train FIRST because, here's an idea, the faster they get off the train, the faster we get on. So to the girl today in the Canal Street station, with your way too cool hipster bejeweled rubber-band in your hair, you did not need to push me aside. I'm not sure if you thought I was just at the front of the line hoping to be the last person on the train, or you possibly thought I like to spend my time at subway stops staring into trains without entering them. Rather, I was being, dare I say, polite, in letting people off the train first before I get on. What a novel idea. So to you Miss Subway Rudie -- CONE OF SHAME.

That's it for now but trust me, there are plenty more subway-cones-of-shame to come in future posts.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Cone Of Shame

I'm pleased to announce the introduction of a new 'rudeness rating system' here at the City Kitty. I was thinking about my next post and as I contemplated the events as they transpired it led me to the next logical question on the 'who, what, where and why and how' spectrum. WHO? HOW?

I was standing in line at my local deli waiting to pay for my fantastic tunafish sandwich. I was next up, which excited me because I was incredibly hungry and couldn't wait to get home, watch my DVR'ed Bravo Television Programs and eat my de-lish sammy and drink my yummy seltzer. The attendant behind the counter began to ring up my order when these 3 youts (as 'My Cousin Vinny' would say) came up and started to rudely cut in front of me to pay for their sugar-infused sodas. They completely disregarded the line that was obviously formed and began handing money up to the attendant and began demanding 'brown-paper bags' for their silly little sodas. (Why is this detail important? You ask. Well because these youts then began to sit outside of the deli drinking their sodas out of brown-paper bags circa the winos on The Bowery. Do they really think this is cool? I will have to re-visit this issue on another day).

Back to the deli. So the attendant took their money, gave them their brown paper bags and they went on their merry little way, oblivious to the line and the social norm that you have to wait in line to be served. Annoyed, I eventually paid and stomped off towards my apartment in disgust at the entire scenario.

As I thought about posting this on my blog about rude people, I thought to myself: Who taught, or better yet, who failed to teach, these children how to behave in society? Who is at fault for this scenario? How did this happen? Alas, the 'Cone of Shame' evaluation system for the City Kitty was born. Who should bear the blame for this? Who should have to wear the City Kitty Cone of Shame? Well, this week there are 3 winners of the Cone of Shame award.

Number 1: These 3 Youts. They were teenagers. Not small children. They should know better not to be so rude and to jump the line. CONE OF SHAME!

Number 2: The Attendant behind the counter. You sir are also to blame for the transgression of events at the deli. You should not have catered to their annoying behavior. Rather, you should have ignored them. They would have realized that they either have to politely wait or they would have left. Most likely, because they wanted to 'look cool' drinking their high fructose corn syrup in a brown paper bag like a drunk on the sidewalk, they would have waited, you would have made your money and everyone would have been a more satisfied customer, including me. CONE OF SHAME!

Number 3: The parents of these children. Now, when we are allocating blame on this, perhaps, the parents get a smaller cone. They weren't there and one will never know how much the parents have tried to teach the children how to act in an ordered society. However, one must also wonder how the parents have failed since when the parents are not present, the children misbehave. So, to you, the parents of these youts, you too shall wear the cone of a shame, albeit perhaps a smaller cone. CONE OF SHAME.

So unless you want to be the next one sporting the cone of shame, wait your turn!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New City, New Cat

I'm pleased to announce the latest addition to the City Kitty. We will have a new contributor from another city -- Kansas City. It will be an excellent way for all of us to see how narcissistic people behave not just on the East Coast in NYC but also in the midwest! So now the City Kitty isn't just a report on happenings in NYC but also in KC! So many questions, and hopefully many answers. Do people behave the same at a Royals game as they do at a Mets or Yankees games? Is rudeness rampant in the blue states, the red states or both? Are the Chiefs fans as terrible as their team? (Sorry KC contributor, but the Chiefs haven't had a good year since before I was born). Stay tuned for the latest City Kitty rants!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Welcome to The City Kitty.

A blog all about the happenings in the City of New York.

These aren't your average NYC "happenings," -- wait a sec, yes they are.

Today I was standing on the platform waiting for the Q train at Dekalb in Brooklyn.

A nice, seemingly normal looking gentleman was standing behind me as was a young female who appeared to be similar in age to this gentleman. As we were about to board the train I heard him say to the woman: 'Is that a good book?' To which she replied with a grimaced face, rolled her eyes and shrugged her shoulders. This response standing alone was not why I chose to start this blog. It was the next series of events that inspired me to begin writing about the observations I make on a regular basis -- most often times about rude people in the city -- happenings that inspire me to ask: why? Why do people overreact? Why are people so rude to random strangers?

I digress. I apologize. My inspiration: as we boarded the train, this grimaced face female then storms to the other end of the train while rolling her eyes. She went to a far more crowded section of the train than the area where we entered the train -- all to "get away" from this "monster" who dared to innocently hit on her by inquiring about her reading interests. This was an extreme response. It made me sad for the fellow. I wanted to say to him: 'don't worry sir. You are good looking and seemingly nice, she's clearly crazy. You'll have better luck next time.'

I didn't say anything because I was reeling from the rudeness exuded by this icy cookie. Next time, maybe he'll have better luck and maybe I'll speak up against the rudeness. Until then, try to be a little kinder to your fellow humans.