Shortcut to Stupidity

I practically crash-landed into a veritable hotbed of stupidity the other day when I visited Costco, the discount membership warehouse club superstore. For over an hour, I was subjected to one stuper (short for an unquestionably stupid person), after another.

It started with the Chanel sunglasses. My sister wished to discard a pair she’d bought; one lens was scratched. Who better to donate them to, but me? A hand-me-up, if you will, since I am the older sibling. I thought they’d be a perfect pair to remake into prescription shades.

My actual prescription had just lapsed, but since my vision has remained unchanged for several decades, I figured a full-blown examination was unnecessary. Hence, I took the shortcut to Costco’s optometry center. I was hoping it was the sort of place where you enter, pass out for a few seconds, then suddenly come to, holding a pair of glasses, ready to go. If only.

A sorry sight greeted me when I first laid eyes on the receptionist. One of her arms lay outstretched on the desk, cushioning an ear; in fact, supporting her whole head which rested sideways on the arm. Her other hand drew pictures of skulls, daisies and a remarkable likeness of Walter Cronkite on paper spread before her. As you may guess, dear readers, she didn’t budge when I entered.

Another employee, ignoring the languid one, soon arrived to help me. Would that I could say this one was better.

“Hen I scratch ooh?” she said, cheerfully.

Now my hearing is still quite good despite my advancing years. Was this worker speaking a different language? No. And it wasn’t any type of discount store discourse either. Instead of facing me when she spoke, she stuck her head in a nearby cardboard box and then uttered her query.

“Excuse me?” I asked.

Pulling her head from the box, she then repeated, “Can I help you?”

I told her what I needed, and she moved me to a section a few feet away and said,

“Say ow.”

This time when she spoke, she turned her back to me and peered beneath a chair as if searching for a note taped underneath.

“What?” I wondered.

She then straightened up and repeated, “Sit down.”

There were three machines used to test my eyes. Each time she wanted me to switch to a new machine, she sprouted a muffled directive before freeing her mouth to speak clearly (upon my request).

“Whoosh a butt head.” (Push the button) “Who owe her.” (Move over), and so forth. There always seemed to be a box, folder or table for her to press her lips against when she spoke. I’d swear I was part of a secret government experiment monitoring toleration levels of those who must deal with stupers.

Finally, it was my turn to see the doctor. I don’t do well with people trying to poke me in the eye. Or those bent on stretching the skin on my face. And so it was when the optometrist insisted I try a pair of new contacts that were far superior to the pair I wore. He tried to insert a lens in my eye while pulling down the skin below it so low, I was certain the roots of my upper molars were showing. I stood up.

“May I do it myself? I’m not used to someone else inserting the lens,” I informed him.

Handing it over to me, he then pouted during the rest of the exam.

At long last, my torture session in order to lay claim to a pair of prescription Chanel sunglasses was nearly over. All I had to do was get past the woman who took the order for the glasses.

As I sat behind the counter, I noticed I had a little problem. I had to pick up my younger son in ten minutes, and this employee, Stacy, was deeply engrossed in eavesdropping on a conversation in Spanish occurring next to her.

“Do you speak Spanish?” I asked in order to return her attention to me.

“No,” Stacy responded and continued to stare, mouth open, at the Spanish speakers. For heaven’s sake, this is California. Everyone speaks Spanish.

“So what does the computer screen say about me?” I asked.

Once again I endeavored to regain her attention.

And so it went for the next ten minutes. Then I was free.

When one is stuck in the hub of stupidity, one must keep one’s focus on the reason for being there: that crisp and tasty carrot dangling at the end of the stick. Those sunglasses looked pretty darn good on me.

Thinking is worthwhile.

What is the hardest task in the world? To think. ~ Emerson

4 Responses to “Shortcut to Stupidity”

  1. Mary says:

    Oh, I love your line, “So what does the computer screen say about me?” I am keeping that one for future use. Thanks, Keli!

  2. Your perserverence (did I spell that right? oh well) is to be admired! I’m sure the glasses look great.

  3. Julianne says:

    I’ve always got my eye out for the next great retail idea. I think you have it:

    I was hoping it was the sort of place where you enter, pass out for a few seconds, then suddenly come to, holding a pair of glasses, ready to go.

  4. mikster says:

    I’d have been completely lost in the conversation since my hearing is going.

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