Sunday, August 15, 2021

Encounter at the thrift store

I was in a thrift store this weekend and an older guy with a little "service" dog approached me with some mystery kitchen appliance and wanted to know if I knew what it was. I didn't, but I looked up the answer on my phone. He thanked me, then, out of nowhere as I was turning to leave, asked if I'm a Democrat. 

I guess he doesn't read my newspaper columns.

I said, "No, I'm a libertarian so I don't believe in any of that government stuff."

He appeared shocked. He said he likes government because it does things for us and gives us stuff. I said, "Yeah, paid for with money stolen from us, after they skim their cut off the top. I'd rather they just go away. I don't need them."

Then it happened. I've never gotten the "But who would build the roads?" question in real life, but he actually asked in those exact words.

I said, "Don't you think businesses would build roads so you could get to them and spend money?"

He said "Well, they might, but why would they build roads to...?"...and he paused. I saw the wheels turning. He said, "Oh, I guess the roads would have to go everywhere or it wouldn't work..."

I mean, has he never actually thought any of this through?

So, he suddenly changed course and started asking if I'd had the "vaccine". Normally, I wouldn't even answer such a question, but this guy was fun, so I said "No, I decided against getting the rushed-through Trump vaccine". Again, he looked like a deer-in-the-headlights. 

He finally found his voice and said, "Well, the vaccine was the right thing for Trump to do, but anyone would have known that and done the same thing and everyone knew it could be done fast." Strange, I remember hearing the opposite: that a vaccine would take years, and Trump was lying when he said it could be developed quicker. But memory is easy to re-write.

He started telling me how many thousands of people are dying because they won't get the vaccines. I said, "Why would I believe those numbers? Or anything government sources claim?" He said "But government... but why... You don't believe them?" Could he finally be getting the picture?

So then he asked, "You didn't support Trump, either?" I said, "No. Like I said, I don't support any of that".

I left him there pondering and mumbling to the air (honestly, it sounded like he was trying to reassure himself) and I went on about my business.

I was later told that local businesses don't like him because his little dog poops in the stores and he won't clean up the mess. Why was I not surprised?


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  1. Sounds like he needs some basic training in personal responsibility - which, again, is no surprise.