Hooked on Phonics
I cannot stand people that don’t read.
I have, in my everyday travels, come across the occasional person who does not have the ability to read, whether due to a hole in the educational system, a learning disability or being raised by chimps. This post is not about them. This post is about those people who, after spending the entirety of their formative years preparing for the day that they can join intelligent society, decide that they will never again be required to read a single sentence for the rest of their lives. These sadly mistaken people, when faced with the truth that there is, in fact, a minimal amount of reading that goes into every aspect of life, become enraged and fight for their right to ignorance.
We’ve all come into contact with minor offenders of this crime in our day to day lives and they are, to most people, a vague annoyance. They are the drivers who ignore the “No Right Turn on Red” signs, the celluloid ridden passengers who refuse to halt their consumption while riding public transit and the border-line mentally challenged hipsters who play Frisbee “ironically” around the “Stay Off Grass” signs. In my opinion, these people are some of the worst people in world.
I recently came in contact with one of these literature dodgers recently at a fast food establishment. The gentleman in question, though I use that term as lightly as is humanly possible, had ordered an item from memory without actually looking up at the menu at it. The cashier-girl behind the counter then proceeded to quote a price to him, as is often the case in this situation. Upon hearing that his beloved fat-encrusted beef sandwich was not, in fact, the price he had expected it to be, he kindly informed the girl that the sandwich actually cost the amount he remembers. The exchange went something like this:
“No, I was here last month and the number one cost me $4.”
“Yes, sir, but the price has changed to $4.50.”
“That’s not true. I know for a fact that it only costs $4.”
“Well, sir, if you look at the menu…”
It was at this exact moment that I heard the slightest of snaps occur in the man’s head. It was all curtains for the girl from that point on. A couple testosterone-filled minutes later and the manager had come out to assist the girl behind the counter. He calmed the “gentleman” in question down and tried to understand the situation. It went something like this:
“Let me see if I can help you with your order, then. You said you wanted a number one?”
“Alright. We recently raised the price of the number one to $4.50.”
“But it only costs $4.”
“Well, if you look at the menu…”
And so on.
Yesterday, I talked about a certain rage-filled arse of a human who likes nothing more than to tear down the hopes and dreams of those who feed him. Don’t mistake him for the literature dodger, because these two are different, though related. The former is finding a minor offense for the sheer pleasure of devouring the defenseless emotional goo that is your average service person. The latter’s rage is induced not by a need to offend or be better than someone else, but rather a self-defense mechanism that protects his need to be right at all costs, even if it means sacrificing reason.