Yesterday I took Jackson into a beauty supply store to buy some gel for Jack -- Jack's growing out his hair, so by day he's working the Pat Riley angle -- and when it came time to pay I sat Jackson up on the counter so I could get at my wallet.
Cashier Wearing Gobs of Makeup, referring to Jackson: "Gosh, he's precious."
Me: "Yes, and he has an enormous head."
CWGoM: "I mean, I don't even like kids and I think he's precious."
Okay, let's look at some other situations in which a similar comment would leave you in the no-fly zone between appropriate cashier-customer conversation and a punch in the mouth.
"Wow, normally children with severe Muscular Dystrophy give me the willies."
"Usually I run screaming from the Irish."
"People who haven't had plastic surgery disgust me, it's only your robust skin tone that keeps me from shooting you in the foot."
"I was raised to hate Jews, but that little circumcized penis has won my heart."
"I can't stand elderly people in wheelchairs, but that colostomy bag with the bunnies on it is just so gosh-darn cute that I won't run you over with my monster truck."
Yesterday I also received a free book in the mail. Normally, I'd say, Wow! Free book! But it depends on the book so much in these situations, and this book happens to be called The Holy Longing: The Hidden Power of Spiritual Yearning by Connie Zweig, Ph.D. I realized that a Putnam marketing person somehow tracked down my home address, thinking that I was still a fancy-pants magazine editor with the influence over, oh, dozens of readers that would catapult this book into the hands of the spiritually bereft across the nation, and sent me this advance copy. So now I'm not sure whether to write the marketing person a quick e-mail so as to take myself off her list and save her lots of postage, or just let it go and see if she sends me more books that I can sell for a few bucks down at the Book Den. I suppose I could skim it and write a review here on Fussy, but frankly I'm just too shallow to wear the mantle of tastemaker for dozens of influential thinkers (that would be you) across the nation.