2007December11, Tuesday

Diarrhea of the Mouth in the Checkout Line

Posted in My Life, Pet Peeves at 12:53 by Trey Austin

Last evening i went to the grocery store here in town (we don’t shop there, but we pick a few things up there now and again) to get some vegetables and milk so we would have what we needed until we go to the Wally World over in Norton. (We’d go broke if we shopped here in town!)

Well, once i had picked up everything, i got in the checkout line, and i waited behind the four other people who were checking out in the only lane that was open. When i finally got up close and the person in front of me was being rung up, the bag boy started getting boisterous and braggish, but, for the life of me, i couldn’t understand why, because he was bragging about how he absolutely hates his brother. The worst thing about how he hates his brother (as if that weren’t enough) was that he and his brothers were twins (but, apparently, not identicaltwins, because he plainly said, “If i had to look like my brother, i’d kill myself!”). Suffice it to say he was far too free in sharing his feelings than he should have been in general, much less in public with customers around.

Well, the cashier, another young man around the same age—16 or 17 or so—was just chuckling at this and egging him on a bit with some lightly probative questions (“Dude, he’s your twin! You hate your twin brother?” “So, let me get this right: you hate your brother, you don’t want to look anything like him, and he’s your twin brother?”).

Well, about that time, i got up to the checkout. The kid didn’t really stop saying anything. In fact, he offered one last bit of commentary: “Some people just say they hate their siblings, but i really mean it!”

This all bothered me terribly. Don’t get me wrong: i know how it is not to get along with people (whether real siblings, other family members, or Church members), but for someone to brag so openly that he hates his brother was just so astoundingly crass and hurtful. He went on a bit more, and i just had to say something, but i didn’t want to be too condescending, either.

I just blurted out the first thing that popped into my mind. “He who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”

When i said that, both the bag boy and the cashier just stopped talking and looked at me. The bag boy said, “That’s a pretty good saying.” To which i replied, “Well, i think so, too. It’s from the Bible.” The cashier said to the bag boy, “That’s not a saying. That’s the Bible!” And then he asked, “Where’s that from?” I told him it was from 1 John 4. He just said that that was good to know, and gave me my receipt. I told them to have a good evening, and i took my bags and went.

I certainly hope that young man thinks more about how much he “hates” his brother. Perhaps he’ll reconsider both his relationship to God and to his brother.

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