A COLLECTION OF STORIES BY LUKE TAGG
ABOUT ME ABOUT THE SMOKE SMOKE A-Z

SMOKE: Get A Move On, Man!

Originally published: 28 July 2005

I've realised that I'm actually a highly impatient person. Highly. Not all the time and not even with any sort of consistency - but when I get impatient it's to the extreme.

I can be immensely patient - a year of working behind an Edgars counter and trying to deal with ladies who simply refuse to understand why they can't return shoes they've worn for the last six months for a refund is enough to teach even the most impatient sort how to raise a corner of the mouth in a set, fake smile, and how to grin and bear it.

But I usually seem to be in a hurry to do things. I think it has to do with my eternal pursuit of comfort - the sooner I get home or finish work the sooner I can relax, and although I never actually get to relaxing it's the pursuit of that relaxation that keeps me moving.

It's also why I drive fast - real fast. Aside from the fact that I just like beating okes who think they're quicker than me, my main motivation is that if I'm going somewhere that's where I need to be - not in the car.

So I get there as fast as I can and get back as fast as I can. I don't do the bit between A and B. It's a waste of time.

I've discovered of late that I'm a lot more impatient than I thought I was, though, because when I sit and really think about it I realise that I'm impatient just about the whole time.

The things that make me most frustrated are:

ATM Queues

I fail to understand the difficulty in drawing money from an automated machine, yet rarely do I end up behind someone at an ATM who knows what they're doing.

They spend about five minutes merely trying to work out which way to put the card in the slot, then they forget their PIN number, then they squint and peer at the screen as though it holds the answers to all the mysteries of the universe, then they consult their notebook which they first have to find in their handbag, then they make a mistake because they pressed the wrong button and have to start all over again.

Problem is - they're no faster the second time around either. I stand behind them - hopping from one foot to the other in rage and growing frustration - and eventually they get to the end of their mammoth transaction and I start inching forwards. My time has come.

Except it hasn't, because then they haul out a second card, and repeat ad nauseam.

I usually lose it at about that point and tell them to fuck off before I kill them. Seriously. If forced to I'll muscle in front of them and press the Cancel button, take their card out and send them packing.

I just can't abide people who are so inconsiderate they let people stand behind them for hours - just because they've got the right to use it as long as it damn well takes, an attitude which comes with more pompous self-righteousness than I am prepared to tolerate.

I struggle just to make a deposit at an ATM - not because I don't know how to, but because I know how irritating it is standing behind someone who takes their time about it all.

I honestly do a deposit - complete with envelope and all - in far less time than it takes most folks to draw 20 bucks. I see it as my obligation to get out of that queue as fast as possible.

Yet nobody else seems to think like that. Drives me nuts.


Drivers

I've already spoken about my frustrations in traffic, but you have no idea how impatient I really get.

Case in point: this morning. I reversed carefully out of my driveway and scanned left and right to see if there was traffic coming - and there was. Two cars coming, both from the same side. So I sat and waited for them to pass.

I realised with horror that I'd misjudged the speed of the first car - it was going far slower than I expected it to be and I could have actually pulled all the way out, done a 360, smoked a joint and solved world hunger before the car would have got to me.

What made me seethe with rage was not the fact that he was driving slowly - but that he could see I was waiting for him and did nothing about it.

I don't want to paint myself as a budding young Mother Theresa, but if I see someone waiting for me in traffic I step on the gas and help them out by speeding it up a little.

Not a lot - I don't have to behave like a drunk Nazi just because some doos wants to turn off or exit his driveway - but I make the effort to get past a little quicker, which in my world equates to basic politeness.

But this asshole just dawdled his way down, and as he passed me by eventually I saw him staring at me with a vapid expression which suggested he'd had a lobotomy at some stage of his life. Nothing in it - just a blank, stupid face.

My trauma wasn't over, of course.

The first guy was bad enough, but the second car - which was following the first - never arrived at me. He stopped in front of my neighbour's house - two car lengths away - with absolutely no indication that he was going to do so. He could see me sitting there waiting for him to pass and he didn't even bother to indicate that he was turning off.

It's not that hard just to flick upwards with your finger and indicate to someone that you're not going to get in their way? How hard is that?

I was in such a rage by that stage I leaned my full weight on the hooter and squealed out of there in a smudge of skid-marks, as the idiot sat there with a "What did I do wrong?" injured expression on his face.

I've never wanted to slap any single human face quite as hard as I wanted to slap that one.

That's just one tiny incident in a few minutes - before I'd even started my journey!

Traffic is traffic and Luke is Luke, and ne'er the twain shall meet, I'm afraid. Far too many inconsiderate bitches on our roads.

Conversationalists

Aaaarrgh!

Don't speak to me, man! Shut up! Nothing I hate worse than people who force you into a conversation when they have nothing to say - they merely want to talk for the sake of talking.

I'm not like that - I'm a functional talker. The toilet? Three doors down to your left. My name? Luke. Crotch size? That would be telling.

You know? None of this: "Soooo - what you doing?" nonsense - who cares?

It affects me the worst in telephone conversations, when the person on the other end clearly has nothing of value to say but says it anyway. I can't abide petty conversation - I have no interest in Aunty this or Shoprite that or did you hear what so-and-so said to so-and-so?

It bores me to tears and I get unbelievably impatient. Tell me something interesting, or ask me a question, or piss off. Really. I don't mean to be rude, but don't force me to sit through your boring life with you. Give me something to work with here.

Those are but three examples of things that frustrate the hell out of me and make me impatient, and what kills me is that all of them are down to the inconsideration of others.

I have such a great blueprint for life - how people can be nice to each other and helpful and stuff - but it won't work, because people are too selfish.

All Smoked Out,
Luke Tagg
Spending time online does bad things to a person, but I'm OK.

Look at me now - all the way from Uitenhage to the bright lights of the big internet.

Find out more using the handy links provided.



Copyright © Luke Tagg. All rights reserved. A few lefts as well.

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