I was out on my normal Saturday morning routine. I generally go to a grocery store to get a few things, then I hit a few thrift stores to look for collectibles for my vendor tables and my own personal use.

I was in a parking lot around two hours ago. I needed to make a left-hand turn. I saw a truck on the way, but it was behind a speed hump, so I had plenty of time. I began my turn when the guy driving the truck immediately sped up over the bump and drove straight for me. I swerved out of the way, thought Jesus Christ, what an asshole, and went on my merry way.

I left that lot and drove to another one around an eighth of a mile down the road. The same truck roared in and jerked in front of me, causing me to stop. It was one of these oversized redneck trucks. You know the type: Gun rack, right wing stickers. Suddenly this red-faced lunatic had a gun in his hand. Not pointed at me, but in his hand. I think this cretin's gun is never far from his hand.


I never got a look at this throwback until he was screaming at me. Furthermore, if he had slowed at the speed bump, I would have been long out of his way.

This is one of those irate individuals dying for an opportunity to use his precious firearm. Undoubtedly the kind of bigot who believes his white male heritage is under attack.

You know what? My heritage is under attack too. The things I've always cherished are being distorted beyond recognition.

The world of movies is in crisis. The WGA strike is still underway. No one knows how A.I. is going to affect the industry. I can't imagine it will be in a positive way. Movies already look like they aren't made by human beings.

Book promoting and reviewing is a superficial beauty contest to a lot of people. Too many people are content to see the genre reduced to the lowest common denominator of grossout extremism.

Cities are becoming homogenized. Corporations are tearing the guts out of society.

Boo hoo, right? Another old guy screaming at a tsunami of societal metamorphosis.

Change is inevitable. I'm unhappy about a lot of it, but that's life. I'm not angry at anyone.

This morning's situation de-escalated fairly quickly. The cromag was almost certainly full of fluff and bluff, but you never know. I didn't say anything in reply. I figured anything could set him off. People get shot every day in America.

It made me sad. There was a woman with him. She was bedraggled and had a haunted look on her face. I think tears were forming. She was probably a great beauty at one time, but now she looked like she was trapped in a prison of a marriage with a raging asshole.

Having said his piece and established his superiority, he squealed away, leaving some of the life of his tires on the asphalt.

I'm enough of an optimist to believe that most people, regardless of their ideologies, are decent, rational human beings. But then you have individuals like the one I encountered. Torqued up by propaganda, ready to unleash his frustration on anyone in his way. I guess the woman gets the brunt of his fury. I hope they have no children.

I'm not political. I believe in being a decent human being. I pay my bills on time. I do my job to the best of my ability. We do our best to reduce plastic waste. I try to treat other people fairly. I'm a relatively generous individual.

I've never owned a firearm. I have known many responsible gun owners. I do not think they all should be illegal, but I believe there needs to be mental health stipulations to those who apply to buy a handgun. There are too many psychotics with itchy fingers. The guy in the truck obviously suffers from paranoia and severe bipolar disorder.

In the meantime I am more depressed than scared. It makes me want to stay home with my wife. With our cats and the birds. With my books, movies, and music. Safe in our oasis of beauty in an increasingly insane world.

Written by Mark Sieber

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