Sometimes you read a chapter of the Gospels, something you’ve known for ever, something that’s so familiar it’s slipped into secular-speak, become a universal metaphor, but WHAM! suddenly, wonderfully, it hits you, up close and personal. Because this is a typical Luce rant:
OK, listen up, right up, I’m not moaning BUT… when did it become OK for adult people to take a bottle of water everywhere they go, like some talisman? And why is it essential for them to take a swig of that water every ten minutes even in church? Have they just arrived after a three week trek across the Sahara so that they must rehydrate gradually but steadily? Why are so many people unable to sit through a 30 minute talk without rooting around for the bottle, clicking/unscrewing it open, and then chucking their stupid heads back to pour the damn stuff down their already pink and nicely hydrated necks? Why? It’s just bloody rude.
Am I getting old and grouchy?
And listen, here’s another thing, why is it necessary for shoppers to phone home to check that they have the right marmalade/baked beans/biscuits, or the required number of bananas? I ask because a man in Tescos said into his phone ‘Shall I get the large one or the smaller one?” and he was looking at – listen to this – he was looking at loose bread rolls. He then put the larger of the options in a bag (just one roll) and went on his way. There must have been all of half an ounce difference. He couldn’t make that decision on his own? It necessitated a phone call?
Am I getting old and grouchy?
And why is it often cheaper to buy two small packs of something rather than one large, nearly doubling the packaging? Yes, washing tabs, I’m talking about you. You eedjits.
While we’re on the subject of shopping – how come the Americans use paper grocery bags but the whole idea is a bit of a shocker to us? And why are bananas delivered loose to Tesco and then put into plastic bags? And do we really need to buy a pack of four potatoes on a black plastic tray with a see through cover? Can’t we just pick them up and put them in the trolley? Or a paper bag? And why is my fridge door full of plastic bottles of milk? Am I completely STUPID?
Or am I just old and grouchy?
And why, when I’m a pedestrian, are all the drivers hooligans and speed freaks, and why when I’m driving are all the pedestrians halfwits and sluggards?
And don’t ‘serious’ walkers get on your goat? They get on mine. Big time. I live next to a b&b on the beautiful coast of Wales, and they set out in all their wet weather gear regardless of what the sky is doing, after their full Welsh breakfasts, and they go to their cars and get out their walking sticks, and they put on dirty great hiking boots, and then they check their stupid maps, and off they go. On foot. They leave the car there, on the High Street, while they slog along the Coastal Path for three, four, five days, ensuring that people with babies or old people, or those with bad backs or loads of shopping, can’t park outside their own homes, for all that time. One day I will charge out of my front door, grab a scrawny walker’s neck and snarl in his face “There is a car park 200 yards away, you self-satisfied selfish fitness freak.”
Yes, ok, ‘old and grouchy’ applies.
Oh! Hang on – I nearly forgot holiday makers who can’t cope with our narrow lanes, who don’t know how big their cars are, can’t reverse and think that somehow if they sit in the middle of the road, everyone else will magically be able to squeeze past. News for you, townies – applying your brakes doesn’t shrink the car.
And….. Oh, never mind.
This is the Bible passage I was reading when the meaning socked me in the solar plexus:
Matthew 7:3-5, the words of Jesus Christ :
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.