Could It Be His Fault?

Could It Be His Fault?


We recently celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the first broadcast of Mr. Rogers neighborhood. He was a beloved children’s host and Pittsburgh Icon. He will be remembered with a commemorative stamp. From the stories you hear and read, he was the same wonderful man off screen as he was on. You can’t find anyone that has anything bad to say about him…OK, until now.

Hear me out on this one before you start calling me nasty names. It all happened last Saturday when I went to the grocery store. If you remember, that was the day before a holiday. Not a day you want to have to go to Giant Eagle. Unfortunately, I had forgotten a few items on Friday…also, not a day you want to be in a grocery store.

So, because of my stupidity, I would have to subject myself to hell once again.

It all started on my drive to the store. There’s a four way stop sign along the way. If you’ve spent much time at one of these, you know this is where civilization meets Armageddon. There are those that realize whose turn it is and those that really screw things up.

Everything was going smoothly on this day. There was a car to my right that had arrived before me. After he went, it would be my turn. It’s just that as he preceded through, another car speeded up behind him and went through the stop sign without stopping. For some reason, this idiot thought they were special and stop signs didn’t apply to them

Next, I came up to an intersection with a left hand turn lane. There was one car in front of me at the light. When the arrow turned green, the car didn’t budge. I noticed the woman driving was too busy texting to notice the light. I gave the horn a friendly tap, still nothing. Then, the light turned yellow and then was gone. We had missed the turn. At this point I laid on my horn in a way that could only say you’re a moron.

She just mockingly waved at me, like it was no big deal we would have to sit here for five more minutes. At that point I wanted to stick that phone in a place where butt texting would be her only option. But, it was a holiday weekend after all…No, I wasn’t showing compassion. I just didn’t want to spend the weekend in jail.

Once again I had encountered a special person that live by their own set of rules.

The crowded Giant Eagle was where I had my revelation. Every checkout line was packed. It would be days before some of these people got out of there. Luckily, I only needed a few items so I headed to the “fifteen items or less self-check-out” lane.

And there she was, holding everybody up, the woman with 42 items. I know this, I will tell you how in a second.

Apparently, fifteen items or less only applied to the rest of us, not this special lady. Then I started thinking about all the special people I had encountered that day and what could be responsible. That’s when it dawned on me…Mr. Rogers.

You heard me right, Mr. Rogers! Didn’t he tell us every day that we were special and there was nobody else like us? Now, cynical little boys that grew up to be aggravated men didn’t buy it. But it looks like some of these idiots did. Now they think they’re so special that they can do whatever they want.

The woman checking out was oblivious to the fact she was doing anything wrong. That’s when another beloved PBS figure popped into my head. “The Count” from “Sesame Street.” In my best Transylvanian accent, I counted each item as she scanned it. Once she got to fifteen I just counted each item as fifteen.


In my head I was keeping tabs. When she got to her final item, a ham, it wouldn’t scan…She kept trying and I kept growing more aggravated. I was thinking about putting that ham in a place where only the most disgusting of her relatives would have eaten it.

Do you notice a theme here? If I hadn’t controlled my temper, it would have been a busy and strange day in the local emergency room.

Finally, she got the ham to scan. That’s when I blurted out…


She looked back at me and shot me a glance. One that should let me know that she’s special. Hey sorry, I’m not Mr. Rogers. If I were, I’d kick the special people out of my neighborhood.

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