Monday, May 12, 2008

Cow Innards

                                           (photo from FoodAndPaper )

Apparently, I'm not everyone's cup of tea. As a matter of fact, it appears that I'm some folk's beef guts.

Yesterday's rant - which concerned the buying of milk, and whether or not it should be put into a bag upon checkout - garnered many interesting comments. Those made at this website were uniformly nice in tone, even when the person making the comment didn't agree with me. I can live with that. I did ask for comments, after all. However, when the page was linked from another site (the very wonderful Universal Hub, administered by the equally wonderful Adam Gaffin) the comments took on a decidedly nastier tone. For instance...

By anon (not verified) | Mon, 05/12/2008 - 9:56am

Fifteen paragraphs. Sounds like a need to fill blog space. If you don't have any thing to say, don't say it. No one needs your blog entry today.

Actually, I believe it was 21 paragraphs.

By pierce | Mon, 05/12/2008 - 10:13am

why link to this tripe?

Adam was kind enough to give his rationale for linking to the tripe...

Because I'm also easily annoyed?
By adamg | Mon, 05/12/2008 - 10:15am

No, don't worry, I don't have to pop blood-pressure pills at the supermarket or anything, but when I saw the post, I thought, yeah, why don't they just put the milk in a bag. And, yeah, my life must be going pretty well if that's what I think about.

Indeed. My life is damned nice, too. That's why I think about things like my milk not being bagged. I can afford to do so. However, I certainly didn't expect to have my writing compared to a pot roast's offal.

Oh, well. I suppose I should consider the source. Or, I would consider the source, if I knew the source. "Pierce" comments quite a bit over at U-Hub, but beyond commentary there, I have no idea who he/she is. The same for "Anon", of course. This is a major problem with teh interwebs. Folks can take pot(roast)shots at you and leave you no real target to return fire at. Which is actually OK, because I have no desire to get into a flame war. All I wanted to do yesterday was vent a bit of steam, which I tried to do in a manner that might give a small laugh or two along the way. If someone doesn't like my writing - or even considers it the equivalent of the 1st, 2nd and/or 3rd stomach of a ruminant - that's life. Degustibus Non Est Disputadum, as my grandfather used to say whenever anyone complained about the swastika tattoo on his forehead.

Some folks felt that I truly hated the baggers and considered myself a superior life form.

By Whit (not verified) | Mon, 05/12/2008 - 11:01am
Baggers are in an impossible situation. If they ask if you want a bag they get shit, and if they just stick stuff in a bag automatically they get shit. They cannot win. Think about you position in the food-chain. Where is the bagger? What kind of position are you in that you feel it is justifiable to be a little bitch and scowl and moan at a GROCERY STORE BAGGER! People in this society are so goddamed unaware of themselves that they don't know how to behave with each other and take out their aggression and frustrations on the weak at every opportunity. Just tell the guy you do or don't want whatever in a bag.

To which I replied...

I assure you that I do not berate baggers or cashiers. Every person I interact with at the market gets a smile from me, and they give me smiles in return. When I ask that they put my milk in a bag, I say, "Please."

I do believe I said that I refuse to use self-checkouts. This is mainly because the folks at the store know me, I know them, we like each other, and I see no reason for me to hasten their losing their jobs.

Do I really need to keep spelling out that I exaggerate somewhat for comic effect?

(Whether you find the effect comic is up to you. De Gustibus Non Est Disputadum, as my grandfather used to say as he projected porno on the side of our house.)

Another fellow seemed to feel that I was looking for a rationale to be cheap.

Quit whining... By stephencaldwell | Mon, 05/12/2008 - 10:31am And just buy the tote bags. It's not as though that 99c (the price at Stop & Shop) is going to drain your coffers (at least I hope it doesn't).

Again, I replied.

Thank you, Adam, for the link. And for the defense. You're a nice guy.

Anon, Pierce, et al - Adam has done you a service. You now know not to visit my blog in the future. I know it was painful to go there this time and discover cow innards. Next time you see my stuff linked, you'll know better.

StephenCaldwell - I'm hardly going to be broken by coughing up 99 cents or whatever. The point was that the markets will actually save money, in the long run, if they give the bags away. In addition, they will be helping to save the environment.

I had hoped that I put enough small bits of humor into the piece to let readers know that I wasn't really going to pop a cap in some bagger's ass if my milk remained bagless. Humor is subjective, of course, so if you didn't read it that way, my bad, I guess.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't take criticism very well. If I felt that I was writing something that would annoy so many people, I probably wouldn't have published it. It is never my intention here to polarize or alienate. And yesterday was just me writing about one of the little things in life that annoys me. Not a big deal. I assumed it would be taken in the spirit with which it was intended: just an obviously overblown rant concerning something fairly inconsequential. Some folks would agree, some would disagree. Some would give me good suggestions, which many of you did and I thank you. The last thing I expected was invective, and to have my writing compared to bovine entrails.

Oh, well. Some folks consider tripe a delicacy.

(Unfortunately, I'm not one of them. Yuck! The stuff grosses me out.)

Tomorrow, or the next day, I'll be back with something utterly non-controversial; something that the most contentious person in the world might not have a problem with. I think maybe I'll do a piece about how puppy dogs are really swell, especially when compared to Hitler.

Then again, when somebody believes that your writing is comparable to Bossie's digestive tract, there isn't much you can do to please them, I suppose. Oh, and Anon? You're what I write about when I want to fill space with nothing.

Soon, with non-Nazi puppy dogs.


Hilary said...

Wow! I thought it was a rather innocuous rant.. funny... enjoyable.. blog-worthy for sure.

I can understand how you'd be sensitive to the criticism. I have no doubt I'd feel the same way if I had such a following. :) BUT the topic was not what I'd consider remotely controversial.

I'm sure your humour was not lost on most of us. I love your writing style. Please don't let it taint how you write from the heart and from the funny bone.

lime said...

so tomorrow i can look forward to puppies? oh great! i bet their going to chew my shoes and wet on my carpet and make me sneeze since i am allergic to them. great....just great....i think i'll put a bag over my head now...should i use paper, plastic, or cloth?*

*for those humor impaired types this is a JOKE

Tara said...

I read this yesterday but did not get a chance to leave my comments which were agreeable.

I always put my milk/water in a bag myself or ask for it. It's simply easier to carry up stairs. I believe most baggers are trained not to waste the bag.

I also always say Thank you to not only the bagger but the cashier. Having been one, I know how nice it can be when someone simply says Thank you, even if it's just for doing your job.

7 times out of 10 I have had people actually stop what they are doing and say how nice it is to be thanked.

I know Jim very well and if you don;t know it, he is one of those people who will actually thank someone for simply smiling.

Don't you dare change a damn thing about you darli'

Rooster said...

Hey Sul, having fun yet? :)

I am new to blogging this spring (thanks to my love of the Sox), and I also have been surprised how every now and then what you post as an innocent and light hearted comment is pounced on by some fool and completely takes you by surprise. It has been an eye opener. Some people seem to be just looking for something to criticize I think. Must make them feel important or something.

Chin up - on with the frivolity!

(did we miss Anzac Day - rats!)

Stu said...

First, nice use of the term "offal."

Second, " my grandfather used to say as he projected porno on the side of our house." - HILARIOUS!!! Your humor is comparable to a prize-fighter, with a few quick jabs of the right hand and then a roundhouse from the left, totally unexpected and incredibly effective.

Third, yeah, that's why they call it a *sense* of humor, not a *law* of humor.

Fourth, I really do love that folks got ticked off about your opinion on *milk* and whether it should be *bagged* or not. Earthquake in China, fires across Florida, massive failures by the President, but *no* - your essay on supermarket customer service is the hot button of the people. Ok.

Janet said...

I'm speechless. How sad that some people have no sense of humor whatsoever (and don't read that well, either, because I got the fact that you were always nice to the folks, bag or no bag).
The first blog post I ever read was a poor girl who was basically wondering aloud about whether women will EVER be able to walk down the street alone. It was a very thoughtful piece, and a male blogger linked to it on his blog. The comments on both their blogs ranged from just general arsedness to downright cruel vitriol. I was so appalled it was 6 months before I got up the nerve to start a blog. So far I've only had my feelings hurt once by a couple of people who were of the opinion that I'm a lousy mother. Especially since they actually know me. But their kids are grown, so I just assumed they don't remember what it was like. :)

Stu said...

It just occurred to me that, sadly, my mother does not read your blog. As such, I feel free to say that the people who offer such inane criticism of your writing can blow me.

John-Michael said...

"A Big Moment In A Little Life" comes immediately to mind. These poor pathetic misfits have nothing in their dismal day but to try to search out ways to squelch one of the far-too-rare Joys from its longed-for existence in a world of mean-spirited mayhem?! (stupid jerks!!)

Continue in Being YOU, Dear Jim, my SulDog Friend. I love every fibre of who You are!!

Suldog said...

I feel I should point out that the great majority of folks who comment over at the other site (Universal Hub) are nice folks. Most of them have actual names and are not anonymous asswipes! And I can't possibly say enough nice things about the webmaster, Adam Gaffin. He often links to my posts by highlighting them on his front page (which shows his questionable taste, but illustrates his kind-heartedness.)

Ms Bart said...

Dingity Dangity -- I was hoping you'd take on the subject of shopping carts abandoned in grocery store lots a la Margery Eagan today.

(And remember, anybody posting anonymously is probably a fourteen year old taking a break from pretending to be suiters on

Chucka Stone Designs said...

At first I was going to say that it really pissed me off that you felt you had to defend yourself against people who obviously had a differently abled sense of humor and just didn't get you, but then reading it I yet again snorted liquid from laughter. Thanks for saving me the need to ever buy a neti pot.

Suldog said...

A neti pot reference, given without explanation of what a neti pot is! I am definitely reaching an interestingly intelligent and eclectic demographic.

Buck said...

Wow. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth... It's apparent some people's funny bone got amputated or otherwise disconnected from their bodies. I (almost) feel sorry for 'em.

Oh, well. Some folks consider tripe a delicacy.

MMmmm... menudo!! ;-)

Melissa said...

Well, I read both of your blog entries and found them funny. My grocery does not bag my milk either, and I use the paper bags and bring them back with me to reuse. I also use the plastic bags and recycle them at the same store.

A neti pot is this little pot of water you pour into one side of your nose and it drains through your sinuses and out the other nostril. I know a couple of people who swear they are the best thing and haven't been suffering from sinusitis.

Jeni said...

Some people can just be, to put it quite bluntly, "Jackasses." I can think of other words too that might describe them, but to my way of thinking, to get all hot and bothered, not comprehending of the humor you post was intended to convey (and it work, for me, anyway)then Jackass is the most appropriate name for their ilk.
Please don't change your writing style, topics, ANYTHING! Your humor -well, obviously I enjoy it and apparently -judging by the comments here -so do a bunch of other folks. All of us are very intelligent individuals, all have excellent taste and magnificent sense of humor is present too in each of us, so as long as you are pleasing us, to Hell with the rest of those folks.

Stu said...

To Jeni,

Actually, I'd like one change made - I'd like Sully to grow out his hair and beard.

Nothing wrong with the way the man looks, I'm just bored.

Suldog said...

As always, I love you, and I appreciate your support.

Melissa - Thanks for the definition concerning the Neti Pot. MY WIFE bought one a couple of months back. I tried it, but I can't say that I noticed any spectacular difference from using it.

Oh, wait a minute. Up your nose? Shoot. I'll have to try it again, after I boil it for a few minutes.

Minnesotablue said...

UNBELIEVABLE! Some folks just don't understand humor. I wonder if these jerks have read any of your other posts, probably not . Keep the humor going pal.

Sandra Ree said...

I thank the lord I wasn't drinking my coffee or nimbling on some croissant or something when I arrived... lol I'm very visual.

Love the post Suldog, great read!