Last night I experienced three mildly unpleasant encounters in Park City. Okay, maybe not “unpleasant” but the kind of brushes with human behavior that make you roll your eyes and count to ten. We’re living in times that “try men’s souls,” and I was reminded of this last night, you bet.
The first happened in the delicatessen department at Fresh Farms. There were three women working the counter, two 20somethings and a smallish woman in her late 60s or early 70s. I asked the older woman if I should take a number, and she said “we don’t do numbers here” — okay. She was busy slicing chicken meat for somebody. She was packing it up when a guy about 30 (definitely an out-of-towner) came over and asked to see it. “Are the slices extra thin?” he asked, inspecting with disapproval. “I said extra thin slices…I want to almost be able to see through them.” The woman rolled her eyes as she reached for more chicken. I felt sorry for her. “Ma’am…could I buy those chicken slices? Would that help?” She seemed relieved. I didn’t want the chicken but that guy was such a dick and he’d made her life more difficult.
The second encounter happened as I was walking up Park City’s Main Street. Three guys in their late 50s or early ’60s (skiiers, I guessed, or maybe distribution sales guys) were walking in front of me at a really slow pace, and of course they had the sidewalk blocked with their pudge-bods. Walking up Main Street is a cardiovascular challenge and I always do it with a certain vigor — I’m sorry but walking like a retiree with arthritis is not an option. So as I approached the three sea lions I said “excuse me?…sorry.” They glanced back and allowed me to pass, but not without comment. Their reaction was basically “sure thing but what’s your hurry?…have you ever heard of enjoying yourself and smelling the night air and not always racing when you walk?” My silent response: “Yeah, I’ve heard of it and I even walk slowly on my own from time to time, but never on Main Street uphill and especially when three guys are doing the mall meander in front of me.”
Encounter #3 happened when we were taking a cab from Main Street up to that non-existent (i.e., a day early) Indiewire party. I was told last year by a local that any Park City cabbie who charges more than $10 for a short hop is being greedy and should henceforth be avoided. I mentioned this half-jokingly as I asked last night’s driver what the fare would be. $13, he said. Grumbling, muttering. As we headed for Woodside Ave. we caught sight of the Chateau Apres, and I said “Qu’est-ce que c’est, Chateau Apres?” The driver said, “Do you want me to drop you there, sir?” What a doofus, I said to myself. “No, no…we’re still going to Woodside.” When we arrived I gave the driver $23, obviously expecting $10 in change. Driver: “Would you like change, sir?” Me: “Uhm, yes, I’d like $10 in change. Did you miss the part about $13 being an unpopular fare?”