My name is Crabby Appleton
I’m rotten to the core;
I do a bad deed every day
And sometimes three or four.
Baby Boomers might remember Crabby Appleton, the villain of the Tom Terrific cartoons featured on Captain Kangaroo. In doing a bit of research for this post, I googled “Tom Terrific” and actually watched an entire cartoon entitled “Crabby Park” in which Crabby Appleton stole every tree in the world to form his own park in which happy people won’t be allowed. Seriously. You can find anything on YouTube. Just the theme song made me 7 years old again.
Whenever any of us kids were out of sorts, Mom called us Crabby Appleton. It stuck, because I use that term to this very day. I’m certain my son Court has never seen a single episode of Captain Kangaroo or Tom Terrific, and yet is very familiar with being called Crabby Appleton.
All this is to say that Saturday morning, every single person in east Mesa
was Crabby Appleton. Including me. The full-time residents might just have been crabby because temperatures were forecasted to reach 97 (and, indeed, did) and they saw the inevitability of the arrival of summer and the 115 degree temperatures it brings. For my part, I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
Bill was out early (say it with me Friends) working on the outdoor kitchen. Originally thought to only take a couple of weeks to build, it has been sort of like the construction of the pyramids. Except the Egyptians had slaves to do the work. Poor Bill has only himself. He actually came in at one point Saturday afternoon and asked me if I would like to help him with the grouting of the tile. I was wearing a $50 blouse and jewelry, so I declined. I think the heat is getting to him. He looked at me and saw a mirage that resembled Bob the Builder.
Anyhoo, once I got dressed, I set out to do some errands. That’s when I learned that everyone was crabby.
It started with the honking. I didn’t pull out quickly enough for the man behind me at a stop sign. Call me crazy, but when cars are barrelling down the road at 45 or 50 mph, I like to make sure I have time to pull out. I promise you they weren’t dots in the distance. My pulling out would have caused them to have to slam on their brakes. HONK.
Next, I’m at a stop light, the fourth car back. Let me repeat. The FOURTH CAR BACK. The light turns green, and the man behind me begins honking at me. Like I can do something about the three cars ahead of me. I was so stunned that I actually considered the notion that he simply might be trying to tell me that flames were shooting out of my trunk, because honestly, he can’t think I can move ahead because I’M FOUR CARS BACK. I look in my rear view mirror. No fire.
Then the tables turned and I became Crabby Appleton.
I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items. The entranceway is seriously about three or four feet wide as it is blocked with signs advertising Starbucks and sale items and Redbox. The woman in front of me comes to a dead stop right in the doorway so that she can wipe down her shopping cart with the disinfectant wipe. Now at the risk of offending those of you who also wipe your shopping carts with disinfectant wipes (and I know there are many), I must say this is A THING WITH ME. We all have our little foibles, but might I gently remind you (and I’m open to opposing views) that subsequent to wiping down your cart, you will be encountering about a cajillion germs throughout the store. As for me, I simply wash my hands when I get home.
Nevertheless, generally people who wipe their carts with disinfectant wipes do so quickly and cause no problems. Not this woman. She not only wiped the handles, she literally (and I promise you I am not exaggerating) wiped down the entire cart. And got another wipe and continued to clean the cart. I seriously thought she was going to bring in OSHA to do a thorough inspection. At one point she glanced back at me and I thought she would smile apologetically and move on. Nope. She just continued her cleaning. I almost asked her if she would stop by my house and do a quick run-through.
At last, I made my final stop – Cold Stone Creamery to purchase some gift cards. Let me tell you that it was such a pleasant surprise that the young woman who greeted was absolutely and totally cheerful, friendly, and agreeable. I reciprocated, and we had a congenial conversation about ice cream and carnivals.
Thereby ending my errand-running on a positive note and remarkably changing my attitude, as positive people are inclined to do.