Today I yelled at an elderly saleswoman who looked as though if she could have clubbed me and hidden the body, she would have.
It started out simply enough. I wanted to return a book. Two days ago, my brother bought me “Obama Nation” by Jerome Corsi. I hadn’t really heard anything about it, but did a little research and found that he’s the same author who started the “swiftboat” movement against John Kerry. I also found that the book is filled with half truths and misrepresentations- including the idea that Obama might be doing cocaine as a senator, when he’s went on the record (in his memoirs and in newspaper reporting) to say that he stopped doing drugs when he was in his 20′s. The author has come out publicly saying that he does not want Obama in office and will do whatever he can to prevent it from happening- including writing a book based on total fabrications. Both Democrats and level-headed Republicans have dismissed the book for it’s outrageous spin. In short, it’s a book not worth the money my brother had spent or the time it would take to read it.
Before I share with you what happened, let me say two things- 1. I’m ashamed of my behavior. I’m not sharing this because I’m proud of my actions, I’m doing it because I need to share my behavior to fully reach the levels of embarrassment I deserve. 2. I’m not against reading books that differ politically from my own views. I’ve often found it a great way to learn more, I’ve even reached the levels of Anne Coulter (I did this after drinking heavily one day, I found it made the whole thing more bearable.) What I am against is spending money on any book (regardless of political views) that is drenched in lies and looks to profit from destroying the character of someone.
So, I went to the bookstore today, (with the receipt) hoping for a return.
The conversation went something like this:
Me: Hi, I’m here to return this book. I have my receipt right here.
Saleslady: Okay very good. What’s the reason for the return?
Me: I just don’t want it.
Saleslady: Not really a political fan hey?
Me: Actually I am, but this book is not accurate.
Saleslady: Oh, so you are American. (This is said as though she’s suddenly smelled something decaying in the bookstore)
Me: Oh no, I’m Canadian.
Saleslady: Then why make all the fuss?
Me: I don’t think being Canadian should make me more likely to accept lies or give my money to someone to profit from telling them.
Saleslady: Well that seems pretty silly. It’s just a book. You young people today get so worked up all the time, heavens just read it! It can’t all be wrong. People thought he wasn’t a Muslim and know it turns out he is. Filthy. (Current anger level: 3. I mean, she’s an elderly lady in a cardigan. She’s clearly misinformed – and what the hell is with the ‘filthy’ comment??, but getting more angry at her doesn’t seem polite. In fact, it seems like a good way to pave my way to Hell)
Me: What? Obama’s not a Muslim though.
Saleslady: That’s just what they want you to believe. All you silly girls just love the speeches and don’t listen to the truth. He’s a Muslim.
(Current Anger level 6. It’s one thing to be misinformed, elderly and cardigan wearing, but now she’s being condescending and implying that I like him only for his speeches. And she’s STILL wrong on the Muslim thing, and acting as though being Muslim is like saying he likes to steal wheelchairs from the disabled. And she’s not even attempting to return my book, but just keeps petting it like it’s a kitten who’s lost it’s way).
Me: No… it’s an actual fact. This is why I don’t want this book, it just perpetuates what isn’t true. I just want my money back please.
Saleslady: If you don’t want to believe he’s Muslim, that’s fine. I’m just saying that he’s pulled the wool over your silly eyes. He’s not going to win because the truth will come out.
Me: Well, I guess I just disagree. (Current Anger level: 7. I’m really trying to stop talking about it because I can feel my ears turning scarlet and my hands have slowly balled into fists. I’m suddenly too hot and my head hurts. My brain has a hard time grasping the idea that people like this woman actually exist)
Saleslady: Listen. Trust me. I’m just saying this book looks like it has some of the right ideas. This Obama reminds me of Hitler, he’s just got too many followers- I get the chills when I see him just thinking of what kind of evil things he would do if he ever won. It’s like a cult really for all you young kids.
(Current Anger level: 9. Not only does she refuse to let it go, she’s now comparing Obama to Hitler. And she’s still refusing to just give me a damn exchange. And the continual reference to ‘you, young kids’ said in a way to imply that young people are an unsightly gang of uneducated thugs is getting old)
Me: That’s completely ridiculous! The people who are blind- who have the wool over their eyes are the people who buy into this shit. (At this point I grab the book and hold it up because now I’m officially crazy with rage and feel like I need to do something with my hands that don’t involve giving people the finger). Who are too lazy to actually go out and look for themselves at a candidate and who instead readily eat up whatever lies come wrapped up in a pretty book- AND WORSE, go and spread it around like it’s the truth. Here’s an idea- take responsibility for yourself! Become educated! Or keep your mouth shut. Seriously. The whole thing is shameful.
Silence. The kind that’s so thick with awkwardness, you could actually slice up all the awkwardness and serve it on toast.
Saleslady: Do you want cash or exchange?