Mack Williams: Up on the roof

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 16, 2022

The divisiveness of current times is often glaringly emphasized; and the self-serving, self-interested attitudes of many people give the effect of their being infected with narcissism and megalomania (the more “infamously” affected ones from past times taking up whole chapters in history textbooks).
Not many years ago, there was even a Saturday Night Live segment where the actor Joe Montagne offered a handbook on walking down the streets of New York. In it, the danger of “having eye contact” with oncoming passersby was a definite “No-No!”
But recently, the direct opposite of this depressing direction of events was displayed to me, and in of all places, “Sam’s Club!”
At the conclusion of my recent Sam’s (or would it be “Sam’s’ “) Club shopping, I purchased one of their all-beef hot dogs, with drink, picking up complimentary packages of kraut (appealing to that part of my heritage which is German). I just now remember growing up watching the old TV military show “Combat,” in which it seemed like almost every other word uttered by its star, Vic Morrow was “kraut”(not the cabbage). Whenever I purchase a Sam’s Club hot dog, I always take a couple more packs of kraut than needed; because there’s just something gratifying about walking out of the store with the feeling of palmed, cold packs of gratis kraut tucked away in one’s trouser pocket (no lewdness, just kraut).
I set the drink on top of my car, put the purchased items inside my car, closed the car door, then entered the Sam’s Club “parking-maze-path” which eventually leads out to the street. Before reaching the street, I heard a car horn honking behind me, and I said: “Yeah, same to you buddy!”(with my windows rolled up, of course!).
Several on-coming cars proceeded on my left, with at least half of them honking their horns, as well! I assumed that a bunch of friends had randomly encountered each other there and were honking in joyful recognition!(but you know what you get when you assume).
One of the approaching cars stopped, and the lady inside rolled down her glass, hollering something to the effect of: “On the roof!” Thinking she must have been listening to a “vintage” radio station, and had become “overly enthused,” I almost started to shout back about what a great old song it was, that I had grown up with it, and that it had wisely been included in those old CD song compilations titled “Golden Oldies,” “Oldies but Goodies,” etc.; and hawked on TV by the likes of Paul Anka, Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, etc.! But, just before launching into all of this, I realized that instead of praising “The Drifters,” she was just trying to tell me there was something up on the roof of my car! I suddenly remembered my drink, a “Mountain Dew Blue Shock” (the “Shock” part being most appropriate).
I stopped, retrieved my drink, and yelled apologetically (a paradox?) at a man in the halted car behind me. I told him I was sorry, but my forgetfulness was due to the fact that I’m only eight years younger than someone famous ( and in the interest of “keeping peace,” in today’s column, that person shall remain “Nameless here, forevermore”). But to that man in the car, I spoke the name. With a big grin, the gentleman assured me he understood!
(In this longer-than-average parenthetical aside: I had driven a goodly part of that parking lot maze, although slowly, but had made several turns; so I wonder what “center of gravity physics” along with any other laws of physics and motion had enabled my drink cup to remain a seemingly-fixed “roof ornament” for that amount of time?)
In addition to the other Sam’s Club deals of that day, I had found the prized “deal” of human kindness, given by some people to someone whom they didn’t even know!

Being a part of Sam’s Club has its perks, but they don’t compare to the “perk” of being part of the human race.

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