Although I have a low threshold for stupid people and often feel like we are being inundated by them, I actually like people. Hell, I may even go so far as saying I’m a people person. OK, OK, that may be stretching it, but I’m at the very least a part-time people person. I’d like to think of myself as a personable guy who can talk to almost anyone, even if we have different backgrounds and beliefs.
But there is one type of person that I will never understand, and that is someone who will look you in the eyes, hear you say, “Good morning” or any other pleasant greeting, but then walk past you without saying anything. I like to call them Salutation Shunners.
It happens every once in a while at work and when it does the offending party is immediately moved to the “Fuckfaces I Want to See Hit by a Bus” list that I keep in my head. That being said, you can guess how pleasing it was when one of the repeat offenders was fired a couple months ago. Come to think of it, that may have been even better than him being hit by a bus since death MAY be too harsh of a punishment for being an asshole. (The jury is still out.)
Look, I understand that there are a lot of socially-awkward people. I also understand that there are some people who are important and have important places to be and important things to do. But there’s no getting around the fact that uttering, “Good morning” doesn’t take much effort. Shit, even if you’re a mute you can nod your head and smile for fuck’s sake! It’s not like I’m asking you to stop and have a conversation. ESPECIALLY if you’re a mute, since I’d end up having to do all the work, and I have important places to be.
My FIWTSHBAB list gained a new member recently.
There I was, enjoying my morning walk, daydreaming about becoming an assassin, when I crossed paths with a middle-aged dude already dressed for work. As he and I were passing each other I cheerfully said, “Good morning” as I’m wont to do. He just looked at me and kept walking.
For some reason the shunning made me laugh out loud, which I punctuated by saying, “Douche!” I didn’t say it loud enough for him to hear it, though, because who really wants to get into an argument over a salutation at seven in the morning?
The next morning I saw him walking towards me again. This time I decided I would just keep my head down, but as we got closer to each other I couldn’t resist looking up. Boy am I glad I did, because the moment I looked into his eyes I knew he had heard me the day before. They were undeniably filled with shame. The way he looked at me you would have thought he had been caught masturbating the family dog.
Any possibility that I was giving too much credence to my eye-reading abilities was quickly erased when he lowered his head slightly and said, “Good morning.” The shame in his voice was even stronger than it was in his eyes. Maybe he did more to that dog than once thought?
While I could have taken the position that one good shun deserves another, I decided the best response was a joyous, “Good morning,” delivered with a big smile that let him know that I knew that HE knew that he was a douche the previous morning. I have to say, it felt pretty great. Hey, it’s the small things!
The day after my minor moral victory I was walking out of the cafeteria at work and who do I see? You fucking guessed it; The Salutation Shunner. He didn’t see me that day, but we have seen each other since and whenever we do we acknowledge each other by nodding. It kind of reminds me of how in Mafia movies two guys can have a conversation by simply nodding. In this case his nod is saying, “I’m sorry I was a salutation shunner,” while mine is replying, “No worries. Just stay the hell away from my dogs.”
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