• 54°

Some deserve the penalty box

Hockey doesn’t do much for me, but life would be infinitely better if our society lived by its rules.

How awesome would it be if inconsiderate people could be thrown into penalty boxes?

Here’s an example:

You are on your lunch break and notice the gas needle on your car leaning way too far to the left. Since you have obligations to tend to immediately after work, you decide to pull into a local convenience mart, fuel up, and grab a quick snack.

Once the gas is pumped, you stroll into the establishment with fifteen minutes to spare. A bag of Doritoes and a fountain Pepsi later, you find yourself three-deep in the only available check-out lane.

That’s when Customer No. 1 tips you to the trap with a single question:

“When was the last time Rolling Cash hit?”

Instinctively, you check your watch. This has happened too many times in the past.

The polite “I’m not sure” answer from the young clerk doesn’t dissuade Customer No. 1. The questions continue, despite the ever-growing line.

“Well, how about Dollars for Decades?”

“I don’t know,” curtly this time from the clerk, with a bit of anxiety as she peers at the angry masses.

Another clerk is nearby and there is another register that is not in use, but she’s holding a clipboard. People holding clipboards are way too busy to run cash registers.

After a few minutes of attempted lottery handicapping, Customer No. 1 decides to make his purchase. As the cards are passed his way, one by one, he scratches as he waits on his order to be filled.

“I have a $2 winner here,” he announces triumphantly, loudly enough for the fuming que stacked behind him to hear. “I need to cash this in.”

This, in a perfect society, is when you scream “FOUL” and Mr. Inconsiderate, along with Ms. Clipboard, are escorted to a box specifically designed for time wasters. They must serve their sentence until the check-out lane is empty.

Once Mr. Inconsiderate is removed, the line moves along. You are now behind Customer No. 2.

“I need a pack of Camel Ultra Menthol full flavor woven cotten kings 72’s in a box.”

The clerk informs him this brand of cigarette is not in stock.

Angrily, the cigarette-adjective bandit responds, “Well how much is Marlboro Special Blend in the black box?”

“$4.57 per pack.”

“How much is regular Marlboro?”

“More than that.”

“I’ll take two packs of Lung Buster Delights.”

“That’ll be $9.74.”

And then he lays a pocket full of change on the counter.


Take your seat in the penalty box, dude.

Thanks to people with nowhere to go and no worries about time, you are now in a frantic rush to get back to work. Along the way you drive past an on-ramp and allow a car that is barreling onto the highway to enter, politely moving your vehicle into the left lane. However, your exit is rapidly approaching and this joker, no matter how fast you drive, will not let you into the right lane.

If you speed up, he speeds up. If you slow down, he slows down.


Pull into the pits for fifteen minutes and rev your engine, Joe Instigator.

And then you finally make it to your exit, policed by the death lamp masquerading as a traffic light at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and Route 141.

You need to turn left. The light, of course, just turned red. You’ve been in this predicament a zillion times, so you turn your vehicle off to save fuel, lay your seat back and take a quick nap.

During your nap, you drift into a dream. You are standing in this very intersection with an assault rifle and several grenades.

Some time later, just prior to you pulling pins and a trigger on the death lamp in your dream, honking from behind alerts you the light has finally turned green.

A quick glance at the dashboard clock confirms you are late returning to work.


Several city leaders are sentenced to a decade in the penalty box for continually ignoring this unnecessary, traffic jam inducing, mood altering time-waster.

And then you hear a political plug on the radio telling you why Candidate X is the devil and Candidate Y is a savior.

Hey, this little tool has worked great so far. …



Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at hollandkat3@aol.com.