The Joys of Jetlag

Howdy all. I’m back in the US of A, struggling to shrug off the waking stupor of jet lag. In the morning I feel fine, but as the afternoon progresses I can feel my brain spinning down, shedding IQ points by the hour. By the time 6 or 7 rolls around, I’m a drooling idiot who losses keys and who forgets what he was saying in mid-sentence. Feels like being old but without the bladder control problem.

The other day as the jet lag hallucinations were just beginning to cloud my mind, I was replenishing my food supply at Vons. While looking for a daikon radish in the vegetable section I heard the green grocer chatting with one of the customers –a middle aged woman with a great tan. He asked if she lived in Stevenson Ranch — a particularly loathsome subdivision in a town filled with loathsome subdivisions. She responded, “Hell no! I’m not one of those goddamned Stepford wives.” Wow. I sort of thought you might be tarred and feathered for airing such opinions in this town. Later while in the checkout line, I overheard one of those goddamned Stepford wives complaining about the new computer thingie where you swipe your credit card. The cashier, who looked like she spent most of her life standing in front of a cash register, patiently explained how to use the machine, ending her spiel with a sympathetic “Yeah, they’re kind hard to figure out.” Suddenly, Kenny the bag boy, who clearly was not all there, piped up. “Yeah. Imagine explaining how to use that to a 150-year old man. I mean an exactly 150-year old man. That would be really hard. That would be really really hard. And trying to explain using that thing to a 200-year old man would be really really really hard. Just impossible, really. (slight pause) I can’t believe I’m going to be 30 soon.” As Kenny continued his running monologue, the cashier wearily ignored him and rang me through. Kenny continues: “I see your name is Crow. I understand that they have a new rock star who’s also named Crow. Sheryl Crow, I believe. I really like her song Winding Road. Thank you for shopping at Vons, Mr. Crow. Etc. etc.”

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August 2003

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