Fraying The Edges


May 15, 2012 - San Francisco, CA - - We are all bombarded daily via print, radio and television concerning issues surrounding either the decay or ascendancy of American society - depending on your political bent.

There is nothing quite like an in-your-face experience to bring home the changes our society has, is, and will soon be facing.

It was hot here today. The first day over eighty degrees this year. I found myself walking my town doing weekly errands. You know the type, banking, post office, etc. For some reason my electronic dog collar began beeping, clicking and whirring to the point I knew it was unavoidable and must be dealt with and an inviting local watering hole gave me refuge from the street noise and bright sunshine.

Cute, tall, bright smile, friendly (of course the usual tattoos and piercings). Yes, I am describing the bartender. Twenty two and lovely. Being conscious that there was an owner responsible for keeping the lights on and mortgage paid, I ordered a small soda and returned to the electronics that required my attention.

After a couple of minutes I looked up and noticed a small soda with straw, neatly placed on a napkin. Slightly to my left.

Now I don't frequent bars, nor am I a stranger to them. The unmistakable taste of cheap bar bourbon washed it's way into me. Immediately calling the bartender over to discuss the matter, I was informed that that drink was for the gentleman using the restroom and she proceeded to pour my soda.

I informed her that I had taken a good sized gulp from the drink and she informed me that the other gentlemen was a regular and wouldn't mind. Strongly suggesting that she inform him, I was amazed as she shrugged it off and walked down the bar. Her rose scented hair swinging softly over her bare shoulder sporting a unicorn dancing in a meadow tattoo.

Of course the owner of the drink returned and began to enjoy his slightly used beverage.

I cringed...I left. No good could have come from the stink I was very capable of making.

The casualness of the situation is what I find of interest.

No matter the dive, (and I've seen my share) I honestly can't think of any situation growing up where the bartender wouldn't have immediately trashed the drink and replaced it. Even a bad bartender. This isn't a case of a "bad bartender" though. It is an example of the younger generation and the complete lack of common sense associated to it.

The product of dodge ball less feel good public schools, a parenting system that stresses individual feeling over responsibility, and a governmental entitlement mentality. It honestly never occurred to her that having paid for his beverage, he was entitled to a clean glass. Let alone having a stranger put it into his mouth.

It never will.

Every generation has the same conversations. It usually starts with "these kids today".

In the case of the current crop of future caretakers of our America, we truly do have a problem. The kids today have no sense of themselves as they relate to society. No obligation to community or country. They are one-worlders and bombarded as to the unfairness of it all.

They want what is perceived to be as theirs...and that is everything, for nothing.

These kids today...

©2012 Tom Fredriksen. All rights reserved.