An Open Letter To The Kid I Yelled At Yesterday When I Didn’t Get My Chicken Fast Enough

The author suspects that he might have a problem with his endless reserves of seething anger. This anger just bubbles, like those lazy volcanoes in Hawaii that always seem to be leaking magma in trickles and occasionally spit up like an overfed baby. One such incident occurred yesterday at a KFC near his home, where he stopped for some uninspired chicken on his way home from a disappointing visit to the ATM and the somber realization that there might never be any kind of bank error that unexpectedly deposits thousands of dollars in his account and that he might have to get serious about buying more lottery tickets. This, of course, sounded a little too much like work and caused the author to become unreasonably angry when the greasy-headed kid behind the counter told him it would be another 5 minutes on those tenders. We’ll turn it over to him now.

I’m Sorry. I really wasn’t mad at you. I was mad at the situation.

You ever sit in a fast food establishment for more than a couple of minutes? It’s crazy. Every second feels like about 25 years. But why am I telling you? You know.

Anyway, I’m not trying to insult you or your lovely Formica establishment, but it’s been a long ass day today and it’s only noon. Noon thirty.

I’m not making excuses. Ok, I am, but that’s what people do. And when it’s hot out and I’m hungry and I’ve spent the morning in a grocery store dodging out of control carts and oblivious shoppers I tend to flip the hell out when I decide that I am being played for a fool.
I understand. That was not your intention. Anger is a force, it isn’t an emotion. It’s like the tide, and all your efforts to hold it back will be futile because no amount levies or happy thoughts will stop the flood of my righteous anger if I don’t get my chicken right now.
I apologize again. I sometimes get a little worked up. The problem with having both a short temper and a non-violent disposition is that you often find yourself filled with unfocused energy ready to destroy you and everything around you if left unchecked. It happens pretty frequently. It’s why I’m on my third DVD remote and have never been able to keep more than one operational controller for any video game system I’ve ever had.*
My tolerance for frustration is non-existent. It’s a character flaw, I know. At least I’m aware of it. I know myself enough to know that it should be someone else’s job to untangle the Christmas lights or troubleshoot the computer or beat Mike Tyson in the original Punchout! on NES. These things would all frustrate me, which would lead to a childish rage and even more childish outburst that could best be described as a tantrum. I know how ridiculous I seem when I do this. But in the moment, smashing the controller into the floor with my heel and making everyone in the room super uncomfortable always seems like the right idea. The thing to do.

I wish I had the kind of mental problems that involved a lack of emotion. As it is, I have a the kind of mental problems that leave me with a surplus. On the plus side, I don’t know what I’d write about if I wasn’t always in my own head, trying like a harried traffic cop to regulate the flow of insanity that is my constant emotional state. Not bad for the readers right? I mean, I could be writing yet another blog about bullshit chemtrails or recipes for vegan guacamole**, right?
Anyway, I’m sorry I glared at you yesterday while you tried to explain to a lady in a sun hat what exactly her responsibilities were when it came to ordering a family-sized bucket. I’m sorry I was brusque when I took the steaming bag of poultry from your proffered hand, and I’m sorry I merely grunted and turned away when you told me you added an extra tender for the wait. I appreciate that tender. I do. Though I really didn’t need any more chicken. I had ordered an obscene amount of food already. As I said, I was hungry.
Bravo to you, kid at the KFC, for not taking the passive-aggressive bait. I have a lot to learn from you and your even-tempered, greasy-faced ilk. I have a lot to learn in general. For example, I had to look up ‘proffered’ to make sure I was using it correctly. I think I was.
Anyway, for your chicken I thank you and for your patience I applaud you, Kid at the KFC.

Sincerely, the big sweaty guy who seemed really mad yesterday.

*The old kind of controller, with a cord. Those things were just too tempting to swing full force at the ground when you get killed trying to get past that pod racer level on Battletoads again. Pretty satisfying.
**I suspect all guacamole might be vegan, but don’t care enough to check.

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