Pump jockey’s perspective

Of all the coverage of the crazed sniper fucking with my hometown and its surrounding metropolitan sprawl, I think I’ve finally found the most interesting one (through ObscureStore, of course).

This guy works as a “gas station attendant,” which, as he readily admits, is a fancy resumé term for a cashier. He’s also a student at the University Of Maryland, and wrote an article about his experience in that school’s newspaper, and I think his is a really interesting perspective.

Is this whole sniper ridiculousness simply a theater of the absurd? After all, the odds of getting shot by this crazed fuck are about as good/bad as your chances of winning Powerball. But if it is, why does our intrepid gas station attendant freak out when he accidentally breaks a coffee urn?

I’m not sure how I’d be reacting if I were in D.C., because I had almost gotten used to the idea that you could be shot pretty much randomly before I left home. A teacher and a janitor at my elementary/middle school were killed by stray bullets in seperate incidents, and one of my best friends from home had her dad and her stepmom murdered when we were in seventh grade, in a random home invasion.

The idea of random terror was not a terribly novel one to me, with bomb threats constantly being called into that same school during the Gulf War because the kids of the Kuwaiti ambassador went there. I realized at a young age there are a lot of sick fucks out there.

However, it’s a lot easier for me to say that I wouldn’t be afraid, sitting 900 miles away in Chicago, where I’m simply one of the idiots trying to determine what the mystery substance is on my dipstick.

For all my bragging about how D.C. has made me a hardass, I’d probably be ducking behind my car like it was the Showdown at the O.K. Corral like everyone else.

I do hope they catch this nutjob soon, mostly because it really sucks that he’s killing a bunch of innocent people. But I’m also growing somewhat weary of Cheif Moose’s cryptic, circular pronouncements.

“We have researched the option you stated and found that it is not possible electronically to comply in the manner you requested. However, we remain open and ready to talk to you about the options you have mentioned,” was one of today’s choice lines.

I’m sure he wouldn’t make bizarro statements like this if he didn’t think it was absolutely crucial to catching the sniper, but still, it really only serves to employ more pundits to try and figure out what the fuck he’s talking about.

And the punishment that punditry inflicts on the American psyche should be self-evident.

But really, it comes back down to the gas station attendant, watching people in their zigzag pattern walk of fear, when you want to talk about why this psycho needs to be caught. The terror of the ordinary is often the most powerful.

Just ask anyone who was afraid to take a shower after Psycho or go to the beach after Jaws.

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