I am really upset with myself.
Yesterday was your picture perfect Southern California day, which screamed for outdoor activities even to this computer geek.
So my new roommate and I took a bike ride to the beach, which turned out to be quite arduous because of the strong winds from the ocean. But the hardwork paid off, and we eventually found ourselves at the beach.
After parking my bike, I wondered off to the men's room which was adjacent to the parking lot. Out of the blue, I heard someone yell out, "Hey, come here."
I looked, and it came from a teenager behind the wheel of an SUV. "Yeah, you" as he motioned to get closer with a hand gesture. Though a bit puzzled, I approached them.
"We are lost. Where's the PCH?" Uttered the teenage boy as his friends in the backseats as well as the passenger's giggled.
"It's right up there. You just came from there." The PCH, which stands for Pacific Coast Highway flanks the beaches of Southern California as the name suggests. Since they were in the beach parking lot, they had to have come from there. What an odd question.
"Thanks." said the boy and he reached out to shake hands with me which I responded to.
"Good luck. Where are you from?" I asked as if to make small talk to diffuse the awkwardness from the whole encounter.
"Texas. And... China." he said to the roaring laughter from his friends in the car as they drove away (Yes, they were white kids).
There you have it, folks. One can go off making grand statements about racism, rudeness, what passes for humor these days, or whatever makes you tick, but I am really upset about my own gullibility. Here is a long list of the "clues" missed by yours truly.
- The rude hand gesture coming from a teenage boy ordering around a 40 year old man: "Hey come here."
- "Yeah, you"
- His buddies in the car gasping for air while laughing their heads off
- "We are lost." One typically does not pay $3 to get into a beach parking lot to ask for directions.
- "Where's the PCH?" See explanation above.
- Then I asked where they were from for no good reason other than to make "small talk" which ended up serving as a prelude to our future Jay Leno's "punch line."
You could look at it as assuming the best in people, but that is not in my nature. My guard was down, and gullibility kicked in, leaving me vulnerable to a bunch of idiot teenagers looking for cheap thrills completely devoid of creativity and flair.