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Steve Cameron blog

by Steve Cameron
| May 18, 2020 10:29 AM

Still here.


We need to be clear up front that the ice cream store incident wasn’t the worst.

No, that would have to be the two maniacs in Michigan involved with shooting and killing of an employee at the local Family Dollar store -- over the issue of wearing masks to come in and shop.

For our “snakes-in-the-brain” category, those guys who decided it was just fine to blow away a minimum-wage employee will stand atop the podium of infamy.

We can only hope that no one displaces them.

But you never know.

It seems that this coronavirus has brought out the best and the worst of people – and I’ll leave it to psychologists and others to decide if “quarantine fatigue” has simply turned up the volume in both directions.

Or, you know, were there always just nice people on the one hand and jerks on the other?

Were they the same before the virus ever got here, and now they simply have a stage on which display those traits?

And in the case of truly bad behavior, are we simply seeing an excuse?


Do you know the ice cream story?

Okay, it involved a little shop on Cape Cod, a part of the country which basically comes alive in late spring when nice weather finally warms up that part of Massachusetts.

On Mother’s Day weekend, owner Mark Lawrence decided it was time to let the public enjoy the treats at his Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlor.

It should have been a delightful opening for everyone, except…

Customers were so rude…

Pushing, shoving and shouting – to hell with social distancing – escalated to the point that teenage employees trying to keep some order were cursed and bullied.

One 17-year-old girl quit after a single shift of taking abuse from members of the public.

“People have forgotten how to treat other human beings in the six or seven weeks that they’ve been confined to their homes,” Lawrence told a CNN affiliate.

“They have no clue how to respect other human beings.”

Lawrence shuttered the ice cream shop after that one chaotic day, although he’s now giving the public another chance by reopening.

“I couldn’t believe how people behaved,” he said of that first try at doing business.

“This isn’t a trauma center, it’s an ice cream store.

“The young lady who quit heard things shouted at her that you might not hear in a men’s locker room. It was unbelievable.”

Maybe not, Mark.

There have been plenty of instances where people have lost it, including a violent fight at the San Francisco grocery store and a Texas park ranger being shoved into a lake simply for asking a crowd to spread out a bit.

I WANT to give folks the benefit of the doubt, and say it must be the pressures of the virus, and those sheltering orders that came with it.


Well, it’s hard.

Idiots tend to be idiots, virus or no virus.

Am I being too harsh?

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“Breathe In. Breathe Out. Move On.”

--Jimmy Buffett

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