Daily Archives: March 14, 2012

A slice of life story from the fish counter. As the Madness begins, a tribute to Gus. And a unique method to stealing pot: pretending to be a mailman

Just a small slice of life story from the supermarket…
So I walk up to the fish counter Wednesday. Early evening. There’s no one on line in front of me, and a 20-something kid in a Yankees hat is manning the counter, and he looks my way.
“Can I have two tilapia fillets, please?” I ask.
“Absolutely,” he replies. Then a pause. “And thank you for saying ‘please.’ Seriously.”
I laugh and say of course, I’ve got manners, no big deal.
“You don’t understand, it is a big deal,” he says. At this point he was really getting fired up. “You’re the first person all day who’s said ‘please.’
I looked at my watch. It was 5:45 p.m. I ask what time he started working.
“Noon. And just because you said please, I’m gonna give you the two best fillets I’ve got.”
I laugh again and said thank you, and a minute later I walked away.
Then I started to think: Six hours this guy had been working at the supermarket, dealing with probably, what 50-75 customers, and not one of them had simply said please when they got their cod or swordfish or whatever.
Not one person.

I’m not going to go off on a rant here about the lack of civility in America, but I just found that so sad, that no one could take the three seconds to be polite to the guy at the fish counter. It costs you nothing to say please.

**The NCAA Tournament begins today, in the eyes of most people, this afternoon (those play-in games were exciting, but to me it doesn’t feel like the real beginning).

It will have everything we’ve grown accustomed to over the last 30 years: drama, big upsets, close calls, and thrilling excitement.
But sadly, this year on CBS it won’t have Gus Johnson. Never has a sports announcer been more perfect for an event than Gus was for the NCAA Tournament. He was always so excited, and made his calls in such dramatic fashion, that you couldn’t help but get excited with him.
He had his detractors, but man, he was so much fun to listen to. Sadly, after last year’s tournament he and CBS couldn’t come to an agreement on a new contract, and now he works for FOX, who have no NCAA Tournament games for him to call.
It won’t be the same without ya, Gus. Watch the video above and tell me he doesn’t get you psyched.
(By the way, here’s a fantastic story from SI.com’s Tim Layden on March 14, 1981, the day “March Madness” really began, when NBC first used the “switch to exciting games at the ending” technique that’s become so common now. Cameos from a young Bryant Gumbel in the story, too!)

**Gotta give Calvin Coolidge Wiggins (that’s really his name) of Michigan credit for creativity. My man figured out a pretty cool way to steal some drugs. He apparently was tired of having the marijuana he mailed through the U.S. Postal Service being seized before it got to its delivery point. So he posed as a postal inspector, walked into a post office branch in Romulus, Mich., and walked out with dozens of packages, many of them containing pot.

The best part is, before being caught, Wiggins said he’d done this a bunch of times before.
Pssst, Calvin, there’s gotta be an easier way to get drugs. Try UPS!