The Rise of the Obliviots!

You’ve seen them. They walk among us every day. The person who leaves their cart in a parking space at the grocery store.  The driver who switches lanes with no signal. They are obliviots. I can’t take credit for the term, an honor that goes to my co-contributor here at TFA. Obliviots are those who are oblivious to what is going on around them and do stupid things because of it.  They drive me crazy!

I think they must use Walmart as a gathering place, sort of a home base or nest.  It doesn’t matter where the Walmart happens to be, there are probably more obliviots there per capita than anywhere else in that town (unless you’re in Washington, D.C., of course).  They’re in the parking lot, walking down the middle of the space between rows of parking spaces, or leaving their cart in a parking space, often within a few feet of the cart corral.  They’re all over the interior of the store.  You’ll recognize them by their carts parked in the center of the aisle while they study the ketchup.  You often see them in packs, parked side by side in the aisle to have a family reunion.  Their young are easily spotted as the obnoxious kid running loose in the store with no responsible adult within sight.  They are generally not dangerous in this environment, but care should be taken as they usually don’t pay attention when going from aisle to aisle and can run over you.

They are far more dangerous on the road.  I’m on the road a lot and there are days where there must be an obliviot migration going on! The texting-while-driving subspecies is the most dangerous.  You’ll see them up ahead, going 10 miles an hour slower than everyone else and barely staying in their lane.  I try to pass these people as quickly as possible. Invariably, I look over and the driver is looking at a device instead of the road ahead.  They’ll often speed up and pass you again after they’re done with whatever vital business distracted them from all that annoying driving. They also like to put themselves in the left lane and cruise along at their preferred speed, which is usually the speed limit or less.  The lane to the right of them is open, but that doesn’t matter.  The left lane is theirs and they’ll set the speed for everyone! I’ve seen them exit the interstate from the left lane.  They’ll also run up to where the lane is closed and expect you to let them in.  You really have to watch them!

Another sort of obliviot is what I’ll call the offended obliviot.  This one is offended by your religion, what you eat, your opinion, where you live, how you raise your kids, your holidays, how you choose to keep your family safe, the car you drive, who you voted for, and an endless list of other things which he finds disagreeable.  These people don’t realize that differing opinions are just as valid as their own.  Those with whom they disagree are described in any number of negative ways, usually racist, homophobe, bigot, etc.  They are consistently intolerant in the guise of promoting tolerance.

Without question, the most annoying obliviots are those elected to office.  They pass laws and make policies which affect us all, without any real knowledge of how most of us live our daily lives. They follow party lines and vote based on agendas serving only them.  They pass bills they haven’t read. They ignore their constituents.  And yet, more obliviots elect them into office over and over again.

The rise of the obliviot is upon us. They are the inevitable result of our lack of respect for anyone but ourselves.  It is the result of our focus on having an attitude rather than being polite to those with whom we interact.  It’s a simple thing to pay attention to what is going on around you and react in a proper manner.  It takes no extra time or energy to say “excuse me” or “please” or “thank you”.  How hard is it to watch your rear view mirrors or anticipate where your turns will be?  Unfortunately, it is less simple to deal with the elected obliviots.  All too often, our only choices are obliviots, but we have to keep working to find people who are paying attention and honestly care about the lives of their constituents.

In closing, I’ll just say that we all need to remember we are not the only person on the planet and we have no idea what the person next to us is dealing with.  We can all take steps to avoid being an obliviot and making a nuisance of ourselves.  We’re all going to fail occasionally, but it isn’t that hard to avoid most of the time.  Just pay attention and try to be a decent human being.  Don’t be an obliviot!


The sad part is, you can point out most of the offenses mentioned above to an obliviot and they still don’t get it! They usually just look at you like you’re from another planet. I have found a few of the driving texters, that if you pull up beside them and honk, they still don’t even realize you’re there and usually don’t even stop texting. That’s pretty scary!

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