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I lead a sheltered life. I work around some of the best and brightest minds. (Though I can't say that about all of them.) I watch very little TV. I read a lot. My friends, in the real and virtual worlds, are all bright people, well-read.

So it always shocks and confounds me when I go out into the "real world." For instance, today I had a bunch of errands to run during lunch so I stopped at McDonald's. I try to avoid it, but it happens. I have a similar feeling whenever I walk into Walmart.

Anyway, I'm astounded by the rude, inconsiderate, dumb and thoughtless behavior of virtually everyone there. Yes, we all have moments like that and, of course, none of us want to be judged on those moments. But I don't think this is just everyone's sour moment. These are people who go through their lives like that. Thoreau said most men lead lives of quiet desperation. I would replace "men" with "people," but it holds. Moments like this make it more evident.

It makes me angry. But even more so, it just makes me sad.

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