I shouldn’t be surprised at this point by any of the people who make their way to the gas station counter. But this guy left me speechless. Here’s the story:
The man comes to my register with his purchases and casually slides his EBT card towards me. (EBT cards, for those who don’t know, are more commonly known as ‘Food Stamps’) He scoffs at it and says, “This one is on Obama.” This confuses me, because the EBT card is a state program. Not Federal. I’m sure he knows that Obama is not the Governor of Iowa (It is in fact Terry Branstad – R, who I’ve met, and who actually is doing a relatively decent job).
But I don’t say anything. I’m sure I will not be the person to remind him that it’s not Obama who is handing out the food stamps, and I won’t remind the customer that he was, in fact, the one to sign up for those food stamps. Even if I did want to remind him of all that, he continues to shovel coal into his infallible logic train. “You know all those people using them EBT cards?” says the guy using an EBT card. “Have you noticed that all they do is use the card to buy chips and candy and pop and all sorts of unhealthy food?”
I begin to respond with something like, “Maybe they’re just trying to maximize their calories per dollar,” or something like that because while I said it, I noticed that he was buying chips. With his EBT card. I stop talking. Which is, of course, his cue to continue badmouthing people who can’t afford food. He proclaims that he finally got a job, which is more than you can expect from anyone who uses an EBT card, and so on and so on.
I swear to you that this is real. I’m not making up one thing here. This man exists.
My brain at this point is reeling from the nonstop barrage of irony. I look him in the eye, hoping for some sign knowing wink or mischievous grin. I wanted to hope that this was some amazing joke. It was not. He believes everything he said. In his mind, he is the only person in all of Iowa who uses food stamps to get back on his feet, while everyone else is utterly dependent on That Socialist Obama.
I’m not sure how to end this post. Just do what I did and stare in disbelief as he carried his multiple bags of chips out of the store.