Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

Set Goals

Posted on December 14, 2010

I (Andy, the real guy who writes this blog) run a storytelling/character monologue show in Brooklyn called Real Characters. And, in honor of tonight's show, I thought I'd share another quick, true story:

In my mid-twenties, I was a sign painter at Trader Joe's grocery store--mostly chalkboards or wine displays, a few murals now and again.

One day, we ran out of art supplies, but there were still masala sauces that "needed their value shouted out." I was the only person who hadn't biked to work that day, so I drove over to Home Depot to restock. I was wearing a paint-splattered Hawaiian shirt and nametag at the time.

In the parking lot outside Home Depot, I made my way to the green, dumpy Saturn I had gotten at sixteen. I loaded the trunk with cans of primer, brushes, sandpaper, some paint markers, and a few sheets of luan, which is like a thin version of plywood. By the time I got it to all fit, I was sweating.

I walked to the driver's side door, and here's where it gets subtly interesting. A woman--probably in her late twenties, blonde and chewing jgum--cut me off. Just as I put my hand on the door handle, she jogged over and body-blocked me so that she could open the passenger door of the car to my left.

Now, I should point out that this was not New York. This was Chicago. So, getting cut off by someone is extremely rare. Almost unheard of. Definitely attention-grabbing.

I suddenly noticed the car next to mine was a white BMW convertible. The driver was a tall blonde man with wavy hair, also chewing gum. I'm blonde; I have nothing against blondes. But, sometimes blonde men look like they should be the bad guy in a movie about lacrosse. This was that guy. Gucci sunglasses, if that helps paint the picture.

The woman who cut me off was carrying a single item from Home Depot--a toilet plunger. As she and her boyfriend (or perhaps husband), both wearing tennis whites, peeled out of the parking lot in their white Beemer, I saw the license plate. It read, in bold letters, "SET GOLS."

Sometimes I like to think about that couple going home to their Gold Coast apartment building, nodding to the doorman, taking the elevator up the their condo, and unclogging their fabulous shits. It reminds me to set goals.

Guys, remember to set goals. Set goals, everybody. It's important.