Friday, June 20, 2008
A Little Old Lady Walks into the Dollar Store...
SCENE: Dollar store, lunchtime.
MOOD: Cranky, hungry.
I am cut off by a little old hunchbacked lady at the cashier. I am thinking she is lost, maybe needs help getting something down from a shelf.
But no. I am cursed to be stuck behind assholes for the rest of my life. The little old lady pulls something out of her bag and as she starts telling the cashier she needs to return something, I sigh loudly.
Somebody has to do it.
Of course, no one notices, so I listen in. She has purchased a bottle of spice and offers several defenses to get her 99 cents back.
"This is the wrong item."
"It was not for me."
"I don't need it."
"I am a stupid asshole, and I can't resist fucking things up for people I've never met."
Of course, the cashier refuses to take the spice back - and this just makes the wait that much more agonizing.
"No, this is a food item. We can not take back purchased food."
As you can imagine, the traffic flow in this store is such that there is no way to jump to one of the other four lines, because all of them stretch to the far side of the store.
I wait. And sigh some more. This couldn't possibly get any worse.
"Do you want something else?" offers up the desperate cashier.
"No," says the stubborn old mule I'm about to bludgeon with a box of generic cereal.
Where is the manager when you need him? The type that will just say, "Oh, fuck it. Give her the goddamn dollar. We're losing sales! Look, that guy who thinks it's cool to wear sunglasses inside is walking out!"
My stomach growls, triggering the urge to grab the little old lady by the shoulders and scream, "You mean, you can't find anything else in this whole fucking store? Don't you need soap? Denture cream? Toilet paper? What about a can of cat food? How about a candle with Jesus Christ on it, because, if you don't get the fuck out of here, you're gonna meet him very soon."
I don't have to say anything, because a cashier appears out of nowhere, looks at me, and says the magic word.
I can't help but wonder how it ended. Who won? Did someone take charge and drag the old lady out of the store? Did someone throw a dollar at her? Did the cashier finally give in? Or are they still there, facing off 21 hours later.