Larry and I are heading to Waldbaum's to pick up cold cuts for a late lunch with Larry's mom and Andy. No, you're not losing your mind and you're not having deja vu. We've been down this road before.
I can tell that I've had enough sleep, because, in the parking lot, I have the clarity to think ahead - for once.
"Larry, tell me what to order, so we can get out of there faster."
There are just two people on line: a woman and her two children, and a man. Behind the counter are two male sloths, both stuck on "slow."
I watch the two behind the counter and mentally rush them. A man approaches Larry and asks, "Do you...take a number or something?"
"No," says Larry, smiling, and almost laughing at the idea.
"Larry, what should I order?" I whisper.
"Three-quarters of a pound of virginia ham and chicken breast."
I repeat the order back to him. "Three-quarters of a pound of ham and chicken breast."
Larry corrects. "Virginia ham! If you don't say virginia ham they will give you boiled ham - and we don't want that."
"And tell them you want the Thuman's," he adds.
I repeat the order in my head about 12 times. I want to avoid fucking up the order, and at the same time, appear casual and relaxed. I also have to pretend to not know Larry now.
All because the deli help here is beyond tragic.
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The woman at the front of the line decides that we're not suffering enough and decides to manipulate the situation to her advantage.
"Do you have any water back there to wash off an apple?" she coos to the man behind the counter, as if it's 1952 and she's at the friendly neighborhood grocery store where things like this are commonplace and no one is ever in a rush.
So, not only must we wait for her to sample EVERY LAST FUCKING THING SHE'S ORDERING, but we must wait for her precious green apple to be washed so that her little fucking brat may eat like an animal at the store. Had they been infants, I wouldn't put it past this woman to breast feed both of them - right there at the deli counter.
I hope that apple has a worm in it. Or poison. Or both. Not only is she wasting everyone's time, but she's technically stealing. Is she going to tell the cashier that her little snot-rag just ate an apple, so she should be charged for one more? I doubt it.
I curse under my breath and give her the dirtiest fucking look imaginable. I don't care that she sees me. Larry shushes me.
A few minutes later, Larry mutters, "I fucking hate people." This is because she is now feeding the children cold cuts right out of the plastic bag. I want to shove this woman's head into the meat slicer.
It's down to the wire now. The man ahead of us is just about done, but Mother Fucker is still ordering and sampling, basking in the glow of being a selfish asshole. I'll bet she drives a massive SUV and lives in a tacky McMansion furnished by Levitz, with matchy-matchy over-styled furniture ($399 for the whole room!), beige walls, and gaudy accessories everywhere.
Larry orders. I stay silent, pretending to admire the selection of salads, most of which are crusted over. Most notably are the "fish" salads, all completely nauseating to look at. Anything other than tuna salad should be illegal.
Mother Fucker finally finishes and I suppress the desire to applaud. The deli doofus looks around.
"Right here!" I say, finger in the air. I place my order and wait an eternity as the sloth lumbers over to the meat case and gets to work.
If they move any slower, we'll all die from old age. I have never operated a deli slicer before, but I'm sure that, given the chance, I could figure it out, get my cold cuts sliced, go home, eat them and have dessert faster than this lazy fucker ever can.