I'll come up with something in a minute.

I almost thought I was going to have to deliver a child today.

Holly saw me having a very meh sort of day, so she gave me the card and a spending limit and told me to go nuts. Actually she discussed with me the buying of the Director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven and said that if I wanted to get a second movie that would probably alright if I stayed within certain limits. I think the first version is punchier, but the second is more accurate.

Well… Best Buy was closed by the time I got there, so I went to Borders. I get my selections and go to the counter… where someone is trying to flirt with the clerk. This woman must be 5 to 10 years older than me, and is trying to flirt in a way that would embarrass a vaguely intelligent 15 year old. She’s actually doing the whole “One knee doesn’t want to lock so I have to swing around like a retard” maneuver. She’s actually fawning at the guy.

He asks if she wants one of Border’s “Let us track your purchases for life” cards to which she asks. “Is it free? I’ll do anything if it’s free.” Then there is a giggle which causes Gloria Steinem to wince for reasons that I could explain if I met her. It would be nice for Gloria to know she’s not developing a nervous tick, it’s just psychic resonance. While contemplating on poor Gloria’s condition I miss a few words, but I catch up again when I hear her using the second most annoying ploy after the knee stance.

“Oh, can you fill that out? I never know how to set those things up.”

“Oh what the tender juicy flame-broiled fuck? You’ve just got to put your name down!” I scream within the confines of my head.

“So… name?” The clerk asks.

“Kimberly.” She announces. “Only call me Kim. The only time I was ever called Kimberly is when I was in trouble.”

“Kimberly.” The dark and sarcastic part of my brain says, trying desperately to get a hold of the vocal cords. “He isn’t here to flirt with you, he’s just here to sell me DVDs. He has no other reason to exist and will likely return to a puff of ideas when I leave here.”

It’s about this time that a girl of about 25 (Sidebar-When the fuck did I start referring to 25 year olds as “girls”? When did that shit start and how do I make it stop?) and she looks to be around 8 months pregnant. I glance behind her and give a polite smile, wondering if we’re going to get out of line before the kid is ready to meet this sad veil of tears. I’m not saying she was ready to burst, I’m saying that we were quite possibly in for the long haul.

Poor kid, would have to be called Borders or… Wait a second! She has to pull out her wallet to find out what her address is? Yes, that is her wallet, and yes she is reading her address off it, showing him her driver’s license photo! That’s a trick for a 21 year old! That’s what you do so you can show a guy without stating explicitly that he can ask you to a bar for a drink! You are WAY older than 21!

He asks her birth date and she looks back at the license! SHE HAS TO LOOK AT HER DRIVER’S LICENSE, WHICH SHE WAS JUST SHOWING HIM! While my head spins over these facts, she mentions she always has trouble finding her place or remembering her birthday when she’s had a few. I’m leaving out all the teen age body posturing that goes along with the one limp leg look, but she’s doing it. She is also giggling and trying to act coy and playful to an extent that I can hear the outraged cries of Lucy Burns echoing in my ears. If I were not a fearless tough guy, I would be quaking in my shoes.

I turn back to the pregnant girl, who has now become rather slack jawed with wonder. She looks as if the cries of Old Lucy has shattered her nerve, or possibly she dumbstruck at how badly the woman is trying to flirt.

“Phone number?” The clerk asks, and she complies. She then adds… “But I have a big tall boyfriend so don’t try calling to pick me up” And another giggle. She has a boyfriend, and is shamelessly flirting with the clerk? Warning him not to call? I can’t be sure, but I could have sworn I heard “Let me at her, let me at her!” in Queen Boudica’s voice along with another woman (Possibly Alice Paul, but I’m not sure) holding her back and saying “Just chill baby, bitch ain’t worth it.” I turn and notice a sort of panicked look on the pregnant girl’s face. I hope that kid hasn’t decided that tonight’s the night.

They finish the transaction after another two weeks of her stalling and flirting, and as the young man is pulling the receipt from the register, she hands the CD back and asks. “Can you unwrap that for me? I can never get those off. Why do they put that extra sticker on there, it makes it impossible to open. I just liked my old cassettes and eight tracks.”

My hand went into my pocket, of that I’m sure. I took hold of my pocket knife, I know that as well. Whether or not I actually pulled it from my pocket, opened it, put it in my hand in a stab position and leaned back towards the pregnant girl saying “We’ll say she attacked me, yeah? You and me, we’re together on this, right? You’ve got my back?” and if she really said “Yeah, do it.” I can’t be sure of. My memory picks strange times to go fuzzy.

Before I got to serious stabbing though, the flirt actually walked away and I managed to get up to the clerk and hand him the money for my purchases. And this lunatic actually asks me if I have or want a Border’s “Let us track your purchases for life” card. I look him in the eyes, my expression one of mingled weariness and wonder.

“No.” I say, shaking my head as if asked if I want to sodomize a hedgehog.

“You sure?” He asks.

“No.” I say. “I don’t need one.”

“Well, no one needs one, but it’s nice to have.” And I begin to wonder if I’m cranky or if he’s tired of life.

“It’s okay.” I tell him. “Really.”

He seems to understand and pushes no further. I pay for my movies and with Herculean effort, manage to make the doors. I see Kimberly coming back to the building from the parking lot as I walk towards the car. She looks determined, I don’t make eye contact. I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t make eye contact with dangerous animals and I suspect Kimberly might talk me to death if given the chance.

I can’t say if the pregnant girl got out of there alive, I hope she did. I hope she and the baby enjoy full and happy lives, but for all I know she’s still trapped in line, trying to get out. Maybe I should have gone back, to make sure she would get out alive, but I’ve already taken in Chou Chou, and that’s my good deed for the year.

I made it though, so I can tell the tale.

And on my car door handle… there was a hook Border’s “Let us track your purchases for life” card!!*

*If you don’t get this last line, you need to sit around a fire with kids more often.

July 11, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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