duck-shaped pain


Where I Don't Look For These People -- They Just Find Me

Whackaloon Cashier #2,310:

I went out tonight to buy some bubble wrap and some tape, since I have a whole raft of new book orders to send out tomorrow. So I went over to Wal-Mart, since it's the closest bubble-wrap-carrying store to my house. I went there, looked around for awhile, got my wrap, got my tape, and went to go check out.

I was standing in line behind a young woman with two small children – a boy who appeared to be about three, and a baby of undetermined gender. The baby was not wearing shoes (only a pair of thick-looking baby socks) – this is important to remember.

The clerk started to ring up her purchases, while making child-attracting noises at the two children. Then, she noticed the baby was not wearing shoes.

"Where are her shoes?" the cashier asked.

"Oh, we left them in the car," the woman replied.

"Did he (gesturing at the boy) take them off of her? They like to do that, you know?"

Mom: "No. They just came off."

The cashier continued. "Did she learn to take them off while you weren't looking?"

The young woman didn't know. At this point, the cashier is starting to look really nervous and freaky. Sounding very serious, she said, "You really need to find her shoes. It's very important that you know where her shoes are at any given time. If she doesn't have shoes, you never know what could happen."

"Um, thanks." The woman got her purchases and walked off.

The clerk rang up my purchases, which came to about $4.05. I only had a $50, so I searched myself for five cents so that I wouldn't have to carry around even more change. I hoped for a nickel, but I only had four pennies.

In a soft, secretive voice, the cashier spoke to me. "That's okay – she (pointing to the cash register) doesn't care if you only have pennies."

It's something to do with the altitude, I swear.

My dad went fishing yesterday, and brought home five little brook trout. So tonight, I fried them up and served them with some home fries, sauteed with some onions and peppers. The meal had a real log-cabin feel to it, and would have been more properly served on blue graniteware plates, if I had any. They were very good fish.

Whackaloon Cashier #2,311

After my experience with Sock-Obsessed Lady, I went over to the video rental store to see if they had anything that looked good. I was in one of those moods where I'll watch anything, especially movies where Chinese men kick each other a lot. I ended up renting the first Street Fighter movie, and, because I had heard decent things about it, But I'm A Cheerleader. I took my selections up to the counter, where I got waited on by this woman who always waits on me.

She paid no attention to Street Fighter, but the other movie sort of flipped her out. She looked at it for a minute, clenched her jaw and turned to me.

"You know, this movie is about…."

She got sort of panicky.

"This movie is about….lesbians, you know?"


"Oh," I said, nonchalantly as possible. "I know."

She exhaled an exhale the likes of which have never been seen before, fidgeted a little, tried to get all professional again. "I needed to make sure you were going to go home happy, you know," she said.

It’s something to do with being out the desert, I swear.

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