Monthly Archives: February 2015

Mr. Mysterious

“I’m a mysterious guy.” A porcupine faced man standing next to me says apropos of nothing. He’d been chattering in my right ear for about ten minutes. I wasn’t his only victim. At least three others had died of boredom and been carted away by friends and family. It took that long for him to get to my ear.

“I swap out cars every two weeks.” Because you’re that bad a driver? “I don’t want people to know what I’m doing. Where I’m going.” Who’d want to?” I can go anywhere I want.” Can you go there now? “I go everywhere. You’ll never figure me out.”

“I’m not trying to.”

“Good because you’d just get frustrated. I wouldn’t even try because you’ll never figure me out. I might swap out cars at a moments notice and go to the library. You’d never find me.”

“Unless I gave your picture out to all the librarians in the area and had them call me when you showed up.”

“Why would you do that?” His eyes went from wide to slits in a breath. I looked at him and squinted.

“You’ll never figure me out.”

His eyes got wide once again. Then he laughed. An unconvinvced laugh at best as he says in a half hopeful tone.

“You’re pulling my leg.” I say nothing. I just look at him. The less I say the better. For me. I can see the wheels in his head spin like they’re stuck in Indiana mud. “What bars do you go to?”

“This one.” I answer.

“What others?” I want to get phone books from the three adjoining states and hand the “Bars” pages to him.

“That’s on a need to know basis and you don’t need to know.”

“Why are you such an asshole?” How come so many of my conversations come to this?

“I’m not an asshole. You just can’t figure me out.”

As I watched him try to blink himself out of his mind muck I noticed he was slowly backing away.

Just what I figured he’d do.

I’m waiting. . .

. . .for a friend and can overhear the conversation of the couple next to me.

“Do you think he’s gay?” The girl asks.

“I don’t know.” The disinterested guy responds.

“I think he is. What do you think?” She must play this game all the time because I can see he has no patience for it.

“I don’t know,” he says standing up. “But I’ll find out.” The guy walks over the the possibly gay dude, leans in and says something. In a flash the dude pulls back his fist and punches him in the face.

People quickly start to intercede but they’re waved off by the guy.

“No problem. No problem. Buy him a drink on me.” The guy turns back to his girl and says, “Nope, not gay.”

Man, that’s some commitment to get out of being asked a stupid question.

Things I say. . .

. . .often get me in trouble with someone. This last person was someone who should know better but they still act enraged (thinking about it it may not be an act) when I say something that’s pretty much like me. The short conversation went exactly like this,

“It was okay but then Scott came late.”

“That’s because he was the last one at the gang bang.”

Dagger filled stare.

What? It coulda happened.


Bland Cook

We were over the house of someone who cooked for us. To be polite I’d say her cooking was bland. That’s how I say it. Trying to be polite. The problem is this person tries to force you into complementing her skill.

And I do. Once, twice, but the problem is she keeps searching, digging for someone to say something nice about what is basically boiled cotton. When I can feel the urging for compliments get to me I just smiled and nod.

Most of the time.

She asked a question to get a compliment.

“Isn’t it nicely spiced?”

“Nicely spiced? Are you kidding me? You think butter is a spice.”

I wonder how long it’ll be until we get another invitation?

Can anyone tell. . .

. . .the exact moment she breaks up with him?

Unhappy Customer

I know it may come to a surprise to some of you (okay, all of you) but I actually attempt to see that the customer gets what they want. I don’t have to like it but I’m told that’s a big part of my job. So I do it to the best of my ability. To a point.

There are people out there who are either unclear of how the transaction is supposed to go or don’t know what, exactly, they came here for. Once or twice a week I have to say to someone, “Sorry, that’s not the business we’re in.” or “We don’t sell that.” or “Please stop talking before I take another life.”

Some people are good about it. They understand their error, maybe even get a chuckle about it. There are others who figure, ‘Hey, while I’m here why not ask?’ But, no matter what, we don’t sell candy. And that happened. A woman came in asking if we sold candy. Then got pissed when I said we don’t but the store fifty yards away does. What do you do in a case like that? Other than feel pity for people in her life, of course.

What I found funny was she ranted and roared for more than enough time for her to walk the fifty yards and buy herself some candy. When dealing with the public you quickly learn that some people just want to be angry and an easy target is someone behind a counter. Because they’re giving you money you are inferior to them. I’ve seen it on both sides of the counter. I asked a woman who was pounding on a cashier where her daughter worked? She looked at me as if I’d disturbed her in the middle of a beheading and said,

“Why is that any of your business?”

“Because I’m going to go there and make her cry just like you’re doing to my daughter.”

It didn’t take a heartbeat for her anger red face to turn to one of embarrassment as he scurried out of the store. When she left the cashier wiped her eyes and started laughing.

“Thanks, Chris.” She rang up on my newspaper just like every day. I smiled and started leaving. “Oh, by the way,” I stop and turn. “What times dinner tonight, Pop?”

“Ask your mother.” She laughed and went back to work. Every day after that when I’d get my paper she’d call me Pop.

It is funny how the angry person almost always gets to the point where they know they’re not going to get what they want, their tantrum has burned it wick, they are left with only one final recourse. And a woman who wanted something I could not provide finally got to it. She leaned on the counter with a smug look on her face and said,

“I’m going to have you fired.”

I didn’t bother pulling out my bosses card then telling her when he’ll be available. I didn’t laugh in her face, pull out my “Chris Is Gonna Get Fired” wheel and give it a spin to see how I’m going to get fired this time. No, I also leaned on the counter, smiled and said,

“Good. That way I can spend all my time hunting you down to kill.”

The Only Recourse

A woman a few seats away is scratching lottery tickets. I can hear her mutter something. Out of the corner of my eye I see her look around. Her head turns toward me and stops.

“Hey,’ she snaps. She must know that’s the way to garner my full and complete attention. I don’t even turn to her when she continues. “What’s four times ten?” I look at her eyes to see if she’s toying with me. But no, she’s shaking the lottery ticket because she really wants the answer to “What’s four times ten?”

Oh my.

I don’t even look at her while answering, “Your IQ.”

I don’t mean to be mean but sometimes it’s the only recourse.

A guy tapped. . .

. . .me on the shoulder and said, “Your girlfriend has a nice smile.”

I looked at him for a moment, nodded my head and said, “Yep, it’s the only nice thing about her.”