After so much time away, the pressure has mounted. How could Toolies come back without something worthy of a comeback? So, time passed and passed. Lots of mediocre things happened without note. I tripped and hit the wall with my face. I ate pork fat thinking it was a mushroom and then became a vegetarian for a few months. I started a new job where an unnamed coworker keeps candy and prescription drugs in her locked drawer (you know who you are). I fell in love with the concept and word “jazzercise.” My children put on a play named Pipaluna the Hippo Baseball Ballerina. I could go on. But, really, the point is that it’s impossible for something to be a good enough basis for a comeback, so I just picked a mediocre series of events from one afternoon to write about.
NOTE: Roolie has informed me that this story might be a little bit more mentally ill than funny. I told her that if she was there, she would know FOR SURE that it was mentally ill.
So, here we go…
Knife to the Heart
Small town grocery store. A place that I usually avoid during typical grocery shopping hours because it’s impossible to go there without seeing someone I know, and my general distaste for small talk when I have other things on the agenda makes it a bummer. I like an in-and-out operation. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a deep and complex relationship with efficiency.
Anyway, on this particular day I had to go pick up a prescription. I’d been working at home all day, which, of course, meant that I was in PJs until it was time to leave. I got dressed and rushed out of the house in a hurry. I was distracted and super tired that day. In a nutshell, kind of a wreck.
At the pharmacy, there was a long line, which I was instantly super irritated by. I grew pretty impatient as I was waiting, since it seemed to take 6-7 minutes for each person. I caught myself saying things in my head like, “No! Don’t ask to talk to the pharmacist! Just take your medicine and hit the pavement. You’ll be fine.” I also became a temporary germaphobe.
I had recently gotten hit with a nasty allergy attack, and I couldn’t resist scratching my face and arms and hands. I knew I was being fidgety, but I couldn’t help it. I ITCHED. When I finally got up to the counter, they had some sort of processing issue with my prescription, so I had to convince them that the error was on their end, and I waited while they sorted it out. For a long time. Waited and scratched and fidgeted and flinched and repeatedly tried to convince the people behind the counter that I needed my drugs, which is not suspicious at all in the line at a pharmacy.
While I was agitatedly waiting, there were several announcements about a free gift they were giving away at the front of the store. Free gift? Fine. I’ll get one. What is it? It better not be a coupon or crackers. Lots of people were heading to the front of the store. What’s so great about this gift? Why are they announcing it every 5 minutes? What’s the big deal? What is it?
I was now fully in the zone, and scratching and squirming like a monkey with flees. Who cares about these people? It ITCHES. I was getting some looks of pity, fear, and disgust, but whatever. It had to be done.
It was about this time that I realized that my shirt was inside out. Not like “Ha ha, you can see my tag inside out,” but OBVIOUSLY inside out.
So, to sum up, I was tweaking out in an inside-out shirt in the pharmacy line where they said they didn’t have a record of my prescription. Looking good, self. Looking good.
Eventually the prescription thing got sorted out. By this time, I was dead set on getting whatever the hell this free gift was. It had been my only source of hope through this hour long ordeal. This experience was not going to be all darkness and sorrow. I would get a gift.
I followed the crowd to the front of the store. There was a guy on a platform, a mini-stage if you will, like the ones they have to sell shamwows at the fair. Effing great. I have to watch this schmo to get a gift? He didn’t stop talking. Ever. One minute. Two. At this point, I should’ve left OBVIOUSLY, but no. I was going to get this farkakte gift if it killed me.
“You can get the whole set of knives worth $650 for only $50.” “It can cut a penny [kind of] and then cut a tomato [kind of].”
Just give me my free gift. Just GIVE IT ALREADY.
Talk talk talk. “I’ll even throw in this handsome carrying case.”
Did he really just say “handsome carrying case?” How much longer do I have to put up with this to get my free gift? I know, I know. It’s his job. Just be polite. La la la.
And then the inevitable happened. The mom of one of my daughter’s friends came in. To find me itching, red/scratched, with an inside-out shirt, holding a prescription bag, watching some a-wad giving a sales pitch for overpriced cutlery. “Oh, hello!….She’s good….I’m just waiting to get a free knife <queue nervous laugh>.” GREEEEEAT!
That’s it. If I wasn’t already, I was all in now, baby. With all the humiliation I’d subjected myself to that afternoon, I would be damned if I was going to leave the store without my free cheese knife.
I looked around at the rest of the shoppers, all just waiting for the gift. I wasn’t alone. We were all being held captive by the lure of a free shiny object. Someone had to speak up. THAT’S IT. IT’S GOING TO BE ME.
He ignored me.
“EXCUSE ME. I’m not going to buy anything. I’m sure I’m not. Can I just have the gift?”
He barely glanced at me and mumbled, “Just a minute.”
Okay fine. I’d wait. That’s right. I’d wait as long as I needed to. I’d frieking camp out there all night until I got my knife. It was now a matter of principle.
THIS HAS TO END, AND I’M GOING TO END IT.
“EXCUSE ME. I’m really not going to buy anything. Can you just give me my knife? Please? So I can go?”
After all, it had been nearly 20 minutes.
I actually expected the other people waiting to be grateful that I spoke up—I mean, who really wanted to listen to this never-ending sales pitch?—but that wasn’t the case. I hadn’t realized how it would come across…like a crazy lady who is desperate for something free being bitchy and rude. Uhhh….whoops.
So, the knife guy, now aware that I was only going to make his life worse by staying there, gave me a knife.
FINALLY! THANK YOU.
It’s super ugly, and I’ve never used it. But it’s kind of like a trophy, so I’ve got that going for me. Lest you doubt this story, here is a picture of it. Just look how it gleams in the light!