Ah! the Highoctanehumor Blog The perfect place to blow off some steam, share embarrassing moments, toughts, ideas, etc, etc What is life except a succession of “it seemed like such a great idea at time” moments? After all, these are the things you end up remembering fondly when you are older right? That awkward moment when after a hiper intense make out session in a disco, you go home with the guy/girl and…tottallllyyy pass out??? (beats throwing up though! Mother always said to look for the silver lining on everything!) Or, even more embarrassing, when you inadvertently flash your neighbor because he rangs the doorbell when you are sleeping and you just completely forget that your shirt is not buttoned up! Fainting when I had my first kiss at 11 years old (personally i think that one should definitely have tipped off that relationships would never really be my strong point!) I sometimes actually find myself thinking of me as the latin version of Bridget Jones!!! And no, it’s not really a compliment or a self-esteem boost!! Its more along the lines of “oh my god kill me now!!!” You spend your entire life looking for some sort of profound and deep meaning to your life, that famous sense of purpose to make you go on.. Until ending up getting a box of cookies (or ice cream), a blanket, a pillow and just sit back because you realize it’s going to be a very long wait. On the other hand some people seem to have so easy right from the beginning. Since the moment their born it is as if they already knew what they wanted and what their path should and would be like. But what about the rest of us? The ones that basically have no idea what they’re doing? Relationships, professional career, friends, travelling, finding your way…makes me tired just thinking about it!! Feels like running the marathon! except nobody tells you where the finish line is nor how to get there! At 33 years old i’m still trying to figure all this out! Wondering if anybody ever really does figure it out. Seriously! Does anyone really figure it out? Or they just pretend to find the answers as a sick and sadistic joke to those of us who don’t? It’s actually the first time i’m writing about anything so dear readers i do apologize for eventual lack of style and sintaxe or semathic errors. English isn’t really my mother tongue! But, in spite of everything, my father always told me that if you’re gonna write, write about what you know. And what I know best is random thoughts, pathetic paranoias, embarrassing moments, hope, despair….sometimes surviving. You know what they say boys and girls: If you can’t get rid of the skeletons in your closet, best take them out to dance! Exactly what I intend to do:)
I’m going on a date tonight where the guy is actually picking me up! Like at my place…he may even come in for a minute…
We met through an online dating site and have been talking for a couple of weeks. Earlier we spoke over the phone finalizing the details of our first “face to face”, such as what part of town we lived in, where we might want to go, etc. etc. I was trying to figure out the general whereabouts of where he lived. Not the exact location including street address, square footage, interest rate or mortgage pmts but just the general vicinity. Meanwhile he was naming off all kinds of places which were nowhere near anywhere in between us. Finally he caught on to what I was getting at, stopped and said, “Wait! You don’t want me to pick you up?” with what I interpreted as genuine bewilderment. Either this dude hasn’t been participating in the online dating scene for long or he just doesn’t see himself as being creepy enough to justify separate vehicles.
“Well, um, I ah…” I faltered, my brain scrambling for why, again, did I always insist on taking my own vehicle. Oh, yeah, I thought, not doing so would provide an excellent chance of securing my own little thirty minutes of fame as the main character on Criminal ID- unsolved cases, three years later.
His taken aback reaction as well as my own surprise at his offer got me to thinking…is chivalry really dead in our culture or has it been forced into early retirement by twenty-first century single and looking nutcases? Is it truly our reality that this world we live in is so chilling we would rather spend $4 a gallon on gas and forfeit wine or a drink in order to avoid the risk of our potential stalker finding out where we live?
Is the sweet picturesque cliché featuring the clean cut spiffy young man sprinting up the lit up, flowered walkway which gaily lead to the huge porched entrance of the cozy red bricked farmhouse nothing more than a fond memory our grandmothers loved to tell?
I mean, I know times have changed. I realize my disguised time traveler in fireman’s clothing is going to have to deal with the gate, installed for my safety, and the confusion with entering the code, and will have to patiently navigate through my dyslexic directions and then most likely will come to words with the weekend rental cop who takes his job very seriously. Yup, times, they are a changing! But when it comes to dating in the 21st century, is it because protocol and gallantry and good ol fashioned small town etiquette have fallen by the wayside or are people so completely crazy these days, that in 1993 when some intuitive girl first trusted those hairs standing up on the back of her neck and had said firmly, “No, Lester, I think it would be better if I just hitched hiked home,” thus beginning the now sensational new trend of “Um, how bout I just meet you there?”
One of the few delights to online dating that I can see so far would be the offers, by way of magical cyber-spaceness, of a much broader selection than the old days. A smorgasbord for your choosing complete with pictures, personality tests and depending on how you look at it, the delights of the webcam, all provided at your fingertips within the comfort of your own home, office, library or vehicle. This cornucopia of choices, some no doubt ending up being the cause of some future restraining order, is nothing like the old days of choosing between the three left over single guys that still lived on my block. Back then we never drove farther than fifteen minutes from our small town and if we did happen to meet anyone with potential outside these boundaries, we’d never actually entertain the idea of dating them… I mean, when would I ever see him? He lives, like twelve miles up Valley Vista… Nope all we could possibly hope for from some hot guy in the next town was maybe adding him to my list of pen pals I had yet to write.
I recently became single and have had the pleasure of a few dates prior to meeting “The Beav” but never had I considered the idea of any of them actually coming to my house to pick me up… besides the obvious trepidation of them finding out where I lived, therefore saving them hours of research on the internet, this would mean having them pull up right outside my place. Which would begin the silent brow beating inner inquiries of ‘Do I ask him up? Does that send the wrong message? How would I get him to leave? If he starts playing his guitar again, he’s going to wake my neighbors…” and so on. If any of my past “first dates” were any indication, I would have to be very careful to avoid giving any sort of mixed signals which could potentially alert my date to the possibility of that green light he’d been hinting at all evening.
So, my only choice if he were to pick me up, besides trying to convince him to drop me at the corner, would be to initiate that awkward goodbye, “Welp, thanks for a fun night! I really do hope you find your wallet soon and just want to reiterate the importance of cancelling those cards right away and not waiting like you said to check balances or whatever… Anyway, thanks too for the ride…do you want some gas money? No? well ok….” and slipping out of the car quickly, without hesitation so as not to encourage eye contact or worse, the offer to walk me to the door. No, being picked up was never part of the decision making process in the pre-date period. That time was filled to capacity with worrying about what to wear or if wearing my hair up really did give the illusion that I was going bald like one of my dates had said, or if my fake spray tan looked as fake and uneven under bar lighting as it did under my florescent lights.
I think the era of assuming the date always came to the door ended about the same time moms started wearing slacks and working outside the home. In fact, if it wasn’t for my dad yelling, “Tell your boy Sean that if he blows that horn one more time and doesn’t come to the door, I’ll rip off his head and use his neck as a toilet,” I don’t think my generation would have even known that having the guy come fetch you was a true sign that he’d been raised right. We thought the rule only applied to special occasions like Prom or Sadie Hawkins and that was only because parents wanted pictures beforehand. Only then did the entire family hide behind the heavy, greenish brown dust laden draperies which covered the front picture window and listened to my younger sister commentator-like hushed play by play, which provided unneeded details about how his tie didn’t come close to matching his pants or how funny it was that his cowlick would not stand down not matter how much spit he hastily applied as he made his way awkwardly up the drive.
So why did I break all the rules and say ok to this particular guy who seemed different than the rest? It’s simply because he comes across as an honest to goodness, genuine, old fashioned guy.
He’d rather talk on the phone than text, he was shocked when I insisted on going Dutch, and he’s bringing a bottle of wine which I assume he wants to open before dinner, so I guess I’ll ask him up. And I would just bet he’ll be opening both the car door for me as well as any other doors we may encounter. He’s like Opie, all growed up but with hair and minus the lucrative director’s salary and about sixty extra pounds.
I may be naive and gullible and he still may be a modern day creepster, but this is why I plan to take his wine glass and carefully put it in a zip lock baggy and hide it under the sweaters in my closet. It’s also why I wrote his name along with where and when we met, where we are going and his license plate number and carefully placed that info on the front seat of my car just like I’d seen done on an episode of CSI. But this was only after I bought a can of premium nuts and used the expensive crystal bowl to put them in, lit the good candles and made the decision to shave above my knees tonight. After all, wouldn’t that be exactly what June Cleaver would do?
Shelley Allsup , firstname.lastname@example.org . All Rights Reserved
I have a concern I’d like to discuss
I heard a rumor today about us.
Actually, I guess it was more about me,
the word on the street is that I’m your trophy.
An object for you to proudly display
yet, really means nothing at the end of the day.
I know you’ve grown accustomed to that kind of life.
as you create another home for the client and wife.
Surrounded by wealth as you further succeed,
I don’t blame you for thinking it’s what you need.
The problem though is I’m not that type,
I’ve no interest in the Stepford hype.
I don’t need a Jag to help me look hot,
driving it uselessly and being a snot.
I’m flattered you feel I would qualify,
but there are certain required traits I must clarify.
It’s not an acquired style, or something to learn.
It must be inside you, in your blood it must churn.
There aren’t many schools which teach behavior like that,
It takes a certain someone to be an adult spoiled brat.
A beautiful, polished trophy, I’ll never be,
And once I explain I hope you will see.
I’m not a size one or even a two,
my big size eight butt will just have to do.
I’m not demure, or walk with grace,
sometimes I go to bed without washing my face.
I don’t sleep on satin or wear lingerie,
I’m not a pretty picture waking up the next day.
I’d have no fighting chance if they knew
on my lower right hip, I want a tattoo.
My roots grow out shamelessly before getting em’ done.
I’m not terrified of exposing my skin to the sun.
I don’t shop exclusively at Trader Joes,
and I don’t bend over just so my pretty thong shows.
I don’t shave above my knees every day,
I’ll take a beer every time over Chardonnay.
I don’t keep my jewelry locked away tight,
and then wear phony replicas like a true socialite.
I don’t want to come across as mean-spirited or rude,
not every wealthy female adopts this attitude.
My point is merely to make sure that you know,
I don’t want to be part of the status quo.
I want to live life and enjoy it with you.
I want laughter and joy in the things that we do.
I can’t and don’t want to be anyone but me,
and I want you to love the true person you see.
To be content, satisfied and at peace with your life,
Is worth billions more that some stupid trophy wife~
IM NO TROPHY WIFE
By Shelley Allsup
All Rights Reserved
Boys Against Girls
First North American Rights
BOYS AGAINST GIRLS
“So,” I say, casually picking up the basketball and passing it from one hand to the other.“You still suck at the game?”My husband ignores me as I pathetically attempt to dribble. The ball hits my big toe and scampers off under the still torn apart 1927 Roadster. “Hmmm,” he says, his back to me, his eyes and concentration focused on the workbench and not me. I retrieve the ball and bounce it over and over again. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. The sound resounds throughout the garage until the ball finally hits the tip of a paint can. Andy stops and looks back at me over his glasses with eyebrows raised. I look back with innocence, one hand on my hip as I casually toss the ball up in a spin, attempting to get it to magically whirl on my finger. It barely grazes my index finger, yet still jams it causing me to curse, then the ball careens off, knocking over a rusted coffee can full of bolts. “Bring it on, Sister,” my husband taunts so softly I barely hear him. Turning back, he nonchalantly attempts to wipe the grease from his fingers. I dance around him, dribbling the ball. I pass it between my legs then catch it with the tips of my newly manicured fingernails. I bounce the ball out of control and it flies out the back door of the garage. “Kids! There’s buried treasure out back! Follow me!” I race like a lunatic, out past the old barn to the tired looking basketball hoop. I heave the ball in the direction of the net, never
coming close. I’m winded before my kids even join me. My son looks around for a sparkling of gold as my daughter peers with reservation at the ball, which has bounced into the weeds. “Where’s the treasure?” my son asks to humor me, I’m guessing. “We’ll look later, let’s play ball against Daddy,” I say, already sweating. I steal the ball from my daughter who was sweet enough to retrieve from the piles of goat poop I hadn’t yet had a chance to clean up. I dribble with both hands, making a wide arch around the half court. My daughter lunges
at me, stepping on my bare toes.
“FOUL!” I laugh evilly and hobble toward the hoop. My daughter pouts as I turn and pass her the ball. She lightens up and proceeds to play one square.
Alex, my son, pounces on her, stealing the ball with his one good arm, leaving the broken one to stay snuggled in the sling which holds his hot pink cast in place. “Be careful,” I warn, still a mom. He shoots and the ball flies straight up in the air. We all run for cover and Kristi grabs at it. My husband finally shows up; Max the Boston terrier following obediently behind. Kristi bends the top half of her body all the way forward, the ball way back between her legs
then snaps it back up, making a gallant effort in the direction of the rim. It sails through the air and lands in the mud behind the hoop. “Boys against girls!” my husband sings, running past me and slapping my butt. Since he is the only one wearing shoes we let him get the ball. “Okay, Kristi, guard the broken armed boy, I got your Daddy!” I leap over to where my husband stands and immediately start jumping like a frenzied kangaroo. He passes the ball easily and the game begins. Kristi grabs hold of her brother’s shirt as he drags her around the court.
“Shoot!” My husband’s words chime out from behind me. I smile at the desperation in his voice. Alex immediately shoots, misses the basket by a car length and the ball falls flat. Kristi hits him with her hip and sends him flying. She jumps on the ball, rolling around on it with her stomach until she’s sure she is open. Rolling herself toward the basket, she finally stands. “Kristi, that’s cheating!” Alex yells and tries to roll the ball out from under her. She kicks
him away and shoots. I dive for the ball and turn. I’m totally covered by Gigantor the hubby. I dribble, turn sideways, stop, reverse and head in the other direction. “That, my dear, would be traveling.” Andy tries to take the ball but I bounce it on his knee and continue on. I pass the ball to Kristi who runs full speed for the hoop, shoots underhand and MAKES IT!
“One to Zero!” I yell. I slap my partner a high five as Alex throws the ball in. I throw myself in front of it but twist my ankle on some branches, brush and a pile of goat poop. My husband catches the ball and tosses it into the basket.“Two to two,” he smirks and gives the ball to Kristi to throw in. “Foul!” I yell, “There is foul on the court. Interference!” Goat poop was smeared in long smears on the court. Kristi has apparently already thrown it in and is running like a gazelle around her brother, the ball never quite touching the soiled concrete.
“Kristi you need to dribble!” Alex yells. She attempts to once but the dog gets in the way. The ball bounces off his back and careens out of bounds. “Interference!” I giggle madly but Andy has already thrown it back in to Alex who jumpsover the goat who has decided to play, and throws the ball in a wide arch. SWOOSH!!
“Four to Two,” he giggles and throws me the ball. The goat charges and I fall over him screaming as the ball once again goes out of bounds.
“The goat is on your team, OUR BALL!” I lunge for the ball, turn and throw it. It hits thebackboard and veers off toward Andy. He scoops it up as Kristi jumps on his back. He passes itto Alex.“SHOOT!” Andy screeches and Alex does. It falls short and Kristi jumps down, grabbing it. Max is barking his head off then proceeds to throw his dinner up all over center court. Kristi runs, slips in the gooey mess and goes down.“Eeeeehwww!” she screeches, dropping the ball. I lunge for it but land straight on a sticker and Alex intercepts. I grab his ankle as my husband hollers in desperation,
“Where’s my partner?” I grab at Alex but he gets away. He passes the ball to Andy. Two nails pop off my fingers as he escapes. My husband lifts him up and the ball goes into the hoop. “Six to two,” my husband helps me up. I guard both, since my daughter is soaking her soiled feet in the goat’s water dish. I steal the ball as the last of my nails leave marks in my husband’s arm then sail away. I throw the ball at the basket. Nothin’ but net! “Six to thirteen!” I act like I’m about to throw the ball in but keep it as if I’ve passed it to myself. The goat knocks the boy out of bounds and he lies in the grass panting. It’s only me and Gigantor hubby left. He totally fouls, grabbing the ball out of my hands! He meanders up to the basket. I rush him from behind and pull his shorts to his ankles. I steal the ball back and throw. It hurtles over the basket and into the neighbor’s yard. “We Wiiiinnnn!” I yell with glee as hubby drops down next to my panting son. “What? You’re done?” I start to follow as my feet catch in the last of the slimy doggy hurl. I do the splits, the goo traveling up the back of my thigh. Kristi has joined the pooper party along with the dog and goat. I lay on top making sure they all get a portion of what’s left on my leg. “Ooowwee!” Kristi wipes her portion on the goat. Disgusted, the goat gets up, leaving us with a fresh trail of pellets as she goes. “Sure beats watching TV,” my son says to the sky. Panting, we all agree.
THE HUNCHBACKED WAL-MART DAME
Apparently my local grocery store has put into place an enticing exclusive discount program in hopes of luring every single senior in the state of AZ into their establishments on specific days of the month. It’s been wildly successful.
I lack the ability to pay attention to detail when said details do not directly concern me. A bit narcissistic maybe, but with my busy life, what’s the harm in that, really? This is why for a while there I didn’t really notice right away that I always happened to hit the grocery store on the first Wednesday of the month. In fact, it took me three long, frustratingly crowded grocery trips to realize I was an unwilling participant in a very apparent senior saving frenzy which was going on around me.
Incidentally, I later googled this phenomenal and for those interested, its 10% off everything first Wednesday of every month, 55 years or older.
Don’t get me wrong. I love me some grandma and grandpa and I really don’t mind reaching up every 45 seconds to grab that one specific can of sliced tomatoes from the very top shelf at the frequent request of the scooter sitting senior, or whatever the select item of choice may be contingent upon which aisle I am in at that moment. I don’t mind because I know from personal experience that those chairs sit very low to the ground. It just takes so ever lovin long to get in and out with the overwhelming abundance of scooter chairs, walkers and basically just slow moving (bless their hearts and souls) elders.
Once I was aware though of the senior savings extravaganza it was simple to just avoid the grocery store on that particular day… What I hadn’t thought past though was that my local grocery store was not the only one offering tantalizing bargains in this fashion.
I had had a particularly stressful weekend at work and this particular Monday was looking pretty horrid as well. My “happy pills” as I lovingly describe them, prescribed by my doctor for stress relief, PMS, and the first Wednesday of every month, had been waiting for me in the Wal-Mart Pharmacy since the previous Friday but I hadn’t had time to get them over the weekend. Hindsight is 20/20 but this little detail has been filed and put away in the “humorous irony” section of my memory banks. Anyway, I knew I wouldn’t survive another day without
seriously jeopardizing the security of my job as I was expected to always provide positively outrageous customer service so, running late as usual I made a beeline for Wal-Mart.
It was around 2:30 in the afternoon yet the parking lot was full. I mean, jammed packed. Like it was the day before Labor Day or Black Friday or….. The first Wednesday of every month. As I pulled up, an endless sea of grey headed hair came sharply into focus, moving in smooth, slow motion, thanks in part to the “mart carts” provided by the store. I realized in horror I had yet again, placed myself in the middle of senior sale frenzy. If I had planned my life, complete with complicated spreadsheets, mathematical equations, a Day-Timer and a personal assistant/Soothsayer, I couldn’t have been more precise. But its apparent God has a unique sense of humor especially when the opportunity presents itself in which to teach me a lesson, in, oh I don’t know…maybe pride, selfishness and the ever popular “random acts of kindness for dummies”.
Since leaving wasn’t an option and even though I could clearly picture the cart line leading up to the one lone pharmacy cashier, for the sake of myself, my co-workers and especially my passengers, I had to get in there. I could already feel the nerves move to the outside of my skin and burn there waiting.
Luckily I found a parking spot in the outer far row halfway down. Quickly, I aimed toward it; almost taking out the hunched over senior driving his little cart through my space to most likely shave off some of his time in getting to the store, based on his speed. He took the turn like an ancient daredevil, his body leaning waaaay over to the right; off the charts the way Jeremy McGrath’s great, great grandfather might have done it. Luckily, Gramps weighed no more that 110 lbs soaking wet and his cart did not have the ability to go over 3 miles an hour or he very well could have spilled it right then and there, therefore causing me to get involved and ultimately making me late for work.
I slammed on my brakes and watched as he slowly, gradually made his way around my car, his body still dangerously shifted to one side. I sucked in oxygen, held it and then slowly exhaled just as I had been taught at my stress test appointment, as I waited for him to make his appearance in my rear view mirror. Which he finally did, straightening his cart but not his body, that was still hanging perilously sideways, and then madly defying the odds as his speed crept up to a risky 3 ½ mph. Then, with just outright death defying lunacy, he unsteadily raised his right arm from the handlebar half a foot or so despite the very real danger of biffing it bad especially with the teetering he was still doing, all in order to convey the unmistakable backward shaky flip of the bird directed at me. My mouth dropped open in disbelieve at both the vulgar sign language as well as his success in managing to stay on his scooter. Mesmerized, I watched as he inched out of sight, his body still all the while favoring the right side.
A baby honk snapped me out of my trance. A glint of silver blinding light reflecting off the sun ricocheting from my front bumper then veering off to the unknown source hidden low in front of my vehicle. I rose up over my steering wheel to peer past the dash and there in front of my left front tire sat another old gent impatiently waiting on his own old fart cart, waving furiously at me. The source of the honk came from what looked like a black vintage rubber bulb attached to an old silver rusted horn strapped to the borrowed cart with what looked like lime green duct tape. I was still only halfway into my parking space and needless to say, holding up his opportunities for great savings. Giving up, the elderly dude looking freakishly like one very pissed off Christmas Elf, flipped the red switch on his trike handlebars, whirled his head back with surprising agility, put that little speedster cart in reverse and then… crept… inch by inch back until it was safe for him to move his little cart forward, away from me. With two more angry honks for good measure, he too eventually disappeared into the throng of carts, house dresses, tweed sweaters (in Arizona in July) and walkers (think I may have even seen one hospital bed being pushed along, but I could be wrong), swelling together like one old bizarre morphed mass, inching toward the entrance of Wal-Mart sort of reminiscent of that 80’s movie “The Slime” but more grayish and, you know, slower…
“Crap!” I looked at my watch. I had exactly seven minutes to get in and out and still be to work on time. I could not waste another minute. I got out of my car and sprinted toward the door. I had almost made it when I heard her.
Why I knew this was meant for me, I cannot tell you. It just was. Why I didn’t just keep on a going, I cannot say either but you know that part inside you that refuses to allow you to choose the callous thing that your brain is screaming at you to do. JUST IGNORE IT! IT’S NOT MEANT FOR YOU! THE PARKING LOT IS FULL! LET SOMEONE ELSE TEND TO IT, WHATEVER IT IS, YOU ARE GOING TO BE LATE FOR WORK AND I DON’T EVEN LIKE YOU WITHOUT YOUR MEDS!
That other part of me however, stopped my legs from moving forward, cocked my head to one side and slowly turned my body around to confirm that yes, a frail, anxious looking, tiny, hand waving Granny did indeed appear as if she was gesturing directly to me.
“Ooooohh….Maaaammm! Misssssssss! Helllllooooooooooooo…” She was way, way down the center parking aisle standing in the center of the row so far away she was almost to the main street. Ridiculously, hordes of people were passing all around her. The brown spots and blue veins which decorated her frail arm, took sloppy seconds to all the colorful plastic bracelets and rings that adorned both arms and fingers. I had a feeling this was not her ordinary Monday through Friday wardrobe. Nope, this outfit was only for the very special days. Next to her which she held onto firmly was The Cart, so tight was her grip in fact that it seems she was afraid if she let go, she would lose it…
The sensible part of my brain told me she could not possibly be speaking to me, what with the throng of people passing her in all directions as well as the insane distance between the two of us. I was positive we’d never met before and still, my arm rose all on its own, my fingers turned toward my chest in the universal sign language question, ME?
She risked taking her tiny hand from the cart to joyously clap her hands together and gave a very slight hop in delight. Her face broke into a brilliant smile while she enthusiastically bobbed her tiny gray head up and down until the miniature bun which sat squarely a top of her head loosened a bit exposing the cotton balls that were carefully nestled inside.
“Yes, dear, youueew!” she sang and my shoulders sank. I glanced again at my watch. Five minutes 37 seconds. Impossible. I glanced longingly at Wal-Mart’s entrance which conversationally, I never thought I would ever say in this lifetime. For one tiny minute, I’m ashamed to say, as I momentarily lost Gran behind a mass of bodies I thought, Now’s your chance to make a run for it!
“Thank you, deeeaar. Would you be so kind as to spare an old woman a moment of your time?” My! It was just uncanny the way her voice could carry all the way across the heated asphalt, rising above the drone of the crowd. Extraordinary, really. Almost unbelievable.
Resigned I jogged over to her, intent on letting her know I had no idea how to help her work her scooter but would be more than happy to send out the first helpful Wal-Mart cart getter I saw who happened to be in the direct path from here to the front counter of the pharmacy. If nothing else the pharmacist could make some sort of general announcement to whoever helped with this sort of thing.
Meanwhile to reassure her, I’d pull her and her scooter out of harms way before Daredevil Sideways finished his shopping, climbed into his 1969 Lincoln Continental going straight but sitting sideways and then coming right for her.
“Thank you honey,” she smiled pleasantly as I finally made my way to her. “Are you planning to go in there?” she asked, her voice was so squeaky and high and gooey sweet I thought for a moment it had to be fake. She pointed in the general direction of where I had just been. I gazed back, searching for somewhere else. Giving up I again looked at my watch – just under five minutes left – then looked up to catch her nodding encouragingly at me as if I might be slow.
Impatiently, and bordering on unkind I snapped, “Into Wal-Mart?
She nodded furiously, her smile bright and sparkly, a reward for guessing correctly.
“Well, Yes! Of Course I Am!! You had to have seen I was almost there when you, beck…um, when you called out at me!” My impatience was nasty yet Gran chose to ignore this in me.
“Oh Good!” She chirped and clapped her hands together once more as if we were suddenly participating in a riveting game of password and she had just totally lucked out by scoring herself a decent partner.
Lovingly she patted the handlebar of the shopping scooter which up until then I had thoroughly forgotten about and said, “Would you mind then just taking my shopping cart back up with you sweetie?”
What?! “No…no no no.” I was shaking my head way before she had finished her “sweetie. “I’m sorry, I can’t,” I said rudely, snuffing out that smile like I had spit and distinguished it in between my thumb and forefinger. She took her tiny wrinkly hand off the scooter, spread all ten fingers apart and placed them gently together pad to pad. Then drawing her index finders to her chin, she leaned toward me intent on catching every word of what I had to say next. Which was something like, “I can’t… really hurry… so late…where’s all the kids?…I’m sorry….In such a rush….it’s so damn hot….why me?….Where’s all the damn cart fetchers?….pull it out of the way…. Happy pills….,” I looked around furiously, for what I wasn’t sure, a beautiful, silvery-white scooter fetching angel would be nice, but I’d settle for some clear direction for an option # 2 that did not involve me returning the cart or offending this sweet, old lady.
Her hands were still up by her face, fluttering, but her sweet smile was gone, replaced by a look of anxiety as if her password partner had suddenly turned from a brilliant answer giver to a complete tard. A perfectly formed small letter O replaced her smile, colored in and outside the lines in cherry-red sparkly lipstick. “So very late….” I trailed off. I could stand here continuing to waste precious time arguing with Gran while dozens of useless people passed us by or…. I could just do it already.
“Ok,” I snapped meanly. I slapped my hand on the handlebar, furiously looking for the thumb throttle. I twisted the grip useless knowing they wouldn’t install twist throttles on old people carts. Aside from the rarity that was Daredevil Sideways, on average they would not be able to cover their accidental insurance costs. I couldn’t find anything to make the stupid thing move. I had figured I’d just move the cart slowly (was there any other way?) and holding onto the handlebars bent over, I’d simply just walk the thing back up to the front completing my good deed for the year with an honorable mention to the considerable selfless sacrifice of having to go another day completely bitchy.
I yanked the handlebar toward me intending to drag it around so it was facing toward the store. Except it had turned into a boulder and would not budge. At all. It seemed as if it were cemented into the hot asphalt, the parking lot having been poured and built around it.
“Ok, alrighty, okay…,” I said, “How do I work this thing?” I turned and asked Granny who stood there innocently.
“Well…” she smiled brilliantly, instantly excited and up for the challenge of teaching me what ordinarily would have been an easy course in Scooter Maneuver 101. “Of course you sit on it, dear, and you press that button,” she pointed at a little red button located underneath the right handle bar.
“Well,” I chucked without humor, “I am not sitting on it…” ending that discussion once and for all. Standing on the left side, I bent over, gripped both handlebars and turned them hard to the left and then jammed down on the red button. The stupid thing did not move. There wasn’t even a whisper from the motor. With sweat dripping down the middle of my back while more formed an alliance along the hairline of my forehead. I was beginning to get a bit grouchy. “It won’t move!” I snapped at poor innocent Gran.
“Well…” she said in her little chirpy voice, “That’s because you gotta sit on it!!” This she sang gaily as if all of it was such fun and games. She bobbed her head in time with mine as I was shaking mine no, and I had to fight to keep myself from reaching up and pushing her cotton balls back up into her bun.
“I’m not sitting on it and looking like a moron…” I said under my breath, trying my best to make eye contact with anyone passing by, wishing I was anywhere except here in the middle of this worthlessly crowded parking lot.
“Well, then, I guess you just won’t get it to go. Unless you sit on it…” This was said in a know-it-all singsong, like a five year old would say to her tragically, simple minded friend, confident in Scooter Maneuver expertise yet sympathetically aware it was just a matter of time before her friend was proven a fool.
“I. Don’t. Want. To. Sit. On. It.” I said through clenched teeth. I glanced once again at my enemy the watch as I wiped a think layer of sweat from my forehead. Didn’t old people sweat? I thought randomly as I gazed at Gram’s dry powered complexion. “Dammit!” I cursed, causing those around to stare and causing Gran to take a healthy step back. Three minutes, twenty seconds.
Realizing I had no choice, I sighed, swung my leg easily over the frame and squatted down on the cushy orange seat. I looked up to see Gram towering over me. My knees were pulled up almost touching my chin and my back was hunched over as I gripped the handlebars. As if I was sitting directly on the ground.
“There you have it!” Gram exclaimed, thrilled that her challenged pupil had the capability to catch on once I set my mind to it. Grumbling, I again turned the handlebars, looked straight ahead and without another word to my new friend, punched the red button.
The cart whined for a moment, gave a very tiny lurch and then….inched, very, very slowly into the infinite space that separated me from the entrance to the store. Leaning forward, I prepared myself for what could only be, the longest cross country trip I’ve ever taken. Inching along the vast landscape that was the Wal-Mart parking lot, I didn’t break my concentration even long enough to glance at my watch. That ship had sailed. Plus, to be honest, now I had no intention of making eye contact with anyone in my path.
The people, who had deemed me so unimportant up until this point, suddenly took great interest. Walking along side of me, they took notice of my blonde highlights and non-polyester pants and the awkward bending of my body which now was shaking and tremoring as I desperately willed the stupid thing go faster therefore eventually putting an end to this bizarre humiliating situation. Some stopped to snicker and whisper to each other, some pointed and called me “The Hunchbacked Wal-Mart Dame,” (which is just stupid, I mean, really?) Teenagers laughed out loud and poked the others in their party so as not to miss the sweaty mom on the Ol Fart Cart. Not to worry though they all soon strolled unhurriedly past me and into the crowd. The more serious folks such as families lingered a bit, gazing at me in bewilderment before they too passed me by, seemingly without a drop of exertion. Some even shook their heads in disgust that I an obvious non-senior would selfishly take advantage of senior citizens by stealing their scooters. I heard one mom say loudly to her family, “Its just tragic how some people are all about themselves in today’s world! I mean, if she really needed the scooter which she’s obviously just lazy, lookit her sweat! Why couldn’t she have done it on any other day except on this third Monday of the month reserved especially for Wal-Mart’s wonderful discount program, Scooter Squatting Senior Savings? I mean, it’s absolutely shameless…” until they two passed me by and I could no longer hear them. I almost gave up ¾ of the way there when first, with the help of his dad, I was passed by a toddler on wobbly legs soon followed by a very, very elderly man who tsk, tsked at me as he, with the aid of his walker, easily passed me as well.
Finally, gloriously, I reached the curb, letting go of the powerful throttle too late and causing the front wheels of the scooter to collide gently with the curb. I hopped off and that is when I finally came in contact with the Wal-Mart Cart Collector. I patted the orange seat and almost giddily said, “Take care of this for me will ya, James?” Just like Batman would have after he finished up saving the world, leaving the Maserati running to be tended to by the always dependable butler or houseman or whoever.
“Hey! You can’t leave that there!” the obviously not dependable cart guy yelled at me. “The policy clearly states when you check them out to either bring them allllll the way back into the store or leave them in the cart stalls conveniently located all over the parking lot.
Just short of making it, so close I could see the glow of the pharmacy lights, I stopped and whirled around. “What did you just say?” I asked him. He stood looking scared for a moment, so I relaxed and smiled. “I’m sorry, I’m in a hurry. What did you just say about leaving the carts?”
That you could bring them alllllll….,”
“Not that part,” I rudely interrupted, noting this was the second stranger I had done that to today. “The part about outside?” I asked.
“Oh,” he said, quickly running through his memorized speech to the part I wanted to hear, “Or leave them in the cart stalls conveniently locat..”
“You’re talking about the granny carts, with motors, not regular shopping carts?” I interrupted for a third time.
“Yeah,” he said, “exactly like that one you left in the street,” he scolded and pointed at my little cart which was sitting there looking abandoned but in reality had just been rescued. By me. I didn’t have time to explain.
“And I so appreciate you taking care of that for me. You are a doll!” I turned and determined to get happy if it killed me, marched into the store toward the pharmacy. By some small miracle, or better, a gift from God for maybe not exactly a job well done, but definitely a job done that could have been done worse, the pharmacy was a magnificent ghost town with absolutely no lines, no seniors and best of all, not one cart. I didn’t even have to wait for a tech as there was one standing by the register waiting; it seemed, for me. As I completed my purchase and turned to leave for just a very tiny split second, I must have been mistaken but I thought I saw a glimpse of a little old lady looking directly at me with a cotton ball bun and a cherry red sparkly smile. I started, turned and walked quickly toward where I thought she had been, amid all the vitamins, cosmetics and lotions, but she was gone. Just in case, I quickly scanned all the immediate aisles but there was no one there. It must have been the heat and stress, causing my brain to play tricks on me. I turned and rushed out of the store but not before I unmistakably heard a soft chirpy voice say, “Thank you dear, for stopping, you are one of the very few who did…”
I shook my head, told my eyes to look straight ahead, fighting the urge to look back behind me. Reaching the doors I took off in a full sprint not stopping until I reached my car. I peeled out of Wal-Mart, not daring to look in my rearview mirror, afraid if I did I’d see a glimpse of the top of a cotton ball bun in my back seat. I ripped open my prescription bag, swallowed two pills dry and waited for my heart to return to a normal beating pattern. And wouldn’t you know it? Incredibly…. unbelievably….. miraculously actually, it just so happens, I made it to work on time after all.
Shelley Allsup AKA Scooter Squattin Biatch
All Rights Reserved
August 28, 2012
The Hunchbacked Wal-Mart Dame
I did my homework, I cruised the net
In a desperate search for the perfect pet.
A program that promised to match you two up
Just input the things you would like in a pup.
It calculates, evaluates, then spits out a score
And tells you the type of dog to look for.
You see I had to have my ducks in a row
Or my hubby would frown and shake his head no.
I must be prepared, I must know my stuff
We’d had dogs before and he’d had enough.
A Boston was said to be the dog we’d adore
With a compatibility percentage of like ninety-four.
These dogs were nothing like what we’d had before
Boston’s were smart and sweet to the core
They were loyal and quiet but what’s even more,
They learned very quickly not to pee on the floor.
I re-read my info and made sure it was clear
Gave it to the boss and said, “Could you look at this dear?”’
He read it all through then looked over at me
Tapped the pages and grunted and muttered, “We’ll see.”
But I kept at him constant like a tick on a dog
“Not now,” he would say, “I’ve got a sink to unclog!”
I was very persistent, I wouldn’t give up
I chased him on down, I wanted this pup!
But then he grew angry, said, “Get outta my face!
Leave me alone! Get off of my case!
I came to the find out, directness won’t do
I had to be clever and try something new.
I cut out dog pictures; made them easy to see
And posted them in places my husband might be.
He removed every one without saying a thing
“Who’s that doggie in the window??” I’d walk around him and sing.
“You’re trying my patience,” he said raising his voice
I became desperate; he had left me no choice.
I rounded the kids and we hopped in the car
We drove to the dog pound, it wasn’t that far.
I steered them inside and gently persuaded,
“Oh! Look at that Boston…” I casually stated.
And that’s all it took, I had used my trump card
Saying no to the kids was incredibly hard.
He was a bit grouchy for a week maybe two
But playing with Max was hard not to do.
He eventually gave in and acknowledged our pet
And forgave me for breaking the rules he had set.
Max is a daddy’s boy, I should be quite pleased
But my side of the bed he’s quite comfortably seized
All Rights Reserved