Thursday, October 11, 2012

"No way... No way"

            Over the course of the years I have been privilege to attempt many occupations of varying interest.  Working backstage at a dinner theatre may have been one of the most interesting for the Kid in deed, but then again all restaurants of any flavor other than “fast-food” tend to draw some unique individuals.  Retail, however, can bring about days of the most ridiculous in nature.  To start with, the customer is always right.  I mean ALWAYS!  You have to make them happy.  You have to capitulate nearly to a point of no self-respect (the Kid has some problem with this), but every once in while opportunities do present themselves for the salesman to have a laugh at the customer’s expense or exploit for personal gain.
            I was working in a rather prominent book store of which I don’t think I will ever do again… give me clothes… women’s clothes I think; that could be interesting, but books?  No way.  On this one particular afternoon the Kid wasn’t feeling overly ambitious about the daily tasks of stocking shelves and asking the occasional patron if they were finding everything alright when I was approached buy two fairly attractive young ladies.
            “Excuse me,” asked the slightly less attractive of the two.
            “Hello.  How may I help you today?”  I greeted with a toothy grin.
            Returning my smile she continued, “I want a book.”
            My smile gained some integrity, “Well, you have definitely come to the right place.”  I motioned in an extravagant circle at the walls of hardcovers, paperbacks, and other stylish tomes of unfathomable virginal worlds yet unexplored.
            The slightly more attractive young woman giggled.  The undecided book searcher pressed further, “Yea.  I just don’t know what I want, but I know I want to read something…"
            I started taking slow little steps toward the center display for one of the latest erotic bestsellers, “Well, may I ask what you are into?”
            The two ladies followed my lead and strolled along with me.  Pretty countered my inquiry with one of her own, “I don’t know.  What are you into?”
            Smiling as I studied the young woman’s face, the realization of the control she had just given me was nearly overwhelming.  You see, at this point she has asked a very personal question and I could tell by the delicate smile and somewhat widen eyes she was genuinely interested in what the Kid had to say.  I could tell her anything.  I could divulge some really weird shit and possibly freak her out to the point she might run off with her friend, both screaming; but I could then tell the manager the young lady had asked so I told her exactly what was on the Kid’s mind.  What else was I to do?  I could also play this right into my hands.
            I stopped perhaps six feet from the center display of the bestselling erotic novel and leaned in just a bit closer to the young ladies, “I like sex.”
            Pretty’s eyes opened wider as Prettier shrieked a little laugh and covered her mouth with her hand.  I supplemented with, “you asked.”
            They both smiled and Pretty spoke, “I did, and I do… I mean I too. ME too.”  Prettier snickered more as her friend stumbled about her words.
            Once someone is flustered you have to keep the conversation moving.  You have to keep them “on the ropes” so to speak.  Slipping back to salesman just a bit, I inquired further, “Oh, well have you read any of these?”
            As I made my sweeping gesture to the center display of erotic bestselling trite, Pretty’s expression shifted to that of interest, “No I haven’t.”
            Prettier added, “Ooo, Debbie was telling me about that book, Trace.  She said it was…”
            “Fucking Hot.”  I finished.
            Both girls tittered as Prettier acknowledged, “Yea.”
            “What makes it hot?” Pretty asked with sheepish grin.
            Now it was here I saw an opportunity to exploit further.  I am a young viral man who has exposed his interest in sex to two attractive young women and been requited through coy exploits on the ladies’ parts.  Could I dare dream that this might end up as an excellent example of one of those cheap sultry stories found in the back of magazines we often don’t like to mention?  Perhaps once I have given an adaptation of the highlights found in this erotic bestseller; I make the sale and head to the nearest ladies’ boutique dressing room with these lovelies for what would undoubtedly be a uniquely volcanic experience for all.
            I began to explain, “Well, for starters this young business woman learns to explore and experience…”
An amazingly beautiful woman in a light colored sleeveless skirt-dress standing fifteen feet away cut my erotic plot synopsis short, “Uh-um.” 
The two young ladies immediately focused their attention on the older but much more attractive woman.  “Oh,” Pretty gasped.
“Tracy, you and Angela make your way to the food court; your sister is finding us a table.”  The woman approached me as she glared at Pretty, who was in step with Prettier on their way out the story.  Her blonde hair pulled back in a pony tale bounced a little as she stepped towards me and the center display, “May I ask you something?”
I can never resist, “You just did.”  My smile huge, I noticed she has no ring on the third finger of her left hand.
“Cute,” her grin became a smirk and then more of a sneer, “Who do you think you are coming onto young girls like that?  They’re only fifteen years old!”
            She was nearly in my face and with her heels on placed her slender little nose almost to my chin.  My smile broke into astonishment and I pleaded, “Oh, God, I am so sorry. I thought they were… look, I had know idea your sisters were so young.”
            The beautiful lady in the skirt-dress chuckled, “I am related to only one and that would be my daughter.”
            Sweet.  I continued, “No way… no way.  Please do not take this the wrong way but there is no way either of those beautiful young ladies could be your daughter.  You can not possibly be the mother of a fifteen year old.”
            “She’s almost sixteen,” she giggled and stepped back just a little from my space.
            “Again,” the opportunity had shifted, “had I known those girls were so young I never would have suggested such a book… but for a more mature woman, have you read this?”
            Her smile broadened and she stared into my eyes with a slight leer, “Actually I have.”
            “What did you think?”  Here was the gamble.
            She turned to face me, “I think they were poorly written but the intimacy amazing.  You?” 
            Her green eyes sparkled.  I went all in, “I would love to tell you over dinner tonight.  Your place.”

            I must say that dinner went well for the Kid, as did the breakfast the next morning.  What really hit home for me though was my immediate change of mental state.  The two young girls were women in my mind.  I presumed 18 or 19, young but still women.  My playful mannerisms, facial expressions, and verbal banter were completely fine in my head when I saw the girls as attractive women.  Physically they were attractive women, this reality didn’t cease just because I was confronted with their mother.  I had had mental visions of erotic activities involving these girls in the nearby women’s clothing dressing room just seconds before my brain would scream, “You freaking sick SOB!  Their 15 year old girls!”  Yet my first instinct was sexual when I encountered them.
            I would never want to be labeled as a pedophile and I whole-heartedly believe any manipulation (other than Santa) or crimes committed towards children to be the worst perpetrations against man possible and those actions should have serious repercussions.  Where did my mind change though?  Where did the physical reality of two attractive women become the social reality they are just girls?  How did I go from predator to protector so fast?  Had their mother never came, had I never known the facts, what would the reality have been?

Monday, October 8, 2012

"That's the same in any language."

Have you ever been faced with a factual weakness about yourself?  A fact so startling and undeniably true yet so penetrable in its defense that there should be no logical reason as to why you might possess such a weakness?  No reason that is, other than pure laziness?

My travels had landed me in a small seaboard town of Cameroon called Limbe.  I was working with some of the government's best and brightest Cameroon had to offer.  It wasn't that these young men were not smart... they were very intelligent.  Either of the men I was privileged to come into contact could easily explain to you the basic lift versus drag principles in aerial propulsion but neither could quite grasp the simple logic that a .44 magnum trumped every witch doctor, any day.

During a break from one of my lectures a young man named Nim approached me, "Kid.  Kid.  I have a question for you, Sir."

I had noticed Nim as an eager contributor to the discussions within my lectures and I was happy to oblige, "Yes, sir.  How may I help you?"

"Mr. Kid, Sir.  What do you call someone who speaks three languages?"  A huge charming smile broadened Nim's round brown face.

I thought for a minute and asked, "Trilingual?"

"Yes, Kid. Yes."  Nim's smile gave testament to his pride in my intelligence.  As if I was a beacon of his aspirations and I had not let him down.  Nim continued, "Mr. Kid, what do you call someone who speaks two languages?"

With very little hesitation I confidently sound off, "Bilingual."

Nim beams with pride, "Yes! Yes! Kid, you are very smart."  During his pause Nim stared deep into my eyes and grinned ear to ear, "Mr Kid?  What do you call a man who speak but only one language?"

I thought hard... Uni-lingual?  I have never heard of such a thing.  Monolingual?  Monogrammatic?  No.  Nim smiled with an eerie childlike reverence in hesitation for his better's answer.  Unislavic?  Singularmatic?  "Only one language?  I really don't know."

Nim's smile took a slight haunt to it, "Mr. Kid, we call a man who can speak only one language an American."

Being an American I was appalled!  How could my culture (and me) leave me with no defense? Why had I not studied harder in French?  Spanish?  German?  Man, I sucked!  I was so freaking lazy!  All those years I could have concentrated on another language I went out beer drinking and clubbing.  It's not like I could dance, karaoke wasn't very prominent at the time, but man I can throw down some beer when I want to!  See!  I was a good American!

Later that evening the boys wanted to take me out to dinner.  I was taken to a great little open fire grill at the edge of a pier where the fish was straight out of the water fresh, blackened to taste, and served with chilled Guinness.  There was a trio of musicians who entertained with that West African laid back beat as we dined and shortly after the meal we were off to a night club.

The Kid cannot dance.  But being one of few white guys in the joint I did elicit a bit more attention than the usual bloke.  After perhaps a half hour of dancing I was about to exit the floor.  None of any of my many dance partners were that attractive but each were fun ladies in their own right, and I like to think what stories they must tell still today of the crazy American who loved Rick James!!!  But as I was about to exit an amazingly beautiful tall statuesque young woman entered the club.  Within minutes I was back on the floor.

Evidently this young woman was a rather prominent young proposition that many a young man was after.  I even noticed Nim's glare turn from charm to shock as This lovely Cameroonian beauty took me back on the dance floor to teach me some native like dance moves.  Our bodies gyrated in tensile attraction and it was more than apparent she and I had the attention of all.

As the music ended and I escorted the young beauty off the floor, I sauntered over to Nim, "Mac Daddy... that's the same in any language."

Sunday, October 7, 2012

“You really need your ass kicked!”

So, it’s been a few years now but I really would like to share this story.  It was Thanksgiving and we were with out oysters.  It is a huge custom to have single fried oyster for Thanksgiving as well as the traditional turkey, stuffing, and sweet potato pie.  I was in formed that a local grocery was actually open that morning, that the grocery would have oysters, and that I should go get them.  Two pints of oysters.  How hard could this be.

    Pulling into the parking lot of the local grocery it occurred to me the folly of my expectations of simplicity in this mission.  I do not fair well with crowds and the cars, trucks, and SUVs jockeying for position reminded me of a demolition derby reminiscent of the 1960s.  I had not even put my vehicle into “park” and my patience was shot.

    Two pints of oysters.  Two items.  I would get in and out through the express lane and be able to by pass all these procrastinating lazy butt-holes who had not planned accordingly.  Walking into the store I noticed the express lane was only one of three lanes open... and everyone had forgot only a few items.  Well, at least the line would move proper and quickly; let’s just hope no one wants to pay by check.

    I quickly maneuvered to the back of the market where meats and seafoods are displayed.  The place was swarming with people... do people really not plan ahead better than this?  I grabbed my two pints of oysters and did my best wall-walk-pace back to the Express Lane.  Counting the person in front of me, I arrived to the back of the line as the sixth customer to be helped next.  To my dismay, the older lady at the register was indeed conducting her commerce with a check... A CHECK IN THE EXPRESS LANE!!!  To me that is just counter efforts in efficiency.

My new found irritation leads to my speculation that perhaps customers 1 through 5 might not be so much into stream lined efficiency either.  Perhaps they might be so unscrupulous as to try and have “extra” items in the “express lane”.  I take note of the sign posted high over head and the hand written sign posted eye level at the cashiers station for all to see: “Express Lane: 12 Items or Less”.
    Customer number 1, the next to be helped, has his two 12 packs of Miller Lite and a couple odds and ends already on the counter.  He also has cash in hand and I am pleased to see that although he may be a drunk (nothing wrong per se) he does understand “express”.

    The next customer in line is a young woman with a full sized cart, but I can not see any items and she does have a small child seated in the front of the cart.  Children running around the store uncontrolled sends me into a-”whole”-nother type of aggravation; right up there with waiting in lines.  I actually commend her on taking the time to seat her child just to grab a few items forgotten.

    Behind the young mother was #3.  I would say #3 was perhaps in his early to mid 60s.  He stood about 5 foot 8 and the years had given him a healthy mid-section but he wasn’t fat.  Balding, with glasses, he reminded me of Rick Moranis’ character in “GhostBusters” , Louis Tully after he had aged about 35 years and let life run him over.  #3 had (2) two-liter bottles of Pepsi and a can of cranberry sauce.  Noted.

    The lady behind #3 actually moved to one of the other lanes in hopes of getting out quicker.  That tactic never works for me.  But good riddance to her and 6 items in the basket she carried.

    That put me right behind a family of three (siblings? spouses? uncle-daddies?).  These were and still remain some of the most fowl smelling peoples I have ever come across.  Maybe that’s why that lady moved lanes?  The stench was nearly overwhelming and I couldn’t help notice soap was not among their five items.  They stunk, but it looked as though the line should move smoothly and quickly.

    Then it happened.  As the bonafide drunk was being giving his change, I notice the young mother begin to unload her cart onto the counter of the express lane (12 items or less).  I stopped counting at 18...  She knew this was wrong.  She looked back twice to #3 and on the second glance mentioned she was sorry.  The young female cashier had already started ringing up the mother’s items.  #3 attempted to comfort the young mother by noting that she could count her 8 whip toppings as one item and her 10 six packs of soda as another item.  I could stand no more.

“BULLSHIT!  I don’t care if you do count those multiple items as just two she still has at least 20 things up there!”
    Not only are all the members of the Express Lanes’ customers and employees starring at me now, so are most the person in the grocery store.  #3 actually glares at me.  The cashier continues to ring up the young mothers items and cash her out... she pays by card.  #3 pays for his things and leaves the store.  As the stinky folk are being rung-up at the cash register, the store’s manager approaches the Express Lane and asks if their is a problem.
    I inform the manager she is about 3 minutes too late and we discuss store policy of the Express Lane which gets me no where.  I pay for my things and exit the store.  #3 is waiting for me.

    “Can I ask you something?” he asks.

    “You just did, but please continue,” I smile.

    His disgust is very apparent and I immediately wonder how much intestinal fortitude this meager example of a man must have had to gumption up in order to confront me... or maybe I am not very intimidating.  #3 inquires, “Why do have to be like that?”

    I can’t help myself, “Like what?”

    “Ah,” his frustration he can not hide, “like an ASSHOLE!?!”

    “Really?” I counter, “What makes me an asshole?  Because I follow the rules just like you and it drives me nuts when others think themselves special and presume you will concur.”

    “It’s Thanksgiving and she...”

    “She had more than twice the allowed number of items for the express lane and I am in a hurry.”  I cut #3 quick, “I followed the rules as did you, Sir with your (2) two liters of Pepsi and a can of cranberry sauce.  Why do you have to be such a push-over?”

    He threw his free hand in the air as he started for his car.  In a moment of more than likely uncharted bravery, #3 turned back around to look at me from thirty feet across the parking lot and exclaimed, “You really need your ass kicked!”

    He then got in his Chrysler Town and Country Mini-van and drove off... people.