It’s Monday, folks.
Yes. That’s exactly what my Monday has been, in a nutshell. And probably yours, too. Actually, every person’s Monday probably looks like this because, hey, Monday is an eternal jerk.
So, I went to Wal-Mart today. (You already know this is going to be a good story, don’t you?)
It started out just fine. Even though the sun has yet to come out, we ARE having a heat wave up here in the Arctic (46 degrees, y’all!)
Things didn’t start to get real until after my shopping trip was over. As I began the fun checkout process, it was pretty clear that the clerk was super chatty. No problem. I can make some really great conversation with a rock wall if I have to, so let’s talk, sir!
“Oh, my!” the guy says abruptly and I look up at him from my current Facebook stalking on my cell phone, a little startled. His name is “Frodo YES!”…that’s what the sharpie has penned out on his name tag.
“You are from Georgia!” Frodo YES! continues his announcement. He’s looking down at my driver’s license (which I refuse to change because I am from Georgia, not the Arctic…4-ev-errrrrrrr!)
“Yep,” I give him a smile, though he is making me a little nervous with his clumsy Frodo elbow so near the bottle of champs I’m trying to currently purchase. (Champs is Tabspeak for “Champagne”)
“Wow, Georgia, Georgia, Georgia…” Now Frodo YES! has completely forgotten about my order and is looking up at the ceiling in some kind of wonderment, lightly slapping my license over and over against his (probably sweaty) palm.
“So, what’s the major export in Georgia?” he asks me. His gaze is bright and excited, directed solely at me now.
“Peaches,” I answer, with a laugh. Because I’m sure Frodo YES! is just joking…
“Oranges?” he asks. Oranges? What the hell is he talking about? Did he not hear what I just said? The word peaches most definitely does not ever sound like the word oranges.
“Peaches,” I repeat, and I laugh again.
“Hmm, hmm,” Frodo YES! nods and bemuses this over. Really? It’s one o’clock and I haven’t eaten today. I’m running on just two cups of coffee and I’m ready to get out of this place.
“What else do they make there?” He’s not going to stop. There are three people in line behind me, but Frodo YES! seems to have allllllll day.
“Cotton.” The word fell right out of my mouth. I should have made something up like, “WE HARVEST PINE CONES!” Then maybe he would have decided I was too boring to continue on talking to me.
“Cotton!” He’s grinning from ear to ear now. “Wow!”
And then—are you ready? Here it comes.
“Do you guys get clothes really cheap in Georgia? I bet you do! That’s just great!”
I’m staring at him, wondering if I accidentally walked into a Will Ferrell movie today instead of the Wal-Mart.
Frodo YES! is staring right back at me, waiting for me to confirm his theory.
“Sure,” is all I can manage and as he opens his mouth to continue, I am saved by the husky woman behind me in line who barks at Frodo YES! suddenly,
“Hey, can I get some Virginia Slims!”
I rip my license and receipt out of Frodo YES!’s hands and take off out of the store.
I’m also laughing to myself as I load my groceries into my car, and honestly after these few minutes have passed, I’m wondering if ol’ FrodoYES! had a point on the whole “t-shirts should be almost free when you live next door to a cotton field” concept.
“Hey! Hey, you! That’s rude!”
I’ve got one leg in my car and I freeze, somehow sure this hollering from across the parking lot is directed at me. I think about continuing to get in my car and ignoring it (I am the queen at playing oblivious. Sometimes it’s not acting…just ask my hubs about losing my car’s side mirror while backing out of the garage. “Side mirror? I didn’t even THINK ABOUT THAT, honey!) But for whatever reason, I pull my leg back out of my car and look around.
There’s a man with a little kid by his side standing beside the shopping cart holder. The man’s face is scrunched up and splotchy red and it’s like he’s the guard of the holder.
I realize what he’s talking about immediately. As usual, when I’m lost in thought, reality becomes far away for me and I do things that I am unaware of (Yes, it’s scary how not-in-tune I am on this planet sometimes) My shopping cart is just chilling all crooked in the empty parking space next to mine.
Now, I normally put shopping carts where they go and I also normally am pretty laid-back and nice.
But today—today on this gross, gray Monday in which I was still recovering from the bizarre conversation inside at checkout five minutes earlier…today, I wasn’t so cool.
“What—are you the buggy police?!” I yell at the man, even twitching my left eye a little to show him how crazy I am. He’s too far away to see it, but it makes me feel better.
The anger on the man’s face morphs into a look of confusion, and after about five seconds of silence, the little boy holding the man’s hand looks up at him and asks,
“Dad, what’s a buggy?”
Then, it happens. I explode.
“Oh, I’m sorry!” I’m screeching now, doing some weird spastic dance with my hands. “I DIDN’T REALIZE I SPEAK LARRY THE CABLE GUY!”
I get in my car and speed off, almost flipping the car on a ginormous pothole because up here in the Arctic, there is no such thing as smooth pavement.
I feel bad as I drive. It’s not the guy’s fault. Sure, he should mind his own business—go flash your hall monitor badge at FrodoHEY! for being an idgit. But really, he was just the last straw in an explosion that was definitely bound to occur at some point. You see, up here in the Arctic, I have realized just how different I speak as a Southerner. I’ve got words and sayings for things that really make no sense at all. And every time I use these slangs of language (for instance, “buggy” as opposed to “shopping cart”), people always look at me like I’m about to get profiled for a butt search at the airport.
Poor buggy police man. He was just the martyr for all those before him who needed a translator for me.
I’m still going to say “buggy”. Probably stick it in every other sentence now. Just ‘cause I’m spiteful like that.
Happy Monday, y’all. Git ‘er done.
(Originally posted January 14, 2014)