I have said this before, but it bears repeating…
Sometimes I just can’t control my own ornery.
I try (some days I try harder than others) to act civilized and “normal,” but there are times when I just let it all hang out simply because it feels good. Plus, it makes me feel closer to (Ma) Kettle. That’s my mom’s mom who died from cancer two years ago. She was the Queen of Letting Your Freak Run Around Unchecked and Unfiltered. Admittedly, she could be totally embarrassing in public but that woman was fun and funny as hell. And I sure do miss her.
Anyway, I was at
my home away from home the grocery store last week stocking up on items I buy in bulk that don’t fit in the cart during regular orders (10 or so cases of flavored seltzer water, a mega-pack of toilet paper and paper towels, 2-for-1 bottles of vitamins, multiple giant bottles of wine… essentials for the apocalypse). I packed my cart to the brim and I headed to the checkout. Being the frequent flyer that I am at this store (back in college a dive bar called Cavanaugh’s was my Cheers, now-a-days the ghetto Kroger is where everybody knows my name… sigh), someone scrambled to open a lane just for me.
I actually did not recognize the clerk who was giving me the red carpet treatment. He was definitely new. But he ran his lane with mad skill and had me through in a jiffy. As I was whipping out my credit card and preparing to swipe it he told me to hold up, as his register was spitting stuff out like it was a married Jewish girl.
“Ooooh! You got a lot of coupons today,” said the newbie.
“Oh yeah? Anything I can use right now?” I asked, unimpressed unless there was.
He examined the paper strip with feigned intensity. ”Mmmmm… I don’t really know you (as he looks back at all the wine and TP) but you seem like you would probably buy Lunchables. And you’re a girl, so you can definitely use this last one for… you know.”
Insulted by his insinuation yet intrigued by his phrasing, I push back. ”I know what?”
I look at the coupon that I now presume is covered in anthrax because this guy won’t even touch it with his bare hands. It is a coupon for tampons. Harmless, little cotton tampons. And just the thought of them is freaking this guy out. My ornery is just begging to come out and play.
“Tampons,” I say boldly. ”Can’t you even say the word? Tampons, tampons, tampons.” My voice is getting louder. Several nearby heads turn in the direction of our lane. ”It is 2012. You are a grown-ass man. You have got to be kidding me,” I whisper-yell.
“Shhhhhhhhhhh! You don’t have to say it!” he whisper-whispers back at me as his face turns the color of a baboon’s butt. ”Stop saying that word!”
I figure that I have embarrassed him just enough to retaliate for the pre-packaged-kids’-lunch-box-product comment, but I insist on adding one more thing. ”So you’re single, right? (He glares back at me but I see from his reaction that I am correct) Well, you will never get a real, live girlfriend if you can’t even say the word ‘tampon’ out loud. So here’s your homework for today… when you get done your shift you’re gonna get in your car and drive home. I want you to say the word ‘tampon’ over and over and over for the entire trip. Tampon, tampon, tampon, tampon. It will be good for you.”
I then go out into the parking lot and unload my cart full of goodies. During my own car ride home I proceed to chant not only “tampon, tampon, tampon” but also “penis, penis, penis” and “vagina, vagina, vagina” for good measure. I like to keep my reflexes sharp, you know.
When I got home I unloaded the car and went upstairs to take a shower before I started making dinner. Ironically enough, it was then that I realized that Aunt Flo had come for her annoying monthly visit. And guess what was missing from my bathroom cabinet?
I wish this post was in color so I could end it with a big red period. More than that, I wish I had used that stupid coupon.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…