Most Beautiful: The shiny, shiny pennies in Register One. I hate Register One, but these pennies made the time there worth it. Seriously, they were like, glowing. They reminded me of the coins in treasure chests that you see in pirate movies, but for the life of me don’t know what the word for that is.
Most Likely To Succeed: Brian, for suggesting “bullions.” Well, not so much “suggesting” as “insisting,” and while I know he’s not wrong, per se, it is still not the exact word I’m looking for, but I admire his quick thinking.
Most Ugly: The dull, old pennies in Register One later on. I was not PLEASED to be on Register One again, until I remembered The Pennies. Imagine my excitement, then, when the time came to open a new roll of pennies. Alas, what came spilling out of the new roll was not, as I had envisioned, beautiful shiny still-unknown-pirate-word goodness, but rather, ugly, dark, OLD pennies. Bollocks!
Most Pathetic: Me, for letting pennies control my happiness.
Most Impressive Projection During An Argument: Tie: Rich and Mertz
Most Likely To Star As A Dumb Pet On “America’s Funniest Home Videos” Or Whatever The Show Is Called Now To Make It Sound More Edgy: The Rhodes scholars that do not seem to understand the correlation between the moving belt and their moving pocketbooks. Yes, the belt is moving, that’s just how we kick it in supermarkets if you want your groceries scanned, and I get too perverse a thrill watching you pick it up and move it over and pick it up and move it over to stop the belt and either way, if you want the belt stopped, ask me, don’t act all put out and disgruntled.
Most Random Doppelganger: The customer who looked so much like “I Bring You Chips” that I almost said something to him until I realized how psychotic that would look.
Most In Need Of Our Tone Soap Sale: Let me start by saying that I know I smoke sometimes, and that to a non-smoker, have at times been off-putting in that I smelled like smoke to varying degrees. Let me also say that I have always rather enjoyed the smell of smoke, even when I was an avid non-smoker. I even find the smell sexy. HOWEVER. When I think that my current customer reeks of smoke, only to find out that it’s actually the customer two shopping carts behind him, that’s just a bit MUCH.
Most Conspicuously Absent: Greg. What the HELL, Greg?
Most In Need To Shut Up: The guy who disobeyed my cardinal rule, which is “Thou Shalt Not Tell Me To Smile,” and then flirted with me in front of his daughter.
Most Egregious Example Of Why Tanning Salon Visits Should Be Strictly Moderated: Every highschool girl that’s ever come into the store, ever.
Most In Touch With His Inner Child: Bryan, for telling me a story about the “Civilization” videogame, then later buying “Batman” and something else. “Phantasm?”
Most Awkwardedly Sad: The guy who was a blessed reprieve from the rest of the particularly aggressive blockheads, smiling, kind, polite — all was grand. He was buying cat food, and we were discussing cats, and he was saying that dogs were the best though, because when his dog greets him after he comes home, there’s just nothing like it. Sure. I’m a cat person, but I can get down with that, dogs are cool.
“Thank God for my dog, because nobody else cares if I’m home or not.”
All that was missing was a needle scratch sound effect. The switch from affable gentleman to bitter, lonely, slightly menacing man was so abrupt, yet so complete.
But not as complete as it would seem.
“I also really like llamas.”
“How about you, are you a llama lover?”
What does one say when asked by a lonely man if one is a llama lover?
“I…never really thought about it,” I stuttered, with a big smile as I sent him on his way, home to his cats and dog. Sorry guy, I feel bad for you, and I relate to the emptiness, what with the penny excitement from before, but that was unnerving. And also depressing.
Most Horrible: The lady who got to my register, and started making a phone call THEN, like she wasn’t even passively obnoxious enough to already be on the phone, she had to be actively obnoxious and then called in a TAKEOUT order to a Chinese restaurant, and I think it’s a pretty safe bet that the Chinese restaurant people despise her even more than me because she greeted them with “This is Phyllis,” and goes on to not so much “order” as “describe” what she wanted, meaning she was actually describing the possible ingredients in her freaking soup while standing there on line and mind you, she is going back and forth and back and forth, complete with “knowing glance” to me all offensively like, “oh you know these foreigners, how they can’t understand” and understand WHAT? YOUR VAGUE DESCRIPTION OF A SOUP YOU HAD ONE TIME, “PHYLLIS???” I was horrified by her, horrified further still by her knowing glance at me, like leave me out of your Ugly American Act please, because I really don’t think it’s so much of a language barrier as it is an entitlement barrier, because I sure as hell don’t know what kind of soup you’re trying to order either, and besides, if you have the unmitigated gall to be calling a restaurant during the busiest time of the week and act like they should drop everything for you, since you ARE Phyllis, then maybe you could get one of those newfangled MENUS?
Meanwhile, her husband comes up, and he was totally the epitome of the Plainview Man, all beleaguered and whipped into shape, and seriously I have never seen worse couples than I have working in this town, all the guys just look so defeated and you know there must be some kind of Tom Cruise creepy brainwashing thing going on, like it might START with the jumping on couches, but in the end, there is just something Stepford-y going on, but in reverse, because you know it’s not the sex, and definitely not the scintillating conversation because how long can you really talk about acrylic tips and how Marilyn’s daughter Jen just had a baby and you went to Nordstrom and got baby Madison the most adorable Guess? jeans with a matching jacket and hat and sneakers and also the cutest pink t-shirt and socks…
But so anyway this guy comes up to the line and is putting more stuff on the belt when this “woman” does this most hideous snap/point thing, and I really can’t do justice to how simultaneously violent and patronizing this gesture was, but the gist of it was, “Bag, bitch!” I was so embarrassed for him, but then you know, his choice, I suppose.
And of course, of course she made him do double paper! And not like she was helping. She was too busy…
…telling the Chinese restaurant employee…
…to PLEASE HURRY, IT’S FOR PHYLLIS.
Most Helpful Gum: The Orbit Citramint in my pocketbook that freshened my breath after I threw up in my mouth.
© February 21, 2006