Monday, July 14, 2008


There is a coffee shop in my building but I rarely stop in, because I have an aversion to hot beverages in the summer--when stepping outside feels like I've stumbled into the sani-cycle on the dishwasher--and the sight of the hipsterrific barista who is always wrapped in pages 4 through 28 of the latest dELia*S catalog and it always looks better on him than it would on me, assuming I'd ever want to wear a scarf with a map of Tokyo printed on it and a pair of teal jeans in a size 00.

Yesterday morning I was out of Diet Coke and was in desperate need of a caffeine fix, so it was either break my bean embargo and walk downstairs or lock myself in the trash room so I could rummage through the recycle bins and suckle the last caramel colored drops from the empty cans I'd carelessly tossed out.

Because the trash room smells like dirt farts, I selected Option 1. I stopped in the shop after my run, because there's no better time to have a caffeinated drink than when my tiny heart is already beating harder than a drug-addled drummer*, and also because I like to share my sweatastic, zoo animal funk with as many people as possible.**

There was a line, of course, and I filed in behind a guy wearing glasses ganked from Elvis Costello, a Penguin polo, and a messenger bag slung across his chest. He was mid-forties, and attractive in an exfoliated kind of way. I assumed he worked as a creative director or something equally abstract, a job that required him to use the term 'organic' to describe both his ideas and his bath products, to drive a Vespa, and to liberally pepper his conversations with slang terms he recently read in the Sunday edition of the Times.

He gave his order to Polly Pocket behind the counter, then inexplicably turned to speak to me. I was still rawking to my iPod and contemplating the well-gelled tuft of hair he'd crafted in the middle of his head, a look he'd sculpted possibly hoping to come off as 'complicated yet playful' but it actually made him look like a narwhal. I was so lost in his scalp it took me a sec to realize that he was waiting for an answer.

"What was that?," I asked, popping an earbud out and attempting my most charming expression, even though I know I had Alice Cooper-y mascara trails streaking down my cheeks (leftover from the night before, natch) and a rabid-looking white crust in the corners of my mouth. I also instinctively crossed my arms, hoping he hadn't noticed that the air conditioning had turned my Nike covered nips into two angry Tic Tacs.
He smiled, showing two gleaming rows of teeth more carefully planned than the city center. "I just asked what you were listening to."

"Oh!" I said, because sometimes I like to speak in exclamation points. "The Black Kids".

He tilted his head and his face melted like I'd just told him his coffee wasn't Fair Trade. There was a pause. Then he asked "Which ones?"



On Friday, I made my monthly trip to Target to waste nine bones on my birth control prescription. I'd been waiting for 12 of the estimated 15 minutes when the pharmacist--a man who had an uncanny resemblance to Jack Black, if Jack had devoured all the kids from School of Rock--called my name so he could give me the Rx-required pep talk about how this medication isn't going to protect me against diseases like cooties or the clap and how there's a chance it will make me develop a blood clot, causing my brain to bubble over like a science project volcano.

That said, he produced a ball-point pen from the breast pocket of his lab coat and said, "OK, I'm just going to need your autograph here and here." He pointed at two signature lines on a form printed with 8-point font as I thought about how much I hate when cashiers say that. It's the campiest expression this side of when the guy at the grocery store sushi counter*** asks if I'm on a diet then offers me one chopstick.

Besides, I ask my customers for their autograph all the time and I thought I was being original.

I pushed the paper back across the counter to him. He peeled a label off the bottom of the page and slapped it on the side of the bag. Before handing it to me he gave me a wink--AN EFFING WINK--and said, "Looks like you have a big weekend planned."

Yes, Douchebucket, that's exactly what it means, that I'm going to spend the next 48 hours giving more rides than Space Mountain. In fact, I'm heading home right now to pop every pill marked "Friday", then seeing who wants to fill my bundt pan with baby batter. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING.

And I think you do.

I'll be back for a refill on Monday.

The store where I work does a group run on Friday nights so I decided to lace 'em up and participate this time. A friend of mine**** who was in town from The ATL decided he'd join too, which was totally rad since that meant he might be shirtless. I decided to overachieve and run to the run--again, going back to my willingness to share my stink mist with others--so when we'd logged our 5.7 and decided to head to dinner, I had to catch a ride with him to the restaurant.

Post eats--when I was realizing I probably shouldn't have said "Thanks!" when he said I'd been the loudest chewer at the table --he offered to drive me home. Don't get your hopes up, Mr. Pharmacist. Considering the boulder-sized burrito that was sleeping in my stomach, trying to run home would've been a disaster that quite possibly would've involved closing one lane of traffic and a DOT clean-up crew.

Anyway, we get to the parking garage and I needed to grab something out of my car. I popped the tailgate, forgetting that I'd been to Target 6 hours earlier. See, sometimes Tarzhay does its best impression of Costco, stocking a hidden aisle in the back of the store with bulk packs of bagels and oversized bundles of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. That day I'd chosen to stock up on paper goods, so as the gate slowly lifted, he got both eyeballs full of the THIRTY ROLL package of Charmin spooning with the three pack of tampons.

He turned away and said nothing, but as I unloaded whatever it was I'd needed in the first place, I caught him staring at me, waiting to see whether my uterus or my colon was going to drop out first.

Needless to say, he didn't come upstairs.

* See: Moon, Keith; Bonham, John; Animal
** Thank you, ma'am, for glaring first at me, then at the glistening wet crescent that was forming where I was standing. It makes my day knowing that I'm ruining yours.
*** Yes, I purchase sushi at the grocery store because I like their salmon Philadelphia roll and I also like having diarrhea.
**** Saying we'd dated might be overstating, but we did go out several times and I know where to find all of his tattoos.


Ben said...

Zing!, Mr. Pharmacist...

That comment is why I hate buying condoms. I always try to slip them in with large grocery orders in hopes that no one will notice. But then they always end up sitting next to a cucumber and mayonnaise on the conveyer belt and I want to die even more.

MizFit said...

I aspire to be you.


on all levels.


kleph said...

"smells like dirt farts"

honey, you just described lima to a "T".

Alice said...

Write a book already girl!

I'm trying to work the line "who wants to fill my bundt pan with baby batter" onto a LOLCAT right now.

Kaeti said...

If a guy can't get behind you buying in bulk, he's probably not worth your time anyway.

The Clandestine Samurai said...

What? Because he seen the toilet paper and tampons? Did he expect you to be some new breed of woman that doesn't require neither? That's pretty stupid.

As for "The Black Kids" guy, I don't know who they are either. But I would've asked "what band is that?", not "which ones?". Maybe he figured you didn't know what you were talking about, or he was just a piece of s***.

I think the Pharmacist guy wanted to be part of your big weekend.

poodlegoose said...

John Bonham references. That makes me happy.

Belle of the Ball said...

Oh, you are too much! I just found your blog and I LOVE it!

Alexa said...

i wish my pharmacist looked more like jack black. it would be more fun to go visit him then

Gilahi said...

So Alice Cooper was on The Muppet Show. Seems like you could've saved yourself some link time there. I used to go to Halloween parties as Alice Cooper, but these days everybody would have to ask who I was supposed to be.

meloogal said...

You have much, much cooler people working all the minimum wage jobs in your stores. Hipsters? Behemoth Jack Blacks?? I live in Trenton, NJ and we only get the Disgruntled Feisty Latinas and the Boyz in da Hood (the Black Kids, if you will). Not that I don't love them to pieces. But they're not going to be asking me for my autograph anytime soon unless they mistake me for Kimora Lee Simmons.

(Thanks for the add on Twentysomething Bloggers, btw!)

Zelda said...

1 - The Black Kids are awesome!

2 - you only pay $9 for BC?! That's amazing...your insurance rocks, I wish I had it.

3 - Men who think BC = you're about to have sex are obnoxious & probably have never been laid.

4 - so happy you found me on 20 something're hilarious!

rs27 said...

The only way this story would have been better would have been with a Pharmacist high five and the phrase, "that guy knows what I'm talking about."

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

You are magical.

Jenn N Butter said...

Brilliant as always! Thank you for a good laugh this morning, and again when I reread it this afternoon.

RazZDoodle said...

*mental note - don't wink at woman after buying BC*

got it.

Mickey said...

I once bought condoms, a bouquet of roses and a can of Redi-Whip from a Food Lion in Adairsville, GA. I got no wink and no comment whatsoever. So disappointing. I did get laid, though (after I left the store.)

Lyla Lou said...

Haha you had me giggling the whole way through...and I can't believe he winked!!

summer savannah. said...

$9 for the Pill? Honey, I'd have fucked half the eligible (and 3/4 of the ineligible) men in Dallas by now. Wait...I still may have achieved that with the $30 I pay...

Dexter Colt said...

I look like a narwhal so I am getting a kick out of this post..

And, after the pharmacist winked you should have said, "Oh yeah, are you guys stocked up on Valtrex?"

Becca Jaffe said...

I laughed so hard about the baby batter in the bundt pan remark I peed a little. But I changed right afterward! I swear!
Actually I didn't pee, but I did enjoy this tremendously, thank you for the laugh.

Strottie said...

I just fell off my sofa in some combination of laughing, and crying because I was laughing so hard.

... I love your life.

Felicia said...

Rad, I love Black Kids! I am going to be seeing them at Lolla in 3 weeks. Although I do feel quite awkward saying, "Hey have you heard the Black Kids??" when trying to introduce new music to people.

elizabethharms said...

Oh my GOD! My cheeks hurt from smiling so hard, and my neighbor's dog just started barking because I laughed so loud.

The description of the coffee shop guy's face was priceless!

You are a great writer, and obviously have an awesome imagination. I never come across people in everyday life who are funnier than they try to be. :(

Erica. said...

Haha- Love the blog!

ÄsK AliCë said...

My pharmacist is an old woman who glares at me everytime I pick up my BC. I feel like saying "Listen lady, would you rather me use it or have mini-me's running around here pulling all the vitamins off the shelves and using the fake-glasses as pretend swords?"
She never winks at me.

Stephanie said...

Idk why guys get weirded out when they see we buy toilet paper and tampons. It's not like they don't know it.
My boyfriend buys tampons for me if i'm out of them. :)

Loved the blog today.

dailydisastergirl said...

I read your short story on SurvivingMyself and I like it best, it's really really funny!

Other than that, browsed your blog and that is pretty awesome too.


LovinSeattle said...

You are hi-larious. Yes, I know it's overused just like "autograph", but it seems appropriate.

Katelin said...

wow to the pharmacist. i can see if you were buying like five boxes of condoms, but really? birth control buddy? wow.

mindy said...

"who wants to fill my bundt pan with baby batter"

That actually made me audibly cringe. If that is possible. And apparently it is.

yoritomo said...

The body is gross and babies are gross. I think it was a winner.

Robbie said...

I've alwasy been told that drinking hot drinks on a hot day cools your body.
I don't know how that works, it's just something I've always been told.
I've never actually tried it though.

Classy Tallahassee. said...

You crack me up! I was just at CVS yesterday picking up my prescription for BC and, while waiting, I strolled through the condom aisle. My husband was waiting out in the car and I knew he wouldn't have the foresight to pick them up himself before leaving for our vacation on Saturday, so I went to grab some. Then, *lightbulb* buying condoms AND BC? The pharmacist is going to think I'm a floozy! So, I just paid for the BC and gave my husband his orders once I was back in the car! :)

lacochran said...

Narwals are adorable!