One of the sadder things I've seen -
An abundantly pregnant woman and a very, very slow moving elderly man came in to the Gas Station last night. The old man was coming back from the cooler with a 12 pack of beer, and said to the young Preggers, "Is a twelve pack enough?"
The Womb-on-legs gave her approval, and continued to browse the store. She was wearing shorts, and a brown tank-top shirt which had the word "VINDICTIVE" in relatively small white letters across the chest.
Now, according to Tennessee Code Annotated, section 57-5-301(A)(1), which states that ALL purchasers of alcohol for "off premises" consumption have to present Proof-of-age identification, I had to card this guy, who looked like he needed to be in a nursing home, for his beer. (Actually, since they had indicated that the beer was for her, I should have carded her too, but I had no reason to believe she was under 21, and one ID would be enough to satisfy the State Law.) He wasn't too happy about being carded, and muttered something to that effect. With shaky hands, he reached into his back pocket, s-l-o-w-l-y produced his wallet, and extracted his ID. Born in 1947, Cletus* was exactly 60 years old,which was 10 years younger than he looked, and 40 years younger than he moved.
As I was dealing with him, his Great-With-Child companion was checking out the sunglasses rack. "Ain't anybody got the round sunglasses anymore?", she complained. Drinking while she was 12 months pregnant had already gotten under my skin, and I was growing more irritated with this lady by the second.
"I don't know whether or not anybody has them, but we apparently don't," I called back to her.
She continued searching the rack, not comprehending my witty riposte. "Well, where are they then?" she responded. The word "Apparently" must have thrown her off. Time to try a different approach.
"We ain't got 'em!" I called back in her own language.
She must not have been too disappointed with our lack of "round" sunglasses, because she grabbed a pair of non-round ones and approached the counter. Slowpoke had just finished putting his wallet's contents back together. She told him to get her a pack of Marlboros too, while she plunked the glasses down on the counter. I pulled down the appropriate pack of smokes, and rang everything up.
"That'll be $33.17" I told the old guy, biting back all the comments about cigarettes and pregnancy that were springing to my mind. Geez, Lady, why not shoot up some heroin and snort a few lines of coke while you're at it? Then your kid will will have the coolest looking Dorsal Fin in his whole class!
"Did you already run the card? I just gave you my card."
"No, sir; you gave me your ID."
Back into the pocket for the wallet went , fast as a bullet. Not a bullet that has been fired, but a bullet duct-taped to the back of a turtle, which is trying to climb a steep and slippery hill.
His slothlike movement gave her roving gaze more time to work on spending his money. But not quite enough time, for right as I was swiping his credit card through the machine, finalizing the sale, she said "Gimme two of these, too", and plopped down two 4 dollar cigarette lighters that said "Princess" and "Drama Queen" respectively.
I have never been sure about this trend of advertising your Faults, like being a spoiled, problem-causing gossip, but there are a lot of T-shirts and other products out there that do just that. You don't see me wearing a T-shirt that says "I Fart a lot and have poor Dental Hygiene", do you? I guess I'm just too classy for that.
Anyhow, she was just a second too late to include those lighters on the tab, and I told her so, but I must've used the word "apparently" again, because she was holding them as though she had purchased them, and intended to take them with her when she left. I told her again that the lighters had not been paid for, while "ClEtUS SimPSoN JR"* signed his name in lettering that indicated that his name was the only thing that ClEtUS SR ever "learnt" him how to write.
This time I got through that the lighters hadn't been paid for, and she told me to go ahead and ring them up along with a Pack of Marlboros.
I already rang those, I explained.
"No, Marlboro Lights"
OK, I switched the regulars for lights.
"No, ANOTHER pack of lights"
Did I mention this woman's pregnant belly is about 30% of her body weight? She looks like she's about to give birth to a whole Football team. Everything she has gotten has been Smoking or drinking related, except the sunglasses. Oh well, at least she won't get Eyeball cancer along with her liver cirrhosis and emphysema. Something tells me her little uterine passenger isn't going to have a lot going on in the nature OR nurture department.
Anyway, she also wants to buy a cigarette case, so I point her to the appropriate shelves. She comes back with, not one, but two little cigarette "purses" at 6 bucks a piece. What the hey, she's spending ClEtUS's money anyway, right?
I ring the second purchase up, and in goes ClEtUS for his wallet, a third time. Muttering. It's something along the lines of " Gotta go through this all over again", and the back of my mind is screaming NO, you don't!! You don't have to pull your card out again, just tell this irresponsible woman-child with you that you won't buy her every single thing she comes across so she can amuse herself and poison her child!
I keep it all on the inside, though, and we swipe his card again. all-told, he's spent $59.44 on her beer, smokes, and trinkets.
So, if this tale has made you feel bad, look on the bright side... then tell me what it is.
* This story is true, only the names have been changed to protect the ignorant.