Friday, January 25, 2013

Look Away! It's Hideous!

Here's what happens when you send a man into the convenience store to buy gas station chicken. If you have a weak constitution, perhaps you should read no further. In addition, pregnant ladies, those with heart ailments, and gas-station-chicken connoisseurs should step aside. This tale is not for you.

I've grown comfortable with my refueling/poultry establishment. I recognize the workers. They know me. Sure, they stop short of calling, "NORM!" when I walk through the door. But they greet me. We exchange pleasantries about Larry the Cable Guy Chips. So it was with no trepidation that I entered last night to pick up a fowl feast. As luck would have it, the luck that has dogged Val Thevictorian all her live-long life, an elderly gentleman entered upon my heels and made a beeline for the chicken counter. Of course, it was an elderly gentleman kind of beeline. Perhaps you are acquainted with Tim Conway as The Old Man. I sincerely thought I could take him.

The dispenser of my 44 oz. Diet Coke had just completed the last gurgle when I saw Mr. Clueless beat me by two seconds. I'm quite speedy at filling up. But there he was, not at the counter proper, but peering through the glass case. The cashier asked if he needed something from the kitchen. "I guess so." She pushed the doorbell button under the counter that signals the chicken clerk attending the fryer that his help is required. He came out in his fetching little plastic hairnet.

"May I help you?"

"I guess so."

"Do you want some chicken?"

"That's what she sent me in for."

"Do you know what you want?"

"I don't know. I guess I'll take two of those in the front, and two of those in the back, and two of those in the front, and two of those in the back." At no time did he point. Just peered into the case.

" you want two breasts? And two wings? And two thighs?"

"I guess so."

The chicken clerk put on his plastic gloves, folded up a box, and grabbed his tongs. He deftly snagged the pieces and put them in the box.

"I think that's only six."

"Yes, sir."

"I want two of those." Again, no pointing.

"Oh, you want an eight-piece box?"

"Do you have one of those?"

"Yes. It's two breasts, two thighs, two wings, and two legs."

"Gimme two of those there."

"Two legs?"

"I guess so."

Let the record show that this business is known for their eight-piece chicken boxes. It's on the sign out front. It's clearly listed on the menu on the wall behind the counter. That poor chicken clerk must have thought he was being pranked. He remained cheerful and polite. He scribbled out the ticket and wrote in the eight-piece box. Granted, it was his error to start with, not keeping proper track of how may 'two of those' Mr. Clueless asked for. On a normal day, I would have stepped past the debacle with my soda. But I was entranced by this befuddled septuagenarian. I couldn't walk away.

Ladies, don't let your husbands grow old and buy chicken.

Mr. Clueless is lucky he was not in line to buy soup in New York City.


  1. That's right. He might have asked for extra bread and then--SLAM--the window of opportunity for soup would have closed with a resounding, "No soup for you!"

  2. I spotted a Carol Burnett, Cheers and Seinfeld reference...three shows from three different eras PLUS a funny post.

    Well done, well done indeed!

  3. I saw an octogenarian at the buffet this evening who screamed bloody murder when his wife asked him if he wanted to look at the selections they had. He paused with his push walker and shouted, "Maybe I don't want to SEE what I'm eating." Hmmm.

  4. Sioux,
    But he might find the recipe in an armoire he buys on the street, and have hand!

    Unfortunately, the 70s called, and demanded a Mary Richards dinner party.

    I hope they both were pulling oxygen tanks. We wouldn't want them to grow light-headed in the heat of the argument.

  5. Those gas station chicken fryers are misunderstood geniuses. And I sense you wouldn't have been too upset if the uneducated chicken-buyer had been banned for life?

  6. Tammy,
    Mr. Clueless needs to step aside, and let his wife do the poultry purchasing. He was probably being contrary on purpose, so she would never ask him again. Who knows what she really sent him in for. Probably for five minutes respite from his indecisiveness.