Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Mom's Gonna Love This One

The interstate hordes descended upon me today as I tried to enter the gas station chicken store. I have given them my return 44 oz. Diet Coke business lately, because they have fixed the Diet-Pepsi-tasting fountain spigot. I think they're keeping that sweet little old lady away from it.

My mission was twofold. To capture the elusive Diet-Coke-tasting 44 oz. Diet Coke, and snare some chicken for tonight's supper. Hick and The Pony are going to the auction. Perhaps if he's full, Hick will not look twice at the Auction Meat. Genius left shortly before noon, declaring that he'd be back late tomorrow night. Oh, to be young and irresponsible, possessing pockets lined with Mommy's cash.

We had no sooner pulled into my very special parking spot than the multitude overtook us. Bing bang boom! Three cars whipped in. Each contained four people. They all got out! It was like a clown car convention. More and more and more people crawled out the doors and milled around in the parking lot just behind T-Hoe. The horror! The gas station chicken store is not Voice of the Village. No roomy aisles here. A green fruit beetle would feel claustrophobic in this establishment. No way was I going to shoehorn myself into that miniscule shop boasting only three aisles in order to wait in a line like an amusement park rope-and-stanchion accordion. I told The Pony I would wait until the human traffic thinned out.

I swear, it was like observing a roach motel. Customers walked in, but they didn't walk out. More and more and more. Like sweets into Augustus Gloop on the Wonka Chocolate Factory tour. We saw the clerk with one tooth having a cigarette on his break. He hustled right in behind the stampede. A lady appeared from behind the traveler's bulletin board thingy beside the store. She took a drag on her cigarette, then laid it on the seat of a square picnic table concreted into the ground. Are you getting this?

She laid her cigarette on a picnic table seat at a convenience store!

I voiced my amazement to The Pony. "Can you believe that? Let's see if she puts it back in her mouth when she comes out. Who wants to suck on a cigarette that has been laying where strangers put their butts? Besides, it's a good thing the grass isn't dried out. If the wind blows that thing off, instant forest fire."

A couple of portly females in sundresses trickled out carrying beverages and snacks. Just as I suspected. These travelers had each been making individual purchases. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I just preferred to wait in my car until the mad rush was over. The menfolk and adolescents emerged. Then the apparently unrelated smoker with a bag of chicken and a soda. She made a beeline for her cig. It was no longer on the picnic table seat. It had rolled under the table, on the gravelly faded-and-pockmarked blacktop.

She picked it up and jabbed it between her lips!

That blond puffer chick took off up the hill towards the used car lot and the can-opener factory. Like that was the most normal thing in the world, picking a lit cigarette off the ground and smoking it.

Now I know why my mom is a people-watcher.


  1. Those cigarettes--I hear--are quite expensive. You're talking trash about a lady because she's frugal? Perhaps you folks in TheCountry have money to burn. We here in BigCityLand have to scrimp and save every penny.

    If we happen upon a half-drunk glass of soda--all water-logged and weak--we can't help but slurp it down. It's probably safe, and certainly quenches our thirst. If we see an ├ęclair--sitting on top of the trash or sitting on an old picnic table--we can't resist gobbling it down. If we city people walk past a discarded roll of dental floss--and it still has a few feet left in it--we pocket it to use later. It's most likely still okay to use.

    Get off her back. In fact, you should clap for her fiscal responsibility. She's no wastrel. Celebrate that!

  2. Cigarette smokers are a bread unto themselves. I guess there's no five second rule about picking up cigarettes off the ground.

  3. People watching outside a convenience store is the BEST. Plus it helps takes the mind off the spinning numbers of the gas pump that goes on and on...

    As for cigarettes...after setting something on fire and putting it in your mouth, who would even worry about a few germs and dirt.

  4. Convenience store/Wally World the charcters are pretty much the same. Start recording the slogans ont heor T shirts, you'll learn even more.

  5. Diet Pepsi is a lie from the pit of hell. This is hilarious, and a little eww-y, what with the cigarette retrieval. Yick!

  6. People watching is fun--unless it's me they're watching.

    Maybe the blacktop added some extra tar to the woman's cigarette.

  7. Sioux,
    Actually, Madam, I am talking trash about a woman because she put trash in her mouth. But I will give her the benefit of the doubt due to the conviction with which you implore. Perhaps she rescued the entire Merv Griffin set from a dumpster, to use as living room furniture.

    Perhaps the smoke itself purifies the over-five-second cooties.

    I think that's a valid point. Perhaps you can put such logic to use, and moonlight as a lawyer. To keep me out of jail for overuse of the word "perhaps."

    You may not believe this, but I think I saw a wackadoodle woman in a shirt that said, "Will write for food." She was trying to pick up old men and drunks outside a museum. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    You are so correct about Diet Pepsi. Just the thought of it makes my stomach churn. Maybe that cigarette lady should be captured on hidden camera to replace the raspy voice-box talkers in the nonsmoking ads.

    Don't advertise that you write for food, and don't smoke ground cigarettes. That'll keep you off the radar for a few days.

    Heh, heh. Tar! Good one. I'm slipping.