I must commend those put-upon convenience store clerks who have such patience that one assumes they have ice in their veins, hydrocodone in their bloodstream, and not a hint of murder on their mind. They're just that good.
You know how it is. You are tending the register on a Friday evening, and your partner steps out for a smoke just after 4:30 in preparation for the after-work rush. And in comes a born-tired-looking woman of no small girth, who fills up her soda cup and steps to the counter. No. It was not Val. BTL Woman pays for her soda. Then asks for cigarettes for her daughter, who is not with her. And doesn't remember the brand. But describes the pack. Pays. Remembers that she wants to cash in a scratcher ticket. Picks out a new scratcher ticket. Scratches. Says, "Oh. Do you sell ice? You do? I need a bag of ice. I almost forgot. I'm sorry to be such a problem."
The stern-looking clerk, a living, breathing picture of the hard-knock life, with her graying black hair in an unfashionable neck ponytail that highlights her American Gothic features, glances out at the line of six customers and says, "Oh, that's all right. No problem."
The envelope, please...