Saturday, June 26, 2004

Behind Closed Drawers

Funny story. See, I'm working at the little drug store around the corner from my house. I worked there after school my junior and senior years of high school and full-time during the summers following both school years. This would have been my junior year. I won't tell you what year that was because then you'd feel compelled to saw me in half to count the rings in my center and find that I'm approaching the Methuselah bracket. Let's just say I wore hot pants to work. Yes, hot pants. And I wore the hell out of them, too. It's not for nothing that one of my father's best friends nicknamed me 'Wheels' when I took his freshman algebra class. (Oh sure, it's sexual harassment now.) So there I was in my hot pants and my waist-length straight brown hair. A young Crystal Gayle. One afternoon a guy who was two years ahead of me in school came into the store. We didn't know each other, but knew of each other. It wasn't a teensy school (there were 1,200 students) but it was the only high school in the county, my dad was a teacher and coach there, I had been a cheerleader and everybody sort of knew everybody--even if you didn't say "Hi" when you passed in the hallways. This guy had graduated the year before. His name was Robert. He had blonde hair. He walked up to the counter where I happened to be standing behind the gargantuan (now antique) cash register. He sort of lowered his head and said, "I'd like to buy some prophylactics, please." I replied, "What?" Robert's blonde head began to turn red. He repeated, "I'd like to buy a box of prophylactics, please." Again, I responded, "What??" By now, Rudolph's nose had nothing on Robert's cheeks--he was ablaze. I had no earthly idea what in the hell convoluted thing he was asking for. And then, because I'm real poised and everything, I yelled, "Hey, Laura, come 'ere, will ya?" My coworker Laura was a lovely blonde middle-aged woman. I never had the heart to tell her that all the girls at school considered her two sons total hunks. Instead I would ask in my most practiced casual voice about the older one, "So, how's Gary?" Anyway, back to Robert. I turned to Robert (who was now a beet-red quivering puddle) in my best 'I can speak perfectly adequately before the entire school in an assembly but have absolutely no interpersonal skills in a one-on-one interaction' fashion and loudly ordered him to, "Tell her what you want, because I don't know what you're saying." And for the third time, he managed to whisper, "I'd like to buy some prophylactics, PLEASE." Laura, ever the model of grace and decorum in her blue uniform (not required but I guess it made her feel 'official'), bowed her head slightly and quietly responded, "Yes, of course." Then she walked up the two steps leading to the pharmacy section behind us, bent down to grab something out of one of the bottom drawers and pulled out a box of Trojans. When she returned to the register with them, I exclaimed (because I'm so poised and all), "Oh, RUBBERS!" And then to Robert, "Why didn't you just say so?"

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

HA! That's priceless.
Poor Robert. I bet you gave him a complex and he could never bring himself to buy rubbers again.

You are a riot, I'm adding you to my blogroll right now.

Michele
coffeesoup.com

9:23 PM  
Anonymous MSB said...

I can't believe you used his first name!! What a classic. Marilyn, you have and still do live a very interesting (to say the least) life!

10:31 PM  
Anonymous MSB said...

I can't believe you used his first name!! What a classic. Marilyn, you have and still do live a very interesting (to say the least) life!

10:32 PM  

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