Recently I've been spending more time than I care to at the local supermarket. Well, like they say in "Produce", when lemons are on sale, make lemonade. And in my life, lemons are ALWAYS on sale. So allow me to "make lemonade", not in the usual way by going "Number 1" behind the store dumpster, but rather this time by sharing some of my observations with you, my fellow value shoppers.
1) It's apparently NOT okay to grab toilet paper and magazines off of shelves in order to restock the restroom for your convenience. They seem to have an issue with that.
2) It's apparently NOT okay to lovingly caress the cantalopes whenever a lady is present.
3) It's apparently NOT okay to complete your shopping with a cucumber protruding from your zipper.
4) It's apparently NOT okay to screen potential dates by aggressively combing through their carts, looking for feminine hygiene products.
5) It's apparently NOT okay to treat Whipped Cream containers as "Nitrous Oxide Samplers".
6) It's apparently NOT okay to pose as the "Local Rep" for pantyhose products.
7) It's apparently NOT okay to loiter in the dairy section, extolling the greater benefits of breast milk.
8) It's apparently NOT okay to linger and repeatedly recite Robert Shaw's "Quint" character's famous monologue from "Jaws" by the Seafood section, as follows:
Quint: "Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. It was comin' back, from the island of Tinian Delady, just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen footer. You know, you know that when you're in the water, Chief? You tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail. Well, we didn't know. `Cause our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. Huh huh. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief. The sharks come cruisin'. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know it's... kinda like `ol squares in battle like a, you see on a calendar, like the battle of Waterloo. And the idea was, the shark nearest man and then he'd start poundin' and hollerin' and screamin' and sometimes the shark would go away. Sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know the thing about a shark, he's got... lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eye. When he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be livin'. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. And then, ah then you hear that terrible high pitch screamin' and the ocean turns red and spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin' they all come in and rip you to pieces. Y'know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men! I don't know how many sharks, maybe a thousand! I don't know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday mornin' Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player, bosun's mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up and down in the water, just like a kinda top. Up ended. Well... he'd been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us, he swung in low and he saw us. He'd a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper, anyway he saw us and come in low. And three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened? Waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb."
9) It's apparently NOT okay to horizontally place your soup cans onto the rungs of the ladder that the stockboy is currently using.
10) It's apparently NOT okay to demonstrate to your fellow shoppers how the Indian Maiden on the "Land O' Lakes" butter carton can be strategically folded so that her knees become her boobs.
11) It's apparently NOT okay to dole out free samples of Ex-Lax chocolates to the kiddies a la Costco and Sam's Club. (Ditto for Preparation-H to their parents)
12) It's apparently NOT okay to try to exit with a steak over your eye, claiming that the dude collecting shopping carts punched you on the way in.
13) It's apparently NOT okay to meticulously and repeatedly read through all of the help screens on the DVD Rental Machine when there's a line waiting.
14) It's apparently NOT okay to brag to the lady butcher that you're "not just another piece of meat".
15) It's apparently NOT okay to order a cake inscribed with: "Al Qaeda Sleeper Cell 25 - Happy Anniversary!".
16) It's apparently NOT okay to taunt personnel at the Starbuck's counter with the can of Folger's you just purchased.
17) It's apparently NOT okay to block the cart return area with your vehicle. Especially when it's full of carts, and the store is running low.
18) It's apparently NOT okay to pose as the Store Manager and steer minorities to the "Ethnic Foods" section upon entering the store.
19) It's apparently NOT okay to pose as the Store Manager and steer white folks to the Ex-Lax and Preparation-H displays upon entering the store.
20) It's apparently NOT okay to get in line late at night with ONLY the following items: ski mask, rope, butcher knife, disposable gloves, flashlight, Mace, pantyhose, True-Crime novel.
21) It's apparently NOT okay to dress in a plaid jacket with matching hat, place a toothpick in your mouth, then review the Horse Racing sheet in front of the meat counter.
22) It's apparently NOT okay to attempt to convince housewives that they are taken for granted, and should run off with you to Mexico.
23) It's apparently NOT okay to break into hysterics while reading through the tabloids in line at the checkouts.
24) It's apparently NOT okay to jump onto the bagger's back after he asks if you need help out to your car.
By now some of you may have been wondering what happened to me, as I have been missing in action now for a couple of weeks. Well the good news is that the following rumors are untrue. For the record, I have not:
- been shot by a jealous husband, boyfriend, or lesbian lover; - been executed by the mafia because I posed a threat to Don Pardo; - been slain by a female serial killer posing as a prostitute; - been slain by a prostitute posing as a female serial killer; - been accidently axphixiated in an attempt to increase my own sexual arousal; - been accidently axphixiated in an attempt to increase the lady's sexual arousal; - been on secret assignment for the NSA in the jungles of Nicaragua; - been held captive in a pit in Lamby's basement; - been discovered dead in a bathtub in Paris; - been caught dead in a bathtub with Paris; - been suspended naked in an escape-proof Lucite box high above Times Square as part of a radio contest.
None of the above. Rather, the truth is that I've come into some money. But it's not what you're thinking. This time it has nothing to do with wrapping a dollar bill around Mr. Happy and using it as a condom.
It all started when I received the following email.
FROM THE DESK OF MRS. ALIMA MOHAMMED BILL AND EXCHANGE MANAGER, BANK OF AFRICA-(BOA) OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO
Dear Friend ,
I am the manager of bill and exchange at the foreign remittance department of Bank Of Africa (BOA). I am writing following the impressive information about you through one of my friends who runs a consultancy firm in your country. He assured me of your capability and reliability to champion this business opportunity.
In my department we discovered an abandoned sum of $15,200,000 US dollars. In an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer who died along with his entire family in November 2000 in a plane crash.
Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless somebody applies for as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines but unfortunately we learnt that all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim.
It is therefore upon this discovery that I and other officials in my department now decided to make this business proposal to you and release the money to you as the next of kin or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it and we don’t want this money to go into the Bank treasury as unclaimed Bill.
The Banking law and guideline here stipulates that if such money remained unclaimed after Six to Seven years, the money will be transferred into the Bank treasury as unclaimed fund. The request of foreigner as next of kin in this business is occasioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and a Burkinabe cannot stand as next of kin to a foreigner. We agree that 30% of this money will be for you as foreign partner, in respect to the provision of a foreign account, 10% will be set aside for expenses incurred during the business and 60% would be for me and my colleagues. There after and my colleagues will visit your country for disbursement according to the percentages indicated.
Therefore to enable the immediate transfer of this fund to you as arranged, you must apply first to the bank as relations or next of kin of the deceased indicating your bank name, your bank account number, your private telephone and fax number for easy and effective communication and location where in the money will be remitted. Upon receipt of your reply, I will send to you by fax or email the text of the application. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is hitch free and that you should no entertain any atom of fear as all required arrangements have been made for the transfer. You should contact me immediately as soon as you receive this letter.
Trusting to hear from you immediately.
MRS. ALIMA MOHAMMED Bill and Exchange Manager, Bank of Africa (BOA)
Needless to say, I have been way too excited about this windfall to think of anything (including and especially my blog-related duties) other than securing this windfall with a speedy and well-composed reply. So here goes.
Dear Mrs. Mohammed,
I would like to accept your gracious offer. The information you requested is separately attached. My account eagerly and openly awaits the monies, mon ami. And might I add that I love your surname, as Mohammed is my second favorite religious figure after Jesus. Alima is a pretty name as well. I once met a girl named Alima from Peru, but other than her, the name is quite rare for this old llama.
I would like to thank you for your kind words as to my character. I often worry that consultants say what they think you want to hear, in order that THEY THEMSELVES may benefit financially. Clearly and quite refreshingly that is not the case in this case.
As far as the abandoned funds are concerned, rest assured that I will provide a suitable "foster home" for them. I have a soft heart and a kind soul, and could recount the countless times when I have taken in strays. There was that Cornish Game Hen with the injured wing, the rabbit with a leg that was snagged on a key ring, and that possum who was actually in an independently-confirmed coma.
Furthermore, I am willing to sign an affidavit confirming that I have had relations with the deceased, if that will help expedite the dismemberment.
On a lighter note and submitted for your amusement, I had a buddy whose nickname was "Unclaimed Bill", since - true to his name - he would always leave empty-handed at the end of the night. It's a good thing that, unlike Bill, I won't be empty-handed after this experience!
I cannot stand my next of kin either, but what - pray tell - is a Bukinabe? My friends and I once tried to get into a Lilith Fair in Austin, where we jokingly referred to the crowd as "Birkenstock Babes", which I also cannot stand. I am reminded of a favorite one-caption cartoon, where the doctor says to his female patient, "I'm all out of Birth-Control Pills. Here's a pair of Birkenstocks instead. Put them on".
Are Bukinabes similar, or do you shave your armpits and prefer male "companions"? If so, I may be persuaded to "bring the mountain to Mohammed", if you catch my drift. And I think you might.
Pug Pueriluwaite, ESQ Securities for Exchange, The Great Southwest