Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Kiss Had Three Banners!

It did. I only wish it had extra chocolate. But weirder things have happened today. I’ll get to that in a second…I see my little brother copied a note and left it on my dad’s desk. “Courtesy, Your Friendly Neighborfood Spider-man” Hahaha! I love that!!

Anyway, since Thursday (not last Thursday, the one before that) I haven’t been feeling well which left me tired, exhausted and not practicing my violin. Gavotte seems ridiculously harder to play…

To go on, I came this close to calling 911 this afternoon. Work is getting weirder and the people are becoming more and more absurd. For a short description of the shop, there is one exit and entry way behind the counter–the “employees only” area–which is just off from the back entrance where quite a number of our customers come through. An old guy walks in and is dressed like a modern day pirate. Black and red, rag-ish clothing, and an eyepatch. He gets right in my entry/exit way and leans uncomfortably close to me.

“What’s for lunch today? Something vegetable, I see?”

Whether it was the soup to which he was referring (Garden Vegetable), I don’t know. I asked him what he would like and he replied, “Something vegetarian.” I suggested one of the tofu burgers, and he agreed that that’s what he would have.

“Oh!” he moved closer, and I wished I hadn’t left my cell phone at home. “I’ll also have a tall coffee.”

He turned and went back to the bathrooms, where he spent a few minutes (doing heaven knows what), then sat down with his order, and tried to read the newspaper with his lone eye. This involved him holding the newspaper very close to his face, and pausing occaisonally to stare at me in a I’m-purposefully-trying-to-be-creepy kind of way.

Seeing this, I decided that I was going to call someone. I was in the store by myself, as the last group of customers had left. My co-worker, Lacey, had clocked out some 20 minutes ago. I didn’t want to call Lacey, because I had already called her once to ask where the mayo was and she was in the middle of grocery shopping. My alternative was to call 911 and have an officer drop by for a bit and make sure this guy didn’t pull anything.

I remembered what the police chief had said to me about strange customers, and that if I ever felt the least bit threatened to call. I may regret it otherwise. (He also mentioned that if I was too shy to call 911, to call the non-emergency number…I only now remember that part)

In the below 0 windchill, I took the cordless store phone and called Lacey from the back porch.

She answered the phone, “Mary.”

“I’m sorry!” I said. “There’s a guy here and he was, like, trying to come behind the counter. He’s really creepy, can you sit in?”

“I’ll be there in one minute.”

Mention a customer trying to come, or coming, behind the counter to any of my co-workers and you’ll immediately get their attention. It’s just something we don’t tolerate. Luckily, Lacey did have an almost police-like response time and was there about 3 minutes later.

To add to the drama, a woman came in at the same time as Lacey. This woman’s son came in 2nd place on a widely viewed reality TV show that aired last season. If you have basic cable, then you’ve probably seen at least one episode. The mother adopted the “My Son is Famous” attitude, as well did her daughter, for quite some time, leaving me small messes to pick up and being very snippy. Anyway, as soon as she entered and saw Eye Patch, she cried out his name. “I haven’t seen you in so long! How are you!” Like two old friends.

I told my parents, I feel as though I’m in a really tacky reality show. There was a group of customers before that were discussing how they could get a lion into our small Wisconsin town. A bear would also work, the man pointed out, or even a gorilla. One of the two women came up to the counter and asked for a phone book for one of the surrounding counties, but I told her we didn’t have one. Thankfully, I then heard the word “for our opening scene.” Later, I casually mentioned to the man if he was in show business, and he said he wasn’t—they were filming a commercial.

For the heck of strange customer stories, there were two girls in a few weeks ago. The one girl I knew, and I told her that she looked familiar to me.

“Do I?” she giggled in almost a flirtatious way.

“Stephany, right?”

The attitude stopped and her expression wasn’t so cheery.


“I could’ve sworn you like just like a Stephany I know!”

“No, it’s not Stephany, but…other girls say that.”

That night I remembered that Stephany was the wrong name, and the wrong person I was thinking of. The other day she and her friend returned.

“Hazel!” I said. “I thought of it the other night. I feel so embarrassed!”

But I wasn’t the one who should have been embarrassed. This girl is just a year or two younger than me (I believe she’s 16) and was outfitted in a red and yellow summer dress, suede boots, a grey woven scarf and a full face of clown makeup. I asked her if she and her friend had just come from a play rehearsal.

“No, this is just for fun.”

Girl. It’s like 20 degrees out. Yet she and her friend went and sat out back for a while, not to mention that all the chairs were snow bound or coated in ice. They came back shivering. Her friend, if I might add, always seems to be pulling off the homeless look. She wears light pajama pants, doesn’t wash her hair, and her face is so gaunt, you’d think she was dying. No joke.

Life in the coffee shop continues.
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