Friday, May 23

Jive talkin'

I'm convinced that the neighborhood Rite Aid is a magical place after 11:30 p.m.

It is guaranteed that if I go there as midnight approaches, something wacky is going to happen. If these strange encounters keep up, I'm going to have to start up (don't any of you bastards steal my idea!).

Anyway, last night's trip for shampoo and gum and face wash was no exception to the wacky late-night Rite Aid rule.

I walked in, expecting the slightly creepy nighttime clerk to greet me, but there was no one behind the counter up front. I perused the face wash section, got what I needed, and made my way down the shampoo aisle. It was at that point that I actually started hearing the lyrics of the song playing on the PA.

Something about America, America ... how awesome it is ... people taking our jobs ... if you see a product that says it's made anywhere but America, put it down ... etc. I stood slack-jawed as I listened, as I was sure it was parody. But, no. I'm pretty sure it was for reals. I've done some Googling to try to find out what song it is and who sings it, but I've had no luck. It didn't even sound like a country song. It just sucked outright.

Shampoo and face wash acquired, I made my way down the beer aisle and said "excuse me" as I walked in front of some youngish dude with long hair who was carrying on a conversation/musical with himself. He chuckled mightily at my passing — I'm not sure if I should be offended or not — and studied the beer case with great scrutiny. I grabbed a six-pack of overpriced sugar beer (cider) and made my way up to the counter, full of anticipation for what the checkout process was going to bring me.

See, every time I go to Rite Aid in the middle of the night, I have to squirm my way through an awkward conversation with the clerk. There was this incident a while back, and there was another incident with the same clerk where he told me I looked like I was twelve and inquired again as to my relationship status, and there was an incident or two with another glassy-eyed clerk who was a little heavy on the flirting and a little too interested in my driver's license. He followed me out to my car when I forgot a bag, handed it to me, and said, "Don't worry, I'm not stalking you!" The next time I came back he told me he thought my favorite cider flavor was Granny Smith because that's "what you always buy." Even though I'd only bought cider once before, and it was the Amber kind. Yeah. Just a little creepy. Just a smidge.

So last night I'm unloading my little basket onto the counter and a clerk I've never seen before comes up and says hello loudly and flamboyantly. He begins scanning my items. I pull my debit card out of the little changepurse I keep it in, and wait for him to total me out. But he's standing there, craning his neck to read what's written on the changepurse. I help him out: "Being rich is awesome," I tell him. "Awesome clothes, awesome pets, awesome friends, awesome teeth, awesome bill payments." (It's some snarky changepurse I got at Spin Street in the sale bin.)

"Oooooh, that's funny," he says. "You know, the other night I saw South Park for the first time since the first season. It was the episode about Paris Hilton."

"You know, I don't think I've watched South Park since about the first season," I say, wondering what his point is.

"Well, she opens up a store called 'Stupid Spoiled Whore,'" he explains.

"Ahhhh. Ha."

"Could you please show your ID for the camera?" he asks.

I hand him my license and he eyes it for a second, then dramatically waves it in the air and hands it back to me.

And here comes the transitional portion of the story where, if I were a better listener/storyteller, I'd be able to remember/make up something to segue into the next bit. But I'm seriously blanking out on how we got to the next portion, which I can remember like it was all uttered three seconds ago.

The clerk is telling me about the time he was followed by the FBI from a downtown building, because it was shortly after Sept. 11 and you had to show a drivers license to get into downtown government buildings.

"I said, 'I'm not an Arab terrorist but my neighbors are!'" the clerk tells me. "Will you be getting cash back?"

I laugh, say no, and he quickly explains that he is serious — his neighbors really are Arab terrorists. At this point, another late-night shopper has strolled through the automatic sliding doors, and the clerk pauses his story to loudly greet him: "WHAT UP, G?!"

I note that the song about America's awesomeness had ended and that the Bee Gee's "Jive Talkin'" is playing. I can barely contain myself. That is an awesome fucking song.

"Anyway," he says to me, "I don't know how they found me because my home address wasn't even on my license, so they had to follow me home that day. Then they showed up on my doorstep. Meanwhile my terrorist neighbors continued to terrorize the neighborhood!"

I smirk. "Wow. Your tax dollars at work!"

"That's right," he says, handing me my bag. "Welcome to Ammurrikuh, young lady!"

I grab the bag and step away from the counter, noticing that there are people in line behind me. "Have a good one!"

"I will," the clerk replies, full of conviction.

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Blogger jerm said...

just.... wow.

Fri May 23, 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger GingerSnaps said...

This song kicks major ass!!!

You just made me smile in the middle of a very mundane day.

Fri May 23, 02:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Information-Bureau said...

You're not the only Rite Aid fan, sister. Though my experiences, at a different location, have apparently been nothing like yours.

Fri May 23, 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

Come join in on "Feel Good Friday!"

Fri May 23, 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Nooneinparticular said...

Jive Talkin' was not made in America.

Fri May 23, 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Ricardoavenue said...

Call it the Fellini Rite Aid

Sat May 24, 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger GingerSnaps said...

Dear nooneinparticular,
She didn't say "Jive Talkin'" was made in America, she was talking about the song before it.

However, yes, "Jive Talkin'" was indeed written and recorded in Miami...and contrary to popular belief, that is America.

Sat May 24, 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Tangential said...

I think saying you don't have a great segue is a great segue.

There's no good way to intro that second bit. Did you offer to buy him some aluminum foil in case his trusty hat was getting a little worn?

I think I like the "ladies" song or whatever it was better. The roller skates really do it for me.

Tue May 27, 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger BetteDavisLies said...

I had to link to this one. Not only have I been there--it happens at our Walgreen's--but I just got done talking about all of the strange days we've been having in these parts, only to hop over for some lurking at your site where I read this little gem.

Wed May 28, 01:07:00 PM  

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