I always like to say the most ridiculous things in public. My mother and I were walking through Books a Million the other day when I said, “Most people have knives under their pillows. I have a lightsaber.” And I always say those types of things a little louder than I should…a large man flipping through Green Lantern comic books eyed me oddly.
Having worked many a boring job, I always appreciated when a customer made me laugh or was unique enough to make an entertaining impression. Therefore, if the mood strikes me, I become that weirdly funny customer.
For example, my Mother and I were in Fresh Market and she was ordering her many meat selections…and I pulled her arm to show her something in one of the display cases. Andy, the butcher there, said to me, “Now ladies, I want to inform you that we have a strict policy against gang activity. Please refrain yourself.” I replied with, “Yes, mother, we must contain ourselves. For the sake of the people.” The display glass in this particular store was square rather than rounding away from the customer and it came up to my chest. Andy being quite a bit shorter, it came right up under his chin. He had a bit of a Northern accent and while getting my mother her meats, they stroke up a conversation. Being from New Jersey, we stand proudly in our roots even though having been here for the past ten years has wiped any trace of it away. And while I love meeting people from the North, I hate talking to them because they’ll ask me where in New Jersey I lived and tell me where they lived and then expect me to know exactly where that was. We moved away when I was ten. My ten-year old mind remembers the playground down the street and the ice cream store in town. That’s pretty much it. So, I let my Mom take the wheel.
Mother: “What accent is that? Are you from New Jersey?”
Andy: “Well, I was born in Brooklyn and moved out to central New Jersey for the country and then I moved back to Manhattan and then I moved here with the Witness Protection Program.” (He said it so surely that he was either a blatant liar or perfectly honest. I couldn’t tell which.)
M: “Oh, I see. That explains it.”
Me: “We’re from New Jersey, you know.”
A: “Oh, really? Where?”
M: “Well, I was born in Elizabeth but we lived in Pittstown right outside of Clinton.”
A: “Oh. Right. What else do you need?”
M: “A quarter pound of turkey bacon.”
A: “Do you want a sample of our burger?” (directed at me)
Me: (I pretended to be sheepish…) “Yes, please.” (My Mom cringed a bit when I took the first bite).
A: “What? Ya don’t like meant? What?”
Mom: “Not really.”
A: “What nationality do you think I am?”
M: “I’m not sure.”
A: “You think Italian, right?”
M: “Yeah, maybe.”
A: “Nope. I’m a Jew boy. Didn’t expect that, huh?”
M: “No. Andy’s not a very Jewish name.”
A: “It isn’t? Huh. I’m a Polish Jew. My ancestors were from Poland and before that Austria and before that the Ukraine.”
M: “I married a Pole! But my father is from Belgium.”
A: “Anything else you need?”
M: “No. That’s it. Thank you, Andy.”
Let me just say, that the sample of burger he gave me completely shut me up. I don’t know what they did but the burger was so tender and juicy and there was a bit of delicious cheese that tasted as if it had melted into the burger, smothering it in it’s deliciously sharp flavors. I was enthralled with that little sample.
When we went to check out a few minutes later, there was a young girl on the cash register (I say young as in 19 or 20) and my Mother and I were talking about her walk in the woods and how she had spider webs all over her back and that somehow reminded her of this short film that she had watched a few days earlier.
Mother: “It was so funny! There was this man going on a blind date and he had this nose hair…”
Me: “Agreed. You’re even grossing her out.”
M: “Wait! It gets funny! So, the nose hair attacks him and throws him around the fan (she’s laughing pretty hard now…barely getting this out) and then his date shows up and she has this chin hair!”
Me: “That wasn’t funny.”
C: “That was gross. Sometimes my boyfriend will be laying next to me and see my peach fuzz and comment on it and I’ll freak out and have to get rid of it.”
Me: “The same for me! I have this one chin hair. And when I feel it I have to pluck it!”
M: “It’s so horrible when you’re out at an event and you feel it. You feel self-conscious the whole night!”
Me: “Yes! And all you can think about it plucking that sucker. Hopefully you’re not like those people who unknowingly pull at it all night. Cause that really helps keep the hair on the down-low.”
C: “Gross. There was this one girl in high school…high schoolers are ruthless (she retrospectively looked away as if she was one of the ruthless ones in her high school)…and she had this mole on the side of her face with one dark hair coming out of it. She was always made fun of because of it.”
Me: “At least it’s not like mustache hairs.” (I put my fingers onto my upper lip and acted as if they were alive and moving)
M: “Yes! We have someone at work who has a mustache!”
Me: “It’s really gross. You think the woman owns a mirror or something. Have some dignity. And how can her husband not see and mention that? And the hairs are all different colors, too.”
C: “Yuck! Seriously!”
Me: “I had to drive her home once, too. Long drive. Good thing I was able to focus on driving.” (I motioned straight ahead of me as if I had horse blinders on).
The cashier’s eyes widened a bit. By this time, she had scanned all our items and paid. But on further contemplation, what do you think? It’s easy enough to say XYZ and make weird eye motions signaling to someone’s fallen zipper but how do you politely say Hello, friend. I noticed you have a large amount of dark hair on your upper lip. I highly recommend shaving, waxing, or any other form of acceptable hair removal. While to the point, I would blush several shades of red and possibly green if someone said that to me (please note that I stopped writing here to pluck many a hair around my chin, eyebrows, and upper lip). What would you say? I’m seriously curious because I have a friend with dark upper lip hair and I’ve been trying to figure out how to tell her for years.
On a slightly unrelated side note, if you had to chose between a knife or a lightsaber under your pillow, which would you chose?