Monday, June 7, 2010

Weird Weekend

It started on Friday when a couple came up to me, horrified, and said, "those people over there are biting the corn and putting it back!" I walked over to where I could watch about five or six rednecks going through the corn and when they walked away I went through the display. Sure enough, I found bitten corn.

Then, on Saturday morning, it took me half an hour to get through the construction on Mile-Long Bridge while, in front of me, a slow-motion running battle of illegal passing, cutting one another off and screaming threats and obscenities took place between two guys in white SUVs, a motorcycle gang that had cut in line, and a guy driving an "Esser's E-Z-GO" tanker truck. (Esser's provides porta-potties to construction sites.)

Later, at work, I walked around the end of an aisle in time to see a man casually pop open a container of grape tomatoes, dig out a handful, put the container back on the shelf and stroll away tossing tomatoes into his mouth. Normally I wouldn't say anything. We have security and if they choose not to act on petty shoplifting that's their call, but the guy was so brazen about it that I was shocked into speaking and I think I scared him. I hope I embarrassed him! Seriously! He could at least carry it around in his cart and pretend like he's going to buy it and then ditch the empty container in "lawn and garden" the way everyone else does!

Our night manager wasn't feeling well, so he lent me his key so I could take out the organics recyclables without him. (We keep our rotting fruits and vegetables and dairy products under strict lock and key!) When I tracked him down to return it he was in the midst of a crowd at the service desk watching four paramedics tend to a semi-conscious woman who was lying on the floor. There were two ambulances with their lights going parked outside the front door and a state trooper came in while I was there.

The story I eventually got was that two groups of about five young people each (late teens, early twenties) were following each other around the store trading insults and threats. A person from one group made a comment about a member of the other group's pants being baggy and they acted like they were going to fight. Being outside, I missed the panicked calls for help from the service desk. (I also missed seeing Mitch The Night Support Manager Who Looks Like Ben Franklin run. This is kind of like missing Haley's Comet.) Anyway, somebody called the police and the stress of their impending arrival apparently triggered one young woman's seizure.

While the paramedics were loading her on a gurney I looked over and noticed my friend Cecil The People Greeter (Cecil is a woman, btw) standing at the customer service desk, about three feet from the action, talking to one of the girls at the desk. Now, you have to understand that Cecil knows everyone and everything that goes on in Benton County. She frequently tells me about them as if she thinks I know who everyone is too. ("See that guy in the green? That's that brother of Myra Staple's husband, the one that was married to Claire that used to work in shoes until she found out he was having an affair with Carol Brooke's niece and she stripped their bank account and left him for that guy she met on the Internet who . . . .") I ran into Cecil a little later, after everyone was gone except for the state trooper, and I asked her what exactly had happened. She told me that a bunch of people were going to fight over baggy pants and I said that I knew that, but what about the girl who had the seizure?

Cecil didn't know what I was talking about. She hadn't seen any girl and hadn't noticed the paramedics who were working right by her feet. Not only hadn't she noticed them, I don't think she believed me that they even existed!

So, in the course of two days we had The Perfidious Corn Biters, Road Rage on the Mile-Long-Bridge, The Naughty Tomato Nosher, The Manager's Malaise, The Baggy Pants Fight Club, Running Rare, and The Case of the Oblivious People Greeter.

And they tell me it wasn't a full moon!