by target

KHR Headcanon #4

There are no boundaries in the Varia mansion when it comes to many things, and food is one of them. If it’s in the fridge or cupboard it will be consumed with no regard to who it belongs to. The only person who doesn’t have to worry about his food getting poached is Xanxus. Belphegor tried taking his leftover steak once and found himself spending the next week recovering from a concussion.

This particular lack of respect drives Fran absolutely crazy. He can be a picky eater, and so when his food gets eaten it leaves him with fewer options. Because he gets so agitated of course the others do it just to make him angry. The argument they make every time is, “We don’t see your name on it.”

So when they discover the majority of the food in the kitchen bearing Fran’s name in purple marker, they are not surprised but greatly amused.

Day One Hundred and Three

-The first guest of my shift placed their babbling, giggling newborn on my conveyor belt for me to ring up, instantaneously paving the way for a bright and joyous day.

-I became ecstatic to find a roll of fresh, new, spring-themed stickers the size of my face at my register. The sticker renaissance shall now commence.

-I rang up an intimidating biker with a wizardly beard for his purchase of one single Dr. Seuss book. I now consider him a close friend, as I stand by my lifelong belief that not a soul who reads Dr. Seuss can do anything wrong.

-Shortly after the discovery of my spring stickers, I came to the realization that they were, in fact, a heretofore undiscovered strand of Christmas stickers that we had not previously had on hand. I do not understand why we have such a large and untapped stock, but I am prepared to make the most of it.

-A man in his sixties, phenomenally spry and smooth-skinned for his age, purchased forty dollars worth of dried prunes. I believe he may have uncovered the secret to immortality. While I appreciate the scientific progress this man is making, I will embrace whatever final form nature has in store for me so long as I do not have to give up my crunchwrap supremes.

-A mother asked her child if he wanted his shoe back, pulling one single Croc out of her purse. I am not sure what he may have done to lose his shoe privilege in the first place, but I am glad to see that he is earning it back.

-After I gave her a sticker, a mother told her daughter, “Say thank you.” In a brilliant moment of word association, she peacefully replied, “You are welcome.” I consider myself blessed by this small person and will live out my life in bliss.

-I befriended the kindest and most eloquent child named Bennett. We shared a lovely conversation, touching on such topics as how nice our respective names are, his recent go-karting accident, his subsequent recovery, and stickers. I believe I may have found my Best Man.

-A woman in her seventies attempted to run her husband over with her cart, gleefully yelling, “Beep beep beep!” Hopefully, I have just received a glimpse into my future.

-I have adopted a new motto in life, and that motto is as follows: “You have never seen true purity until you have seen an infant in glasses." 

Day One Hundred and Ten

-On my way into the store, I found a motorized cart abandoned on the curb. My throne awaited me, and I am never one to pass on a stylish entrance. Not a single person noticed me, but my mood skyrocketed in preparation for my shift.

-A man clad entirely in black, arms wrapped in smoky tattoos of the Grim Reaper and other equally sordid icons, came through my lane. In a low growl, he asked me if we sold ouija boards. I replied that I did not know. He told me that he was with the Disciples of the Ram. As I handed him his receipt and change, he hissed loudly and threw his arms up, intending to strike fear into the hearts of onlookers, not intending to launch his change across the floor.

-A woman purchased six tubs of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter World ice cream, clearly preparing to make my life’s dream a reality.

-I found at the top of my till a five dollar bill with the name Brandon and a phone number scrawled across ol’ Babraham’s face. Unfortunately, I had not been paying enough attention to know whether Brandon himself had attempted to slide me his number, or whether an unwilling recipient was trying to rid themselves of evidence of the encounter. Nonetheless, I copied down the number for when next a nefarious mood strikes.

-A woman in her forties cackled maniacally as she purchased a book with a flatulence soundboard, proclaiming over and over the wonders of a book about farts that actually farts at you. I have finally found her. She is the target audience my lifetime of comedy has been meant for.

-A three year-old pointed at the six year-old in the cart behind them and asked, “Baby?” The mother explained to their child that, no, that was not a baby, and she was in fact older than them. While the mother remained entirely oblivious to the reality of the situation, I did not. That child was fully aware that the girl was not a baby. Their pickup game is simply well beyond their years.

-A young girl asked me for a bandaid. I had none, so I instead offered her a strip of stickers. This seemed to do the trick, as she began counting them off and giggling in joy, giving each the smallest of kisses. A young boy pulls up in a cart behind her. The girl stands up, extends the strip of stickers, announces, “I have all the stickers! Look at them! I got all of them!” and sits back down, proud of her work. After a brief look from her mother, she peeled one off and handed it to the boy. Too emotional for words, the toddler accepted the sticker, silently committing to this contract of eternal friendship.

Day One Hundred and Eight

-I heard a child’s voice shout, “Cowabunga!” They were not within my field of vision, so I cannot confirm the type of gnarly stunts that they have just pulled, but I am certain that they were suitably sick.

-Readers of these stories will know that I place a great deal of value in returning shopping carts to their rightful place post-purchase, but I would like now to add a stipulation to this rule. You are more than welcome to abandon motorized carts anywhere you may please. I will never complain about being paid to drive a go-kart through the store.

-A woman waved a Lego Batman backpack at me, asking if it was a good size for a four year-old. I was unsure whether she meant for one to carry or for carrying one. I nodded either way.

-A child demanded a toy despite his mother saying no and having to wrench it out of his hands. I placed it in a bin behind my register and continued the transaction, only to find the child behind the register with me, stealing the toy back. As his mother caught him, he threw himself to the floor and tried to crawl his way back to the toy, wailing and clawing as his mother held him by the ankle. His passion and perseverance will carry him far in life, and if he learns that shrieking and sneaking do not go hand in hand, and that he, more often than not, will lose in a battle of brawn with an opponent who can pick him up in one arm, nothing will be able to stop him.

-A three year old grew very concerned as I handed them a sticker, explaining that they weren’t sure if they could leave the store with it. Never has a face been filled with such a combination of ecstasy and disbelief as theirs when I told them that they could.

-A kind man purchases a few toys for his granddaughter. I slipped a handful of stickers into her bag as I handed it to her, and he slipped something to me in turn as I handed his receipt to him. It was not until they had already left that I looked down to see that if was an origami ring fashioned out of a dollar bill. I firmly believe this to be how all transactions should be carried out.

-My understanding of my luck has been reaffirmed today. Despite months of being perfectly cognizant and present for guests that will likely never give me a second thought, it was today that, in a state well beyond cold-induced delirium and incoherency, three readers recognized me and chatted with me for a while. I appreciate their kindness, but I hope their first impression is not one that will last.

What is Target even?

• Every time I go in a Target, I become invisible. People can’t hear me talking to them even when I’m standing right in front of them. Waving in their faces doesn’t seem to work.

• I once walked up to an entire group of red-vest-wearing employees and had all five of them walk away from me mid-question.

•They seem to migrate from the toy section to the food section like soulless jellyfish.

• They don’t know if Target sells dish soap.

• I don’t know if Target sells dish soap.

• Once, a person walked over, picked up a fuzzy throw-blanket out of my cart, and left with it while I stood there telling them that it was mine.

• The always weirdly crowded shoe section that’s mostly sandals.

• Last month I stopped in the mini Starbucks area of Target and stepped up to a surprisingly empty counter (for the middle of the day). No one appeared for the entire twenty minutes that I waited, but the lights went off and on a few times.

• I once saw a man entering Target with a screaming child over his shoulder. She had an ‘Out of Order’ sign in her hand, and kept repeating, ’I don’t want to go here.

• Their clothing sizes are darkest black magic.

• The changing rooms. (Before they vanished.)

• I lost four people in the middle of the furniture isle. I found them a half hour later in Hot Topic.

• I once stopped at a Target for a bathroom break during a long road-trip. When I entered the store, half the lights were off in the back section, and someone was yelling, “STOP IT, YOU GIANT BITCH!”

• There’s always a questionable swamp in the corner of the Target bathroom.

• When they switch all the moving/talking Halloween items over to the moving/talking Christmas items.

• I’ve seen eight different dogs wandering around by themselves.

• The local Target has birds flying around inside all the time.

• When I was a teenager there was this guy who drove around the Target parking lot blasting the chicken dance and dancing with his shoulders.

• I’ve seen a thousand mirrors break in Target during ‘move into your dorm room’ season. Doubt anybody buried a potato.

• They owe me $20

• I keep finding children in the clothing racks. (I don’t keep them.)

• You can never return anything, ever.

• If you eat their food you probably will never be able to return to the human world.

• Every picture I take in there comes out weird. Blurry, too bright, smudgy, wavy, too dark, weirdly green???

• That last checkout lane at the end with all the ‘as seen on Tv’ items and a million creepy jugs of green liquid for kids.

• I have 14 year-old socks from Target that look brand new. (My clothes typically develop holes the moment I look at them.)

• The animal heads.

• Pit of Death (aka: the far back corner where seasonal stuff goes to die.)

• I once kicked one of the giant red orbs outside and it moved.

• I watched a guy causally glide out of the loading doors and into the parking lot on a huge dolly.

• The ‘Is This Actually Only A Dollar Or Is It Five?’ section.

• I spent a half hour listening to a guy tell me why I needed an IPhone or I can’t be a part of human society. This was before the first iPhone was even for sale in the store.

• It’s bigger on the inside.

• I found this hideous lump of a fur hat for sale last winter, and wore it around the store my entire time there. Still invisible.

Day One Hundred and Six

-An elderly man with a mysterious aura, equal parts cryptid and cryptid hunter, stumbled into my lane, only to purchase $10 of Minions accessories.

-Two men stood by the fitting rooms, discussing their majors, schools, careers, life plans, and everything in between. The conversation lasted at least ninety minutes, and I was at no point able to discern whether they were acquainted before this moment. If not, this has potential to be the ultimate meet-cute.

-Three team members, myself included, came in wearing the exact same shirt. In reality, I should have seen this coming. Such is the curse of getting your work uniform at work.

-As I am wont to do on long and stressful softlines shifts, I have made a friend. Tonight’s companion is a small stuffed pup who I have named Isabelle. She is as soft as she is soothing and I am grateful for her presence.

-I watched as a father pushed his daughter all throughout the store on Heelys, helping her accomplish some stunningly sweet stunts. This is a modern model of fatherly love that I would like to see more often.

-A screaming chicken toy has broken in a display case, resulting in hours of incessant shrieks. I have become fully desensitized to the sounds of agony with which I am now surrounded. A murder could take place in the electronics section and I would not flinch. I feel this may be a part of the basic indoctrination of a retail worker.