I like to call my chickens “beasties” or “fat little monster trucks” and other such affectionate terms, but dad seems to take offence whenever I do and always gently refers to them as “the girls,” “the ladies” and sometimes “the dames” when he’s putting them away, like he’s a butler shepherding a group of well-bred country lasses into the parlour for tea
I worked at a craft store the summer before college. Here are my best (and the best of the worst) moments:
- A man bought 190 mason jars with lids. I asked him if this was for a wedding, or if he was making jam. He was doing neither. He did not have plans for mason jars. He just thought they were a really good sale.
- A woman bought her brother and his fiance a giant rainbow bow for their wedding present. She whispered that they had been married before, but that the fiance had dressed as a woman and they wanted to make it real now that it was legal. She shouted that rainbows are gay. Her style is unusual.
- A little girl left finger-painted handprints on the inside of the back pockets of the pants I was wearing. It was the most terrible case of “mistaken mother” I have ever experienced.
- A little girl came in looking for SWAPS for Girl Scout camp (pins you trade with other scouts at camp). She asked me if I could help her even though I am too old to be a Girl Scout. I showed her my lifetime membership card and the SWAPS on my keyring. She told me I am her best friend, and came back two weeks later with a SWAP she had saved for me from camp.
- A woman came through with wedding supplies for her granddaughter and a very nervous outlook on the price. I asked her what my name was, pretending to forget about my nametag, and when she got it right, pronounced her my good friend and gave her my friends-and-family discount. She cried. I might have too.
- A father bought his little boy a doll set. The boy told me that the last set had been for his friend, but he had liked it much more than she did, so he was getting his own. His baby sister was chewing on a monster truck. I liked this family.
- I became known as the cashier who would give you the discounts under my register if you were nice. The little old ladies who came in every yarn sale loved me. My coupons and I were their heroes.
- The substitute teacher who had bullied me came through my line and smugly told me that her total was wrong. I smiled politely and informed her that I had already given her the educator’s discount, but would happily take it off. She was much less smug after that, as her daughter laughed her out of the store.
- A large woman with a 5 o'clock shadow came through my line. I told her I liked her skirt. She responded with the biggest smile I have ever seen.
- And finally, my favorite one: a nine-year-old girl came up to my register with a stack of t-shirts and told me she had folded them for me, but could not reach where they belonged. I told her most people would have left them on the floor. She informed me that I was the cashier who helped her Girl Scout troop mate, and I quote: "dang it, you do good things for good people! I want to be a good people like you!“ and skipped out the door, before remembering her mother was still shopping and skipping right back in.
I talked to the McElroys for 15 goddamn minutes and Griffin told my parrot to go fuck itself
Buckle up kiddos, this is a story for the ages
Last night, I went to the Chicago live show, and in short it was one of the best nights of my life. I laughed so hard I choked on my Fancy Theater Sprite™. Cosplayers frolicked amongst people in Shrimp Heaven T Shirts amongst people in their Sunday best.
Towards the end of the show, the boys traditionally asked for questions from the crowd, and immediately over 1000 hands shot up. I was up in the balcony, but I raised my hand anyways for kicks. No waving, no movement. My hand was a beacon, a goddamn lighthouse in the middle of a swarming sea of desperate fans. Travis and I locked eyes. I felt my stomach drop.
“The person in the…purple hoodie?”
“You mean this?” I said as I stood and my crimson cosplay robe fell around my shoulders.
“Yeah!! Come on down!”
In a blur I made my way to the aisle as quickly as possible, people clapping me on the back and whispering “don’t mess up” all the while. My hands were shaking so bad that I couldn’t hold on to the railing as I climbed down three flights of stairs and walked down the aisle to the microphone.
And immediately caused someone to face plant into said microphone out of our combined clumsiness and panic (she was ok but boy shitting howdy do I feel bad). I waited for my turn slowly being consumed by blind terror. Everything I said was going to be forever embedded into podcast history for all of eternity. I Could Not Mess Up.
As they called me forward I mustered up every drop of comedic timing within me, every tactic of improv I could remember. I stepped up to the microphone. “So a little over a year ago, we bought a parrot, and it was, like, a cool pet…”
“yeah, AS OPPOSED TO THOSE SHITTY DOGS, RIGHT?” Griffin interjected. The crowd roared for what felt like years, until it was finally quiet enough for me to continue. Dead silence.
“Boys, now I have 7 parrots. Please help.”
In all my years, I will never forget the look on Griffin Andrew McElroy’s face as the realization hit him. It was like he was hit by a motherfucking monster truck, and the monster truck was being driven by my seven birds of the apocalypse.
For the next 15 minutes I talked to three of the coolest people alive as all four of us ragged on my 7 horrible, horrible birds. Highlights include:
“WHAT MADE YOU THINK, AFTER SIX GODDAMN BIRDS, THAT YOU NEEDED A SEVENTH?”
“YOU HAVE A FUCKING BIRD NAMED PIKACHU?”
“BIRD NUMBER 4 WAS LONELY?”
It was the best night of my entire life and I physically cannot wait until the episode comes out.
10 year old me: it’s just that I like being around girls more you know? Like boys are dirty. And girls have better hair and they’re nicer. I don’t have anything against boys its just that theyre not interesting to me. I have friends that are boys and we play monster trucks together but i really wish I was Jessica’s friend…i want to be her friend so bad. I want to braid her hair and buy her ice cream and ride bikes with her and love eachother but like just as friends.