Many things burn my rear in life; among them a flame about two feet tall.
Having said that, it is common knowledge – at least to those with money, time and the will to shop, that commercialism keeps its own time table.
I left home Tuesday, following the dictates of Housekeeper’s telling me I required new shirts. It seems I need a haircut, a shave, I might consider new socks and my shirts are religious. That is, my shirts are holy, er, holey.
I arrived at the local copy-cat Wally World with expectations. I expected to find two of the flannel blankets I purchased five years ago (I didn’t, of course. I fear me useful things are stocked only sometimes. And I afraid I’m afraid to ask after useful items, because I know without doubt I’ll be told.). I also spent some time in the clothing section – I found two outer shirts that look like under garments, but they had pockets. I purchased two.
Having purchased two, I presently wear one. I look, for the world, as if I’m ready to step onto the ball diamond – that is until I turn sideways to the mirror. As The Fat Guy once wrote: “I’m fat fore and aft, not abeam.” Or something like that.
Anyhow, I’m speaking of things that chap my rear.
Holding true to my non-existent Scottish heritage I restricted myself to light zip sweat shirt for those days about the shop, and a medium weight jacket – one of which I gave to goodwill, having, Ah, out grown it last winter. A good medium jacket is dearly loved for the winter mornings warming the interior of the car. Parkas being less than suitable. Well, not always; but, that bulk is not welcome when the interior warms.
Shopping completed I scurried along the crowded aisle’s, avoiding totally killing any patrons and for the most part evading the come-hither beckoning of the over stocked displays (I was a defensive back, we didn’t practice avoiding standing objects). I stopped in my tracks, my carts failed to understand and continued, gently nudging the seven high piled, Queen Sized, combination bed sets.
I retrieved my cart, re-stacked, with help from a friendly, fairly straight forward young employee, whom acted just a tad strange, you understand, explaining to me it was alright, the aisles Were fairly crowded. I had observed that. I understood that. What I didn’t understand was her saying That. Or her slightly wide eyes.
I suppose I did say somewhat blue. And I do believe I meant it. Well, at the time.
The thing that separated my cart and I, or I and my cart, was the seven shelves of candy. Top to bottom, left to right, front and back (regardless of which direction from which one approaches). Candy.
Well known brands, unknown brands, seen once in a while brands. All kinds of brands. Milky Way, Musketeers, Snickers, Candy Corn (yeah, that fake stuff that comes nowhere looking like corn), gummy candy . . . Well, all kinds of candy, in boxes and bags and packages large and small.
I asked the little girl that helped me re-pile the combination sets what all the candy was about – had there been a truck accident or something, and the store claimed all the candy?
She looked pleased somehow, and said: “Oh, no. Halloween Candy. Halloween is coming. That’s trick or treat candy.”
Now, lets face it. If the kids aren’t yours, don’t buy candy. Buy a shot gun.
“Oh,” I say. “Right. I forgot. Isn’t this September?”
“We buy large stocks in advance,” she explains.
"But,” I say, “Halloween isn’t until the last week of October.”
“We order so we can be first to get the candy and people may stock up.”
“So, you get all that candy. Put it out on the shelves.”
“Aren’t you afraid it will rot or develop worms?”
She looks at me like I’ve really asked something she doesn’t know and she looks around for . . well, who knows.
I say: “Never mind. Thank You, for helping re-stack.”
And I wander off to the check out station, leaving the girl to her own devices, and grabbing about thirty dollars worth of that Halloween candy as I go by the shelves.
When I got to the check out no one was there. Not a soul. Yeah, first in line. I formed the line. Me. Anyhow, I begin to pile me stuff on the counter and the line forms. One person behind me. I slow down emptying my cart. Three people behind me. I drag out my check book. Four behind. I get the check written, the clerk asks for ID. Five behind, then six.
The clerk calls for supervisory initials because the check is over her limits. I smile. The super arrives. They look at me, they look at the check, initials are placed on the check. Seven behind.
And while the clerk is swiping the check, I say to her: “You know, someday, when you all are really busy? I’ll be first in line, and I’ll have a bunch of stuff, and I’m going to take all the price codes and price tags off all of it.”
Somehow the clerk didn’t look pleased with me.
What I was writing to tell you all though, was what burned my rear.
I thought there were thirty-one days in September. I swear I did. I was counting them and had a post all set to go. Yep. September 31.
And here it is October first already.
I’d a sworn September had thirty-one.
From the reaches,