Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Tuesday, June 11, 2002 I have to go back to Menards today because I got the wrong size hinge yesterday. Yeah, I’m clever. I’m on top of things.
I also have to get a couple of keys made. The Brazilian hottie who made my keys yesterday is going to think I’m stalking her. Who gets keys made two days in a row? What possible reason could I have? Perhaps she’s used to lovesick swains showing up day after day just to have her grind something for them, but I’m not one of those guys. I actually have a legitimate need for keys today that I didn’t have yesterday. Maybe I should gesture emphatically with my wedding ring hand and make loud remarks like “BOY, THAT WIFE OF MINE SURE LIKES HER KEYS, YES INDEEDY. SHE LIKES KEYS MORE THAN ANY NATURAL-BORN AMERICAN CITIZEN I’VE EVER MET. NEARLY ELEVEN HAPPY, FAITHFUL YEARS OF MARRIAGE, AND SHE NEVER GETS TIRED OF NEW KEYS. SOMETIMES I THINK SHE MARRIED ME FOR THE KEYS, BECAUSE IT CERTAINLY WASN’T SO SHE COULD GET HER GREEN CARD.”
That should indicate pretty clearly that I just want to keep things on a professional level.
* * *
This reminds me of another time I went to Menards to have keys made. Okay, so we both like keys.
So I'm standing there at the key counter, and the key guy (old, white-haired, not at all paranoid about being stalked) is doing his thing. Grinding keys. Grind, grind, grind.
As is my custom when something is happening that I can contribute nothing to, I glance around idly. A few aisles away, I notice a woman in her thirties, pushing a cart. She has her back to me and is walking in the opposite direction. With the woman is a young girl, about eight or nine years old. The girl is wearing a yellow t-shirt and she has blonde hair on both of her heads.
I'll give you a moment to read that last sentence again.
The first thing that pops into my head, because I'm a huge geek, is the image of Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed hipster from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The thought of Mark Wing-Davey in costume makes me want to get a better look at the girl so I can see which head is fake. During the second it takes me to reject the idea that some little girl is walking around in public with a fake second head (because really, that's impossible), the girl and her mom have disappeared from view.
I think, "Wow, that's really weird." I wonder if I really saw what I thought I saw. Maybe the girl was carrying a doll with a large head over her shoulder. Maybe she was following another girl, one the same height, veryclosely. Distracted almost beyond the point of functionality, I take my new keys to the cash register, pay for them, and leave the store.
Halfway to my car, I stop in my tracks in the parking lot. I've realized that if I don't go back in there right now and confirm what I saw, I'm going to wonder for the rest of my life if I really saw a two-headed girl at Menards. I go back inside.
I wander the aisles for a few minutes (this is a big store) and finally get a sighting. Again, I see them from the back, so they don't see me, but now I'm much closer. And it's clear that there are two necks coming out of the top of that yellow t-shirt.
I think conjoined twins, and I count the other limbs. There are two of everything. Weird.
I get back to work and I call my wife Trash at her job.
"I just saw a two-headed girl at Menards," I say.
"You did not."
"I did so."
Please read the previous two paragraphs several hundred times in order to get a sense of how the conversation progressed.
I don't remember how the call ended, but she finally rung off, only partially convinced that I was serious. I kind of have this bad habit of messing with her head for my own amusement. Specifically, I only tell her the truth when there's no freaking way she can possibly believe it. This is actually a pretty good example of that.
Anyway, at the time, one of her co-workers was a psychologist-in-training. In fact, she had just been admitted to Johns Hopkins and was going to be leaving soon to get her Ph.D. Her head was all full of stuff she'd learned about abnormal psychiatry. Which, once Trash relayed my news, she proceeded to try to apply to me.
I'll call this coworker "Doc." Doc hears my story and proceeds to fill my wife's head with all sorts of things that could possibly be wrong with me, many of them involving the word "dementia." She whips Trash into a panic to the point where she's calling Menards, asking the manager if any two-headed girls have visited the store that day.
The manager is understandably resistant to having his time wasted this way, but Trash is able to talk him into canvassing the people at the registers and confirming that a mother and two daughters did in fact come through, but the three females were only wearing two outfits. So there. Thus was I saved from being carted away to be fitted for my new Napoleon hat.
The moral is look out for psychiatrists in training. Pretty weak moral, I know, but it's really just an excuse to tell this story. posted by M. Giant 3:40 PM 0 comments