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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We’ll Move Down South

The escalators just inside The City Center weren’t running Tuesday morning.

I didn’t need them, of course, having been walking on my own since the tender age of 11 months, but the sight of the non-escalating escalators gave me pause.

I stop.

Hammer time
.

Since childhood, deserted streets have been my friends. Do I see zombies? I do not. I see freedom. This may shock you, but I’ve got a pretty sturdy little imagination on me and it absolutely loves scenarios like this…

I pause to survey the scene.

It is 6:45 a.m. and the end of the world that we've been hearing so much about has finally happened.

I am, of course, on time for work.

I move in my usual direction, like a cow leaving the milk barn and heading to pasture, in search of coffee. Eight years I’ve been doing this. Something’s not right, and it’s not just the non-escalating stairs.

It is then that I realize that there’s no line at the Starbucks.

Dizzy with pleasure, I walk in like I own the joint. “’Mornin’, Joe,” I say to the coffee dispenser. I help myself to a cup, jauntily throwing a quarter in the tip jar. “There ya go,” I mutter. “Although I’m still unclear as to why I tip you...”

Lawlessly, I cram my pockets full of Splenda packets just because I can.

I take a seat, prop my feet up on the table in front of me. I am making lazy plans to head out to a Winnebago dealership and drive one south when it occurs to me that the escalator has started up...

I shake my head, the daydream ruined, and my eyes focus on the moving stairs. In reality, I have not gotten my coffee yet. There is a man in a blue workman’s style uniform in front of me.

“Mornin’,” Pete says. You can tell it’s Pete because that’s what his shirt says.

“Got the steps moving again, I see,” I say.

He nods, almost bashfully. I smile at him to show him I mean no harm and proceed toward the Starbucks.

And I feel cheated when I see that there’s a line.

42 comments:

Oilfield Trash said...

A line for coffee always sucks.

Simply Suthern said...

Come on down. we have lots of room for folks with "sturdy little imaginations".

We've renamed it Fourbucks.

Joshua said...

I don't mind lines when the kids aren't with me. It's great fodder watching how people react while waiting. Patient, impatient, fidgety, assholes, whatever. All counties represented in a line.

Pearl said...

OT, and yet I stand in it every day...

Simply, I'll be the one in the Winnebago.

Joshua, I don't mind all that much, either. People-watching is fascinating.

ThreeOldKeys said...

I was stranded on an escalator once ... it stopped when I was halfway down. Still having flashbacks.

Pearl said...

TrheeOldKeys, :-) What a great line. I am picturing the rescue crew being sent for, people shouting at you: "stay calm! help is on the way!!"

Glen said...

like it - really. speechless at the simplicity you clever thing

Doubting Thomas said...

Love it! But at what point do you do the "Hammer dance?" And, if everyone else is gone, who will be your backup dancers? We need answers here, Pearl! ;)

As a teen, I used to love driving the roads in the wee hours after getting off work just for that feeling - kinda nice to think you own the world... or at least that part of it!

MJenks said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has these little "what happens when everyone else disappears" scenarios playing out in their minds.

Free coffee? I'll have to add that one to the myriad of things I'll be doing when all the plebeians finally get out of my way.

vanilla said...

...and yet when the rapture takes place, business will prolly continue as usual. Well, except for a few missing people here and there. Certainly the Starbucks people aren't leaving.

Eva Gallant said...

You are so prolific with that imagination of yours. All that would go through my little mind would be, "Oh, shit. Now I have to climb the damn stairs!"

laughingmom said...

I do the same imagining when I am driving and there is no one in sight...what if I'm the only one left???

jabblog said...

Dreaming is sweet - waking to reality not so much!

C... said...

I get dizzy walking up non-escalating escalators. The lines blurr and I feel like they are moving when they are not.

Jeanie said...

I'm laughing so hard at Eva's comment I forgot my own.

I knew you were having a fantasy when there was no line at Starbucks.

Belle said...

If there were no other people in the world I wouldn't have to have a card for every damn store I go to. Also, no lines at the grocery store. Ah, the glory of it all.

Douglas said...

There is one thing you will never see in a line at Starbucks....



Me.

Auto Title Loans said...

I always think that the escalator will start moving when I'm on it and it trap me. So, your day dream is a lot better than mine. I almost think they're worse than if Zombies were to invade. But then again, I've never seen a Zombie in person...

Joanie said...

I had a flash of a post-apocalyptic world and you were one of the few survivors.

mrwriteon said...

My ex would never ride on an escalator (that's not the reason she's my ex BTW)and still held that primal childhood phobia that she would be sucked down at the end and finish up in the bowels of the building where there were hobgoblins and discarded street people.

Charlotte Ann said...

Did you know coffee for seniors at McDonalds and Burger King is 43 cents? Ok, maybe it's not a big reason to be excited about being a senior..but I don't do Starbucks at 4 bucks a cup~
Loved the post though....

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Yeah, there's a line at Starbucks even when it's closed. I know because I - mean, a friend of mine, not a close friend, just someone I know - stood in it for hours one night.
I enjoyed this dreamy, Hammer time sequence.
xoRobyn

Jhon Baker said...

nice dream.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Brace yourself - Pete IS a zombie. (Zombies are notorious for forgetting their own names and that's why it was sewn on his shirt.)
Silly Pearl, you missed the obvious.
=]

Pearl said...

Oh, I'm so glad I'm not the only one with the end-of-world fantasies.

For the record: I get a "venti" black coffee (that I desecreate with half-and-half and Splenda) every day, for $2.38. :-) It's like a vice, without the intrigue.

jenny_o said...

Yes, it was a real shocker to hear you admit to having a good imagination :)

Count me in as another person who also has the end-of-the-world fantasies.

Tempo said...

Yep, dream on Pearl. Maybe one day we'll get lucky and the world will really end?

Gigi said...

Ahhhh, the dream of being the last one on earth....it's one I have often; especially after days like today where I have been continuously surrounded by morons.

Vinny C said...

Lawlessly? You mean it's not acceptable behavior to cram Splenda into your pockets at the coffee shop?

R. Jacob said...

I am beginning to think that at one time or another we shared a drink or two together. How I let you get away remains a mystery!

Leenie said...

Late to the party, again. But I was so wishing that the line waiting for coffee were zombies asking for brains with extra sugar.

Clipped Wings said...

A sturdy little imagination...who would have known.

♥ Braja said...

Pearl, honey, I missed you :) And then you go and do a Hammertime post; remember this one?

http://www.brajas.com/2008/11/rain-cleanses-spirit.html

I'm back and I'm serious this time :))) xoxoxo

HermanTurnip said...

Why is it whenever I hear the word "Stop", I instantly begin singing the lyrics to "Ice Ice Baby"?

"Stop! Collaborate and listen,
Ice is back with my brand new invention"

It's enough to drive one mad...

Cloudia said...

you are a unique and enjoyable voice, Pearl



Warm Aloha from Waikiki


Comfort Spiral

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Sarahf said...

I love walking up escalators when they're switched off. It reminds me of when I lived in London and the escalarors were always broken. Also, love the winnebago idea. Can I come?

River said...

I love your imagination. I REALLY love your imagination.

I don't understand how people can get stranded on an escalator though. Do they mean they just stand there and wait for help???
It's stairs people! Just get walking.

Pat said...

We Brits worry if we don't have to queue. Something wrong somewhere. And we have impeccable queue manners.

hoodyhoo said...

And this is why I love you... you share my frequent hallucinations of the Apocolypse. "Huh, no one at the mall today... I bet they're all piles of red dust like in that movie..."

Captain Dumbass said...

I hate walking up a dead escalator, all those vertical lines start moving when they're really not. And always good to have plan for the zombie apocalypse. You need to consider every situation.

beth said...

"hammer time"

first thing in the morning, no tea in my system but sleep in my eyes....that cracked me up !!!

IndigoWrath said...

A few zombies in the queue, I'll bet.

And GO PETE! Working at 6:45am?! Over here, some hairy guy with the arse hanging out of his trousers would amble by at midday, suck his teeth, and go to lunch before fixing the escalator.