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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Um, We're Closing Now? or We Mourn the Loss of the Declarative Sentence

Again, a re-post, from August of last year.  I worked another serving job last night, and you know, they asked me to stay and party with them of course...  Nah.  By the time I got home and crawled up the front steps, it was too late to recall that I'd left my brain in the car.  

It's an old story.  One I'm sure you've heard before.

Anyway.  Enjoy.

I go through a pair of black flats every year. Humble, dedicated shoes, they are my "go-to" footwear, my Run!-The-bus-is-coming! shoe. Like the other functional items in my life -- my car (may it rest in peace), my yoga mat, several ex-boyfriends -- they ask little of me and I, in turn, run them into the ground.

Saturday was the day my latest pair of black shoes left this mortal coil.

Leftie and Stompie, as I liked to think of them, will be missed.

That's why Mary and I found ourselves at the mall Saturday evening. And one new pair of black flats and a meander or two through another shop later, we had stopped at the Panera for a bite.

Semi-interesting side note here, the mall closes at 10:00. The Panera closes at 9:00.

We didn't know this when the woman behind the cash register took our orders at 8:58. We didn't realize it when my sandwich became available at 9:07.

We take you now to nine minutes after I received my sandwich and just moments before Mary and I suffer joint incredulity. I have the last bite of my sandwich in my hand, a handful of potato chips on my plate. Mary is waxing rhapsodic about her mother's shortbread and comparing it to the cookie she has just bought.

"It's not bad, but it's not my mom's. I mean, what is this? Butter, flour, sugar? Ooh and I can feel the seams of my pants straining. You hear that? You hear that, Pearl? The threads are going to let go any --"

A uniformed weasel slips into view, his hair in his eyes. In a rather theatrical move he slides up to our booth and manages to somehow click his heels and slouch at the same time. In a cutesy voice he may have picked up from the Disney Channel, he interrupts.

"Excuse me, ladies."

I look up at him. What shockingly appears to be truly fantastic nose hair is quickly realized to be some sort of septum piercing, an upside-down horseshoe, its ends emerging from each nostril and hanging almost to his upper lip. His hair is in his eyes, and he is brushing it across his forehead, as I'm sure he must do several hundred times an hour.

He gives us a condescending smile. I am thinking that he believes himself to be quite attractive. I am thinking that he believes that we believe the same. Mary and I are awash in youthful, hipster smugness.

"I'm sorry, ladies," he simpers, "but as I'm sure you know we close at 9:00? So if you could just finish up? If you would finish your sandwich, you know, we close at 9:00?"

Poor guy. Completely devoid of a declarative sentence.

Mary and I look at each other, communicate telepathically: They close at 9:00? Is this little !@#$ kicking us out?

We turn back to him, eyebrows raised. He brushes his bangs out of his eyes and continues. "I have to vacuum this area? So if you could finish, that would be great? We close at 9:00?"

Again with the closing-at-9:00 bit. I look at my phone: 9:16.

Mary jerks her head towards our little weasel. "What do you think of this one, huh?" she says to me. "He says they close at 9:00."

I nod and turn to look up at him. "So you're saying you close at 9:00?"

He nods enthusiastically. "Yes."

"And I should finish eating and leave?"

He looks relieved. The middle-aged women in front of him are getting the picture. "Yes."

"Just so we're clear," Mary muses, "do you think we should finish first and then leave? Or should we leave now and then finish?"

Pierce, as I like to think of him, is magnanimous. "Oh, you can finish first."

"So I should finish my sandwich and leave, is that right?" I say.

He is still grinning. "Yes, if you could finish up..."

"Perfect," I say. "I will finish up, and then I will leave. And when I do leave? You, my friend, will be the first one I notify." I turn away from him.

Mary looks up. "We'll call you," she says, smiling.

Pierce backs away, grinning, his face becoming more confused with each backward step.

We left not long after that, after briefly discussing and discarding the option of taking the next 45 minutes to eat the last five chips on my plate. Frankly, hanging out at the Panera to make a point seemed silly.

He was, after all, just a kid.

And of course neither Mary nor I were ever as eager as ol' Pierce to leave work on a Saturday night.


jabblog said...

The declarative sentence met its demise when Australian soap operas became popular. I was constantly asking children if they were asking or telling . . .

Mandy_Fish said...

Hilarious and awful all at once! Or should I say, "all at once?" With a question mark.

Tammy said...

Love it. Except I'm sorry for the loss of your shoes.

Daisy said...

Be gentle with the poor kid! Sorry about the first "Leftie and Stompie"; may you always find worthy replacements. Also hope your brain slept ok in the car! :-)

Happy Frog and I said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia said...

So the shoes... were they comfortable? Sturdy? reliable? Where can I get a pair? Do I have to walk on them for a while before they stop hurting or ar they good right away? Inquiring minds...

R. Jacob said...

always a learning experience when I stop by...bye...buy... sigh

Eva Gallant said...

And this is funny? I can see you two now. That poor guy didn't have a prayer! LOL

Oilfield Trash said...

New or old it is still classic.

Belle said...

The restaurant is at fault for taking your order at 8:58. How stupid is that? I've had this happen a couple of times to me, and they never tell you that you have 5 or 10 minutes to eat and get out.

powdergirl said...

Pearl? I'm picking up a bit of snippishness here?

Don't you love watching the realization sink into the little hipsters head that you just don't think he's quite as precious as he himself does? (that last one really was a question, btw.)

jenny_o said...

I love your titles with "...,or..." in them. Love them!

And until I get a boatload of time, I won't be able to read older posts, so re-posts are just fine by me. This one is great!

Happy Frog and I said...

Always good to see a post go up from you whether its a new one or a previous one. Your description of 'Pierce' was laugh out loud wonderful. :-)

Windsmoke. said...

I like your re-post because it reminds me of the many times i've come home from work after night shift with my brain somewhere else on this planet :-).

Gigi said...

Can't remember if I commented the first time around or not....but does it matter? Since each time I come away with something different. Except in this instance; I'm still coming away with "NEW SHOES!" ;-)

Pat Tillett said...

It was a great post then and it's a great one now!

Susan in the Boonies said...

The nerve? Of some people?

injaynesworld said...

Poor little wanger. All he wants to do is leave his minimum wage shit job and he has the misfortune to come up again the grammar nazis.

BAHAHAHA! I wish I'd been there to see you mess with him.

Bushman said...

The only thing he was missing was his underwear hanging out of his droopy drawers?

River said...

You're a bit cheekier than me. I would have gathered up my sandwich with a "I'm sorry I didn't realise, the counter girl didn't mention it when she took my order", then left while still eating.
I'm a people pleaser. Sometimes.

Crystal Pistol said...

I, like River, am a people pleaser. I would have done the same with my tail between my legs and a shit-eating smile on my face. Sure I talk a big game but in reality...

Pearl, are you aware that you can write? I mean that you can REALLY REALLY WRITE? I'm so impressed I may...cry? That seems over-the-top. Suffice it to say I'm impressed. I just sat on the edge of my seat wondering what the outcome of this simple tale might be. I was truly concerned for you and your sandwich and chips.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh, Pearl, you shouldn't toy with the younguns like that;)