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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pierce Would Like You to Move Along? He Has, Like, Things to Do?

Another re-post -- sigh -- as I battle my, what?, 37th head cold of the year.

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.


Anonymous said...

Various facial piercings on a restaurant staffer have an unpleasant affect on my digestive system. Floppy hair on a restaurant staffer causes me to examine my plate closely for dna samples. Sympathy for wanting to get home on time???? Absolutely. Eat up and get out babe!! lol.

Daisy said...

"Poor Pierce"! He didn't know he had just encountered the two women trained by ms Lisa Bean and Ms Dolly, especially Ms Lisa who used to be a bouncer. He's lucky he escaped intact.

R. Jacob said...

I wonder if he noticed the retractable claws both you and Mary have? If they told you when you ordered that it would have to be a to go order, that would have given you options.

Unrelated, I was thinking that your cats have a more active social life then me!

Come to think of it, have we dated?

Linda O'Connell said...

My husband was asked to leave an establishment after he finished his drink because he was wearing a collarless shirt. He took two hours to finish his drink. He did exactly what they requested, and left with his buddies.

jabblog said...

They need a notice saying something like 'No orders after 8:30'!!

esbboston said...

For some reason I can only seem to comfortably handle ear rings in women's ears. All other forms of piercing and poking and inking and filling and filing and defiling seem grotesquely bizarre. This would be longer but I must leave now for Mexican food if I wish to stay married.

Vapid Vixen said...

It's always just a tad less satisfying than it could be when the target doesn't realize they're being mildly mocked.

And simper...always loved that word. It's not used nearly enough.

esbboston said...

... I survived the Mexican food (two meals in a row), I have chicken enchiladas left over for tomorrow's breakfast, the sun is making it veRy difficult to type and see, and I am still married. And the day is only half-sies done.

Belle said...

If you are closing at ten, you don't serve people at 9:50. Sheesh. Something similar happened to hubby and me at Dairy Queen. We went with lots of friends and didn't know they closed at ten. Lots of orders later, my husband was last and didn't know what to order so the girl just made him something and plopped it in front of him. "We close in five minutes you know! she said. No, we didn't know. Why do they assume you know their hours by heart, that you have them written in your heart and mind?

vanilla said...

Prolly had a hot date waiting in the wings. Maybe the cashier who checked us out awhile ago, who, in addition to the "expected" piercings, had two studs mounted in the left forearm, wicked red welt binding them to each other.

Anonymous said...

37th head cold of the year...ain't half as bad as NGSUALL.
Either is DESANDINGSQUALL...and they got it all....
With BALL.

IndigoWrath said...

I'm pretty sure it's your tenth head cold. Number six turned out to be anaemia from LBB draining (and selling) your blood while you slept, if you recall.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

What a little sh*t. Back in MY day, when I worked at McDonald's, we weren't allowed to say a WORD to the customers about closing. Many, many a night I cussed out, er, waited patiently in the back as people finished up. That's how you handle that, cussing under your breath back by the cooler.

skoots1mom said...

hoping you feel better soon...boo, to your cold.
you made me giggle...i had this happen this past week @ a local Newk's Cafe. Had we known they closed at 9pm, we would have been gone by 9pm...our hostess didn't haven any piercings that I could see and she was able to speak in complete sentences

Eva Gallant said...

Poor guy never had a chance against you two!

Anonymous said...

May you soon be delivered into the realms of non-headcold. Meanwhile, it was thoroughly woth the revisit.

mapstew said...

Another head-cold?!
Lots of hot whiskey (Irish) with honey & cloves.
It doesn'y matter if you don't have cloves, just put a little extra whiskey (Irish).
And honey, we don't always have honey in the cupboard, little more whiskey (Irish).
And it doesn't really have to be hot!

Feel better soon missus! :¬)


Mr. Charleston said...

Well, it is Panera after all. The land of sodium overload and, apparently, salt of the earth kids as well. But try to look on the bright side, at least he's employed.

yaya said...

What ever happened to "the customer is always right"? The piercings were atleast somewhere that could be seen clearly..I work in surgery and you really don't want to know where we've found jewelery hanging. I also love when patients have piercings and tattoos and the fist thing they say is: "I'm afraid of needles".. On that note, thanks for visiting my blog!

The Elephant's Child said...

Get better soon. 'Twas a wonderful repost though.

Facial piercings can make me a tad unwell. And any that droop from the nose will make me more than a tad unwell.

jenny_o said...


Hee hee!

You played with him like a cat with a mouse ... except you let him go after a bit.

Jo-Anne's Rambling said...

Makes you wonder why on earth anyone would seve your minutes before they close without at least telling you they are about to close.......I think that is just rude and money grapping.......

Crystal Pistol said...

Lefty and Stompie... HA! You're pretty awesome, Pearl. I like the stuff that come from your brain. I really do. :)

Murr Brewster said...

Do you suppose you might be getting head colds from waiter spit in your entrees?

Anonymous said...

Should have licked your lips at him.

Pat said...

Good that you all kept your cool.