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Sunday, November 4, 2012

I Still Got It, or You Asked for It When You Showed up in Columbia Heights

Willie took me grocery shopping last night at the Rainbow in Columbia Heights.

This is Willie's store. He knows this store; it’s the one he hits between work and home. He knows its aisles, understands its parking lot, feels at home in its dairy section. Never mind that there are stores closer to his home, this is his store, dagnabit.

Willie is a creature of habit, and we’ll just leave it at that.

Have you been to the grocery store in Columbia Heights?

Not getting your fill of people grocery shopping in bedroom slippers? Wonder if there are people eating whole roasted chickens in the aisles?  Concerned with whether or not the nation's creepiest citizens are getting enough fiber?

Grab your coupons, kids. 

And when you’re done shopping and it’s 7:00 and you no longer feel like cooking, and what you really want to do is go home and lay on the couch and watch TV, where do you go?

Well, there’s Wendy’s.

Fast food, my friends: The United States’ pants-swelling, artery-clogging contribution to Epicurea.

Picture the inside of this Wendy’s. There are five people at three different tables: two heavy-set couples at each end of the place and a disheveled elderly man in the center, staring out the window, a number of garbage bags at his feet.

“Sir, sir. Sir.”

A heavy-bellied man in a dirty oversized ski jacket and a pair of stained sweatpants with a hole in the crotch is whispering to us as we approach the counter.

“Hey.” The man gives off the very air of lechery. He is grinning at Willie. “That your wife?”

Ah. This is why I avoid Columbia Heights: First the man at the deli with the fuzzy slippers, then the couple irritably ans surprishingly obscenely arguing over Hamburger Helper (hamburger with noodles vs. hamburger with potatoes). Now this.

I turn to Willie, smiling. “Double stack, medium fries. I’ll find a table.”

I abandon him to the line and his new friend. Willie is a private man, and he dislikes encounters like this. He winces silently at me.

The cashier continues to wander around in the back for no discernible reason.

Sir Stains Afresh stands next to Willie, who appears, from my vantage point at the table nearest the exit, to grow more and more uncomfortable.

“Huh! Huh! Huh!”

Stains is laughing; and I watch him lean into Willie, his new best friend. “Huh! Huh! Huh!”

Moments later, Willie sets the tray on the table, hands me a hamburger.

“He wants to know," he says, salting his fries, "if we want to go to a party.”

“What?!”

“Him and his wife there,” Willie unwraps his burger and shoots an eyebrow to the table where Stains and his wife – we’ll call her “Dumpling” – are drinking pop. “He wants to know if we want to go to a party. It’s okay with his wife.” Willie takes a bite out of his hamburger. “He thinks you’re hot.”

Willie grins. “I’m turning in early tonight, but I can drop you off.”

We finish our meals, return to a car, the interior the general temperature of a refrigerator, return to the groceries and grin at each other as we put the fast food place and my next boyfriend in the rear-view mirror.

Still got it. 


Let them say what they will, but I’m big in Columbia Heights.

29 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Now you know where to go on those days when your self esteem is slipping. I fancy a little Wendy's myself right now.

Jeanie said...

You likely would have found many more admirers (and lots to blog about) if you had actually agreed to go to the party....well, that is if there really had been a party.

jabblog said...

Shuddering here - but glad you declined the invitation. (You did, didn't you?)

Vapid Vixen said...

I feel dirty from just having read this.

Although, I kinda wish you'd gone to the party. In a hazmat suit.

TexWisGirl said...

scary!

Linda O'Connell said...

Sir stains...You are killing me. I thought all of the freaks were attracted to ME.

Daisy said...

Ha! Well, when you've got it, you've got it! I think I would have wanted to take a shower as soon as I got home from that little outing. :)

Mark In Mayenne said...

I love your little bit of sanity i this mad world

fishducky said...

Ah, the price you & I pay for being drop dead gorgeous!!

esbboston said...

I came up with a new epi- word the other day, maybe I wiLL write about it. Maybe I won't. The anti-anticipation builds to a crushendo. (Hahaha-crushendo-hahahaha-I am just t00 siLLy today.)

Tempo said...

Now youve gone and missed a potentially great party...or not! Get out there..mingle but try not to catch anything nasty.

Ms Sparrow said...

If you're talking about the Central Ave location, I've been there only in the daytime when it's only nice old ladies shopping. I had no idea that it turns into Sin City in the evening!

jenny_o said...

When you're hot, you're hot :)

Courtesy of Jerry Reed, who meant it in a different way, but, heck, he'll never know!

Eva Gallant said...

I say if you've got it, flaunt it, girl!!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Great to know you've still got it, isn't it? Even if it's in Columbia Heights. I'm sure you have admirers elsewhere as well.

Leenie said...

Fishducky said it.

But now I'm thinking about the wealth of blog fodder that might have been at the party. Then again, I think you made the right choice. Wendy's is freaky enough.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Sir Stains Afresh. He wants you.
His wife won't care...

sage said...

and I always thought Wendy's to be the classy fast food place! You write such great descriptions.

Daisy said...

I gained 20 pounds just reading this, but I'm still gorgeous!

HermanTurnip said...

I can relate. There's a hardware store in town that I've been to many times where I can pick up shovels, axes, tape, and rope with no questions asked. I won't ever go anywhere else.

The Elephant's Child said...

Eeeuw. Some of the images from this post are burning into my retina. Eeeuw and eeeuw again.

chlost said...

Well, easy enough to get appreciated in Columbia Heights....but how about in the Midway? If you were getting invited to a party while dining at a Wendy's there, I would truly be impressed! And you know that the party would have been so much fun.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

If you did that well in Wendy's, imagine the admirers you could attract it Long John Silver's.

River said...

All of a sudden I'm desperate for a burger and fries!

Jacquelineand.... said...

You went to........Wendy's? I'm shocked by this.

Jocelyn said...

DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE.

He smelled your magic, even over the aroma of a well-grilled patty or two.

Simply Suthern said...

But prolly not as big as Dumpling.

Indigo Roth said...

Hey, what's he got that I ain't got?! I can be creepy AND tall, and I don't even need the sweatpants. If you know what I mean.

Ray Denzel said...

Many a woman looks better bathed in the glow of the light emanating from a deep fryer and surrounded by the aroma of french fries wafting through the confines of a late night eatery!