Monday, June 27, 2016

I remember, I remember when I lost my mind, there was something so pleasant about that place

I seem to have a knack for bizarre encounters with folks I meet around town.

This past weekend, one of my childhood friends was in town with her husband, so I thought I'd take them to Vail on Saturday to see a little bit of the mountains, see the view from the top, and get out of the Denver heat.  There are great activities for kids, so it was sure to be fun for everyone.

Before we left, I took the car to get it washed and to fill up with gas.

After the car was cleaned, we stopped to get gas at a 7 Eleven.  I pulled up to the pumps, set the nozzle in the tank, and went inside to buy a case of water to keep in the car.

I picked up a big case of water and went to get in line.

This is where the layout of the store becomes important (see my most excellent diagram, below).

From my vantage point, I saw a guy at the checkout counter, so I stood behind him and slightly to his left. I didn't see anyone else behind him.



As he moved away after finishing his transaction, I saw an African-American woman, who I will call Crazy Lady, walk up behind him as I started to move closer as well.  (The only reason I mention her race is because of what happened next.)  She was shorter than the top of the shelves, so I hadn't seen her until she stepped out from the aisle she had been standing in.

She snapped at me, "the line is back this way."

I hadn't seen her in line behind him, so I responded, "I think I was actually next." I said this matter-of-factly - I was not spoiling for any kind of confrontation.

She said, "oh no, I've been back here.  Haven't I been back here the whole time waiting??"  She said this to the guy who had just finished paying.  He looked back, a little bit confused, and seemed to nod.

I was about to say, "ok, I'm sorry, I didn't see you there," but before I could say anything, she started yelling at me.

"Why would you automatically assume I'm lying? Where do you get off calling me a liar?  Huh, Trump?"

What the fuck?  "Trump"?  Is she suggesting that I'm a Trump supporter (and therefore a racist) because I'm white??

"What are you talking about? When did I ever call you a liar? I didn't call you anything!" I said.  I was a confused and a little flustered.

"Oh, you just assume that I'm lying, didn't you Trump?  Yeah, that's right, you heard me."

"I don't know what you're going on about.  I never said you or anyone else is a liar.  I didn't see you standing there, that's all."

"BARACK OBAMA! THAT'S ALL I'M SAYIN'!"

I actually laughed at this.  "You haven't said anything! And just to be clear, I voted for Barack Obama twice!"

Ugh, why am I engaging? I know full well that there's no point in engaging with the crazy.

"I seriously doubt that!" she yelled.

"I don't give a shit what you doubt. What the hell is wrong with you?"

As I said this, I noticed that Zeke had come in (he and Josie had been waiting in the car) and was standing next to me.

"Truth hurts, don't it, Trump?" she spat.

"Oh, Jesus Christ," I sighed.

"Don't you curse in front of your child!!"

This got my hackles up.  "You don't need to worry about my child," I said. "And I didn't curse."

Now another woman decided to butt in.

"You took the name of the lord.  Oh, so you don't believe in God??"

"Well, not really, no," I said.  "And why is any of this your business?"

Crazy Lady said, "you piece of shit parent, talking in front of your child like that, TRUMP!"

Zeke's eyes widened and he scooted a little closer to me.

I finally snapped.  "You know what? You can shut your goddamn mouth, you crazy bitch. Leave my child out of this. Stop talking and take your stupid ass out of here!"

She kept yelling at me, but made her way out the door and into the parking lot. Zeke was eating it all up.

I finished paying for the water and was signing the credit card slip when the cashier laughed and said, "what was up with her?"

"She's a fucking lunatic, that's what's up with her," I said.

The second lady (the one who asked me if I believed in God) said, "don't you say that about her! She's my cousin!"

I rolled my eyes.  "Of course she is. Whatever, that's your problem."

And I walked out, paid for my gas, buckled the kids back in the car (Josie had stayed out there, oblivious, reading a book), and left.

Zeke, to his credit, was unruffled.

Later, when we were driving, he said, "are you upset, Mama? Did that lady ruin your day?"

"No, she didn't. I don't care enough about her for her to ruin my day."

"What was she yelling about?"

"Honestly, I'm still not sure."

But at least she provided me with some ammunition for the next time I get in an argument with someone.  If I want to make a point without having to actually make a point, all I need to say is, "BARACK OBAMA! THAT'S ALL I'M SAYIN'!"

I've already used it twice.


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