I don’t remember how I ended up there. You end up at this end of the tampon and pad isle for a few reasons. Sex, cleanliness, fungal infection, pregnancy tests, or, if your store is that kind of special, maternity vitamins. I can’t exactly fathom why all of these things go together. Things that women do might work, but men by condoms. Most of the cleaning products sold in the section are not very good for you. Who the fuck buys maternity vitamins off the shelf if they aren’t in fucking vitamin section (Yes, Target, I look at you). I’m not sure I understand why pregnancy tests are put there either, but whatever.
Anyway I was there for that other reason.
You walk up to that section looking for what worked before. You don’t fuck around there or hem and haw. The prices are stupid expensive and you are not going to mess around with generic or brand name. Brand name, type, how many days of this better fucking work the first time Hallmark moments. and you’re done.
So, imagine my surprise when I go to this section and find some woman looking for the cracker jack prize.
This is one of those moments where you stop and take stock of your choices in life. The woman was diligently picking up every box of Vagisil and Monostat, opening the box, peering inside, closing the box, and finally, with a great sigh and regret, putting the damn box back on the shelf. Sometimes she would stick a finger in the box and stir it around before closing the box again.
She wasn’t old or really young. She was clean, well dressed, and had a very determined air. That could mean anything though. The point being there was no easy stereotype to fall back on here. The woman wanted her cracker jack prize and was going to go through every box until she found the turtle pirate tattoo or the plastic penny whistle.
Now there are a lot of sane reactions to this type of behavior. The smart one is get the manager. I’m standing there, however, and trying to decide if I can vault up using the bottom shelf as a step and grab that last unopened box of Monostat 3 before she decides to check it for bubble gum. You don’t speak to a person like that. Right?
Well you could. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that we would all do better if we reach out in these weird scenarios.
Enter the pain factor. I’m not here for a good wash or a fun time later. I’m here cause I hurt. Pain is the number one motivator in bad behavior. I want to be home and horizontal so I can get this shit done with. That’s when her hand goes for my box.
The last unopened box.
Lucky for me, I have way faster reflexes than I do thought processes. So my hand gets one side at the same the woman is pulling down the box herself.
“Excuse me,” she says, “I’ll just be a moment.”
Imagine you are on a desert island and there is one coconut. Some jerk is going to pee on that coconut and they say, “I’ll just be a moment”, implying that you can have said coconut when they are done.
That’s right, you cut that fucker’s penis off quicker than you can say lime.
Now I may have overreacted a bit when my fist came down on her wrist and I thundered “No” out across the pharmacy isle. She just kind of stood there, a frown spreading across her face and tears starting to trace her cheeks. Then she heaved a great sigh and looked down.
Well, shit. Do I say I’m sorry for stealing your chance at the kangaroo space captain tattoo; scream, “I am the walrus and this is my cracker jack”; or quietly back away?
The answer is of course: D. Run like shit.
I don’t know what that lady was looking for. I don’t really want to. But there are no cracker jacks in these boxes. Fuck, at $30 a pop, you’d think their should be.