“Hey, I told you not to spray that love potion in my room.”
Amy and Amanda hadn’t washed their jeans in a while. Their solution was a body mist from Victoria’s Secret to rid their jeans of foul scents.
“This is a basement-it captures scents and doesn’t release them.” Van was pissed. “My sister lives down here, too. She’ll be smelling that for weeks.”
This was more than Van felt she could handle. Every time she visited her parents’ house, she picked up mail that accumulated in her absence-it consisted mostly of threats to her life for money she owed.
She remembered that Amy had become the proud owner of a Costco card and was allowed to put another person on her account.
“Let’s go to Costco and get pizza so I can get that other card,” Van offered, hoping to escape the misery of her musky bedroom.
The three girls approached Customer Service at Costco. “We need proof of residency in order to issue you a card,” they informed Van, who was now feeling frustrated and very out of control.
Remembering the love potion lingering in the basement, Van felt that she didn’t even have control over the air she breathed. Her only consolation was the big slices of pizza Costco sold. Turning away from Customer Service defeated, they directed themselves to the pizza line, where they stood dutifully waiting their turn.
A man, thick in the waist and face, either didn’t see the girls or didn’t recognize their existence and edged his way into the line in front of them. “I don’t know if you realize this,” Van began. “But we were in line before you.”
The man’s ego appeared to be crushed, and he moved reluctantly behind the girls to the back of the line. Soon after, a wadded up piece of paper brushed Van’s shoulder and landed at her feet. It was a receipt she had seen the man crumple up just moments before.
“Did you just throw that at me?” she directed at the man. “If you did, why did you do that? Are you stupid?”
“What are you going to do about it?” was his response. “I’ll break your face.”
Amy cut in, “Why did you throw that at my friend?”
Amanda echoed, “Yeah, why did you do that?”
“Whatever, four eyes,” Van finished.
He mustered up enough courage, had always wanted to say it, and did: “Dykes,” he said, glowing with pride.
“Wow you just said ‘dykes.’ How did it feel? You feel good?” Van asked sarcastically. At which point Amanda filled in with some pretty foul words that caught the attention of a short elderly man who was just ahead of them in line.
“Watch your mouth,” he demanded of her with a raspy voice, which Amanda gladly ignored. The old man grew visibly upset. To Van it looked like he was nearly convulsing as he moved in on them.
“Fudge you, old man,” Amanda blurted. She knew then that she had pushed him over the edge. She really knew it when his thick, knotted knuckles slammed against her nose and cheek, nearly knocking the glasses off her face. Her fists came up cocked and ready. Van and Amy remembered quite clearly that it’s not okay to hit old people and stopped Amanda just before the first strike. The old man, sensing strongly what would have happened, stumbled backward into the line of people despite having not been hit after all. A rush of Costco employees broke up the argument, which
freaked out Amanda-her dad is a cop, so she didn’t want any trouble with the law.
As they prepared to leave, Van turned back to the old man. “Whatever, old man, what’s your problem? How do you justify hitting someone, an act of violence? How can you tell us to watch our mouths? Why don’t you watch your fists?”
Across the parking lot, on the way to their car, they relived the entire incident.
“Amanda, you got slapped,” Amy said while laughing.
“I know,” Amanda breathed. “Oh my gosh, I’ve never been slapped before.”
They continued loudly amongst themselves, discussing every detail, every word of it while another old man, this one with a cane, hobbled by and grumbled, “Watch your moouths,”-to which Van replied, “Watch your leg.”
Disclaimer Number 5: VVC does not condone abuse of the elderly, abuse of young women by the elderly, the use of cuss words, or Costco membership.