Aaaand Yer OUT!This past Saturday, which was rainy and humid as an alligator's butthole, my brother, Rob, and I decided to go grab some beer from Wegman's. No big whoop, right? Well, when folks such as my brother and myself enter your plane of existence, the inconsequential can be a big whoop, most indeed.
So there we were, running toward the store entrance (of course, the lot was packed, and everyone and their second grade teacher had taken all of the prime parking, which meant that Rob and I had to park in Texas), so I, being the Olympian I am, made it to the entrance before Rob, my hair dripping, my mascara streaked, then promptly slid into third base on one knee, my arms spread wide, as if I were performing a silent rendition of "Mammy." Not pretty. Not even cute.
To make matters worse, no one around me laughed, even though I was guffawing like the idiot I am. I mean, is it not funny when some jerk slides into third base on one knee while doing an Al Jolson impression? Come on, sure it is.
I would've laughed had it been you.
But what really put the burn of shame in my cheeks was when a kindly, middle-aged, rubbers-wearing store employee hydroplaned on over to me with a WAY too concerned expression on his face, grabbed my arm (I'd only been on my knee for, oh, one tenth of a second -- as I stated, I'm an Olympian, and have the reflexes of a cat), and said WAY too loudly, "Oh, DEAR! Oh, dear, me oh my, DEAR! ARE YOU OKAY?" To which I replied, "Honey, I did that just for you."
Thank my ever-loving flapjacks, at least that got a laugh or two from the four thousand patrons that had gathered around to gawk.
Rob, my non-Olympian, sloth-like brother, finally made it to the entrance, and noticing my muddy left knee, my frazzled, Marilyn Mansonish appearance, dutifully asked what had happened. Upon my telling of recent events, he did what any good brother would do -- laughed his ass off.
And kept on laughing.
The aisles rang with his laughter.
It was beautiful.
As we stood in the checkout line with our beer, however, he stopped laughing. The reason for this is simple -- my brother, although a superb human being, is tight with the bucks. The physical act of pulling out his wallet is painful for this man, perhaps even psychologically traumatic, so he often becomes vewwy, vewwy quiet at the register, pulls a dour face, and goes into his own world, a world where everything is free, and double cheeseburger trees grow in fields of golden French fry bushes, and crisp, clean ponds of LaBatt's Blue Light pockmark the land.
The beer, although advertised as the usual price, was more expensive than in previous purchases, meaning only one thing -- sneaky sin tax.
Rob, being Rob, murmured under his breath about this abomination -- at first, only I could hear. But as he slooowly flipped open his tired wallet, slooowly handed money to the cashier, and grappled with his hatred of all things tax-y, his murmurings became intensely audible to those around us. And then he slapped the thirty pack of brew and uttered "sin tax." Then he did it again, slapped the thirty pack and said, "sin tax." And again. Then again.
As we left the store, Rob broke free of his strange trance, and began laughing. I asked him what the deal was, and he told me that he did the repeated slapping/sin tax thing for the sole benefit of the guy standing in line behind us.
Apparently, after Rob's initial slapping/sin tax utterance, the guy whispered to his friend "Weirdo." So Rob, being Rob, God of All That is Odd, felt compelled to put on a bit of a show.
My laughter rang throughout the aisles of BlockBuster. And it was beautiful.