Monday, July 19, 2004

Ok, greetings and welcome to Appleton, WI, lately there's more blog posts here than anywhere else, it's my blog home away from the blog home that's not really my blog home but it is the place I'm staying since moving out of my blog home in Des Moines.
Anyway, nothing tremendously notable has happened recently, so instead of boring you with a day by day look at my boring and repetitive life, I'm going to try to entertain you with a work of short fiction, "The Penny of Doom."
The day began like any other. Customers come through, get checked out, customers go away. Sometimes my light is on, sometimes my light is flashing, but there are always customers, ALWAYS. It's Sunday, you see. Customers are on the prowl, customers are lurking, and some customers appear to be shopping for adult diapers, but they're the most dangerous of all, they're looking for a place to crap on the floor, then finishing their day by digging for pennies and making your line stack up to the end of civilization. This particular day, however, there were more sinister forces lurking.
You see, most days the saving grace from old people who dig for pennies are the customers behind them. They'd like to finish their shopping on the same day they started, so they frequently dig out their own pennies, slam them on the counter and end the epic search. Not always, however. On this particular day, an elderly woman arrived at the register with the typical elderly woman needs. Twenty seven bottles of vitamins, prescriptions for ailments probably caused by overuse of vitamins, and a giant pack of adult diapers, cause it's hard to control your bladder when you have to take pills with a glass of water 40 times a day.
Her total:  $49.03 She stared blankly for a moment. Then, as if remembering for the first tme that money would be involved in this transaction, she put a purse on the counter, the size of a car. After fishing for far too long, a checkbook was captured, and slower than one would think possible, a check was written. I went from cleanshaven to hairy in this time. I checked my watch. It was 3:30. I was supposed to leave at 4. Finally, she wrote me the check, and I thought it was over. Then I looked down at the check. It was for $49.00. "I have the pennies," she said. And then the epic search began. Two pennies quickly surfaced accidentally, as she found them next to the toothbrush and the nose hair trimmer. Then, 15 minutes passed. The purse was empty, and no more pennies had appeared. I looked around, help was not in sight. The customers in line behind the woman, resigned to their fate as potential lifers at Wal Mart, had sat down and opened a box of Pop Tarts, which they were rationing.
Some ominous music played, but I thought nothing of it. As quickly as it started, it went away and Paul Simon's You Can Call Me Al began to play. I know all the words to it, and songs like it that play on Wal Mart Radio are sometimes the only thing keeping me sane. So I quietly began to sing along, and right as I hit the part where Chevy Chase would have dropped the glass through the table that's not really a table in the video, a woman dressed in black walked up to my register. "I have a penny," she said in a deep voice I didn't expect. "It's at the deep end of the Dark Labrynith of Purse." With that, she picked up her purse, opened it, and quickly covered my head with it. Everything went black for a second...
I snapped back awake to hear a "ziiip" sound. I was in a room with one door. I exited, and found a room with a door. I walked past vampires, bogs and mires, wolfmen, garbage men, pedophiles, the smoking man from the X Files, pyromaniacs, nerds and brainiacs, my deepest fears, Norm from Cheers, heroes and fools, power tools, termites, suburbanites, a man claiming to be from cyberspace, seven men with one face, Frankenstein, Sir Ullrich von Liechtenstein, aliens, Romanians, a giant coffee mug, the guy who invented Weatherbug, a guy who looked wimpy, Ren and Stimpy, seven toasters, half-finished roller coasters, a rack of posters, braggers and boasters, pop stars who couldn't sing, 85 year old men wearing bling, a mother bear missing her cub and 727 copies of The Babysitters' Club."

Finally, I got to another empty room. In it was my car. I knew there was a penny in my car. There had to be a penny in my car. I reached into my pocket to find my keys. And I found...a penny.

Story concludes. This has been KL Snow.

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