An Interesting Distraction
A Humorous Short Story
I’m not really sure how I got my job at Jimmy’s. I can’t quite remember it if was my mom begging Jimmy to give me a reason to stay busy over the summer or if it was just my rugged good looks that would inevitably attract customers. Well however I got the blasted thing, it’s kept me busy running item after item over the scanner at the register or answering the telephone saying, “Hello, Jimmy’s Grocery and Drug, how may I help you?” it’s become such a habit to say that when I pick up the phone that I have to catch myself every time I answer the one at home. At the very beginning, however, it was a regular occurrence to answer my buzzing cell with that phrase and realize too late that it was a girl.
There isn’t much in the way of distraction for the boredom of standing behind the register. Even so, I was hoping and very nearly praying for one as I slouched glumly at my post one afternoon. It was one hundred and three degrees outside and I was rudely reminded of the fact every time someone opened the door and let in a blast of hot air that always seemed to head straight for me. I, being the stoic survivor, kept my head down and only slightly braced myself whenever I heard the door chime.
No one had come to the checkout line in what seemed like hours so I was leaning up against the back wall with my arms folded loosely over the Mountain Dew logo on my chest. My gaze was fixed upon a pile of dirt that had no doubt come from my grubby sneakers as my mind flew a hundred miles away. I was thinking of all the fun things I could be doing instead of standing there when I heard the door open and, of course, felt that wall of hot air. My head involuntarily tipped back as it hit me but it took a moment for my eyes to shift away from the floor. When they did I wished I’d looked up sooner. I was just in time to glimpse a girl dressed only in a bathing suit and flip flops disappear behind the many aisles of food.
My head shot up and I shrugged away from the wall behind me, hoping to catch sight of her again. A voice reached my ears and I could almost see the tall blonde it belonged to. She probably had a bronze tan painted across her skin and I could almost see those curves waving all the way down.
Suddenly three melodic giggles interrupted my thoughts and I realized with great delight that there were three girls, not one. I craned my neck to see, but frowned as I found I could only see them when they reached the bread aisle. I cursed at the thoughtless positioning of the blasted register. Instead I contented myself with listening to the sound of their voices as they drifted my way and trying to imagine them side by side as they sauntered toward me.
“Hey Handsome,” the middle one says in a sultry tone. She is wearing a bright blue bikini and I smile at the view.
“Oh I’m fine, baby. How are you?” I say coolly as I rest an arm on top of the register. Suddenly her head snaps back and a delicate frown creases her forehead.
“Excuse me?” she says raising a slender eyebrow. I frown as well, wondering what I’d done to put the crease there.
“Excuse me?” the woman said again, but her voice had turned husky and the features of her face melted into wrinkles. Her blonde wind tossed hair transformed into a bun and faded to a peppery grey and white.
“Oh!” I gasped and quickly started ringing up the old lady’s items, “Sorry about that.” One glance told me the lady was glaring at me. Embarrassed, I kept my head down and wondered just how much the sneaky old crone had seen. Despite my embarrassment, my gaze kept flicking to the much anticipated bread aisle. I’d nearly finished when movement in my peripheral snatched my attention.
I froze mid scan… and did a double take. The first girl who caught my eye wore a two piece just like I’d imagined and she did have a rather good tan, but her suit was pink and green, not blue… and she was chunky. I winced and quickly ran the box of Hi-Ho crackers that still rested in my hands across the laser.
“Young man,” the crone snapped and I froze for the second time that day, “You already put those crackers on that computer of yours! Are you trying to cheat me out of some money just so you can go buy more of those games you teenagers today go crazy over? Well it won’t work sonny Jim! I’ve got my eye on you and these eyes don’t miss much. I saw you…” I watched the lady rant for a minute, my eyes as big as the cracker box I’d nearly dropped at her sharp tone. Then I realized she was most definitely one of those register watchers; meaning the kind of person who stares at the register until she’s sure you got it right. And it was plain to see that she took great pleasure in seeing people squirm when she chewed them out. Now that I thought about it, I could see the smug smile lingering at the corner of her mouth at her victory.
Rolling my eyes, I deducted the cost of the crackers I’d scanned twice and quickly scanned the last two items.
“$30.82” I said impatiently. She was still talking and it took her a minute to find the right bills while she was shaking her finger at me. I carefully counted the change, not wanting to give her another reason to stay and give me yet another piece of her mind. I then unceremoniously dumped the bags in her arms and practically shoved her out the door.
When I got back to my post the girls were already there. And they were laughing at me. Of course. Now that I’d had a closer look at the one I’d first seen, she wasn’t as chunky as I’d first thought. In fact she was kind of pretty but that didn’t help the fact that they were still laughing. My face was no doubt red as a beet and I immediately regretted my prayer for a distraction from earlier. I’d learned my lesson. It just goes to show that you should be careful about what you wish for. Because you might actually get it.