Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why I Hate X-Mas Music (Part I)

My freshman year of college I worked at a mall during Christmas break. Twelve hour shifts at a kiosk selling T-shirts and decorator items emblazoned with ducks, big belt buckles with rebel flags on them, and pocket knives. The work was fun but such relentless exposure to "Surfin Santa" and "Little Drummer Boy" day after day will give one Christmas music PTSD. Enough said about that.

The boss, Blane, had a crush on my friend Georgia, who also worked at the kiosk. He had a big belly - it pressed against his sweatshirt so his navel made a dimple like a button does in a couch cushion. Blane looked almost as pregnant as his wife, who was eight months or more along. She worked there too, but that didn't prevent him from being a dirty old man.

He'd come around the corner with furrowed brows, looking serious, and eye a female off in the crowd.
"You know what would look good on her?" he'd ask.
Shit like that all the time, and it was disgusting but funny too. The kiosk was square, so it was easy for Blane to go around the corner from his wife and say something totally inappropriate to Georgia, and it was easy for us to go around corners and talk about him or customers or other people in the mall.

Right after Christmas, Blane's wife left to go back to their hometown because she was so close to her due date. One night after that, I left the kiosk to have a dinner of egg rolls and stroll around with my friend Kenyon. We were heading back when we saw Blane up ahead coming out of the drug store, also on his way back to work. He had something in a bag. "Is that two boxes of condoms?" Kenyon said. We walked up behind Blane to get a closer look, and indeed that's what it looked like.

We paused to let Blane make it back to the kiosk without seeing us. After break was over I went back to work and told Georgia what was up. "Well, there's a couple of good reasons he can't use them on his wife," she said. As soon as Blane went to the bathroom she went through his briefcase, found the drugstore bag, and verified that there were two boxes of Trojans in there.

We had major cause to be concerned about this situation. Blane had invited us to "party" with him in his motor home at the campground the following evening.


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