Beastly Numbers

June 11, 2008 at 1:55 am (Cussed Dumbers)

I wish almost every work night could be like tonight. I say ‘almost’ because I’ve had some pretty crazy-fun work nights, and there’s always room for more fun. But, for punching the clock while not getting rich, hammered or laid, it was a pretty good night.

Part of it was in the numbers. I had not one but two transactions that totaled $6.66. That only happens on Halloween. Well, not only, but I can go for months without seeing the price tag of the beast. Yet virtually every Halloween it happens. Customers think I’m making stuff up, until I give them the receipt. “Ooh, I’d better buy something else! That’s unlucky.”

To which I reply, in my best Beelzebub impersonation, “Don’t do that, or you will anger the master!” Then I give out a guttural growl, which either leaves them laughing or crossing themselves.

On the second $6.66 transaction, I pondered aloud the significance of seeing it twice in one night.

“Well, it is Friday the 13th this week…”

“Well, I’ll be damned. Uh, maybe I should rephrase that. By god man, you’re right!”

My favorite Trimet supervisor played 13 and 31 on Keno and won $33. (She promptly lost ten bucks going for more, but we’ll not think about that.)

Lucky or not, it was a pleasant work night. Besides grooving on spooky numbers, I flirted my ass off.

There must have been a Hot Foreign Women’s convention downtown tonight. I had a proverbial taste of Europe mid-shift. But what got the ball rolling?

As I stood at the register, waiting for a credit card to run, my cell phone announced “New message!” It was from a certain very naughty young lady who needs to be spanked. It read:

“I can’t live without u. Im dying 2 feel u at nite. Sweat is dripping down my body. I want u. I need u. Come on u-”

Ding went the register. I slammed the receipt down, tapped for a signature and scrolled down on the phone screen to finish the text message.

“-fucking air conditioner and turn on!”

Aughh!!! All of a sudden I’m standing in the middle of the store with a prostate that feels like a glowing charcoal briquet. I shook my head, jowly like Nixon, and said, “Damn.”

“Everything okay?” asked my co-worker.

“Nothing a cold shower wouldn’t cure.”

It must have released a boatload of pheromones, because all of a sudden I was Mister Charming. A couple from Australia bought some wine, and a casual comment made the woman blush. Hubby/significant other enjoyed it as much as she did, I think.

Then, a regular customer came in. (American, but we won’t hold that against her.) She bought two cans of beer, then asked if I had any wine coolers. The beers were for her son, but since it was her birthday, she felt the urge to celebrate a little.

“Well, happy birthday!” I said. I walked her over to where the alco-pops are displayed. “Mike’s Hard Lemonade tastes like lemonade, Smirnoff Apple doesn’t taste much like apple, and I don’t know about the rest. I’d recommend lemonade, unless you’re feeling wild.”

“Honey, at my age a couple of wine coolers is feeling wild!”

She reminded me of Gretchen Corbett, Rockford’s lawyer in The Rockford Files. I rang her up, and she asked me the question that most guys dread.

“So… how old do I look? And be honest.”

Since I card people all day long, and have been doing it for decades, I’m pretty good at guessing age. (I also know to lowball when women are involved.) She looked near-fifty, so I said 47. It’s a number I’ve recently become familiar with, and she looked my age.

“You blowin’ smoke up my ass?” I love it when women are direct like that.

“Uh, I don’t know. You look healthy. Did I aim too high?” Overguessing is never a good thing.

“No honey. It’s funny. I was a hippie in the ’60s, flower power, all that. You’d think I’d look my age.”

I looked at her. “Well?”

“Well what?”

“After all that, how the hell old are you?”

She smiled. “I’m 58 today.”

“No kidding? You got it going on…”

She left with wine coolers and a spry step, and looking pretty good from behind. That’s inspiration to keep up with my health regimen.

Soon after, a tall blonde woman came in. She chose a bottle of mid-range chardonnay, and I asked for her ID.

“Yesss,” she said in a Teutonic accent. “I love ven I am asked how old.” She was 35. She looked early twenties at most.

“Where are you from?”

“LA,” she replied.

“That’s not a valley girl accent.”

“Originally I am from Germany.” She gave me the lowdown on a German restaurant opening nearby. “I’m not racist, but they are not German, they are Turkish. I don’t eat street food in Germany.”

What she described sounded like a cross between McDonald’s and the roach coaches we have here. Regardless, it still sounded delicious. And she looked delicious. She promised to return tonight, so I will bone up on my Horst Mager trivia and maybe send her to Rheinlander.

Despite all these beautiful distractions, I had time to read my newspapers, and even read a comic or two. Bizarro has always been a favorite, and today’s cartoon featured Mr and Mrs Potato Head. Mr PH is looking guilty, and Mrs PH has a hostile expression, saying “I saw you looking at that French girl!” Behind them was a quite-feminine French fry in pill-box hat and mini-skirt.

I remember thinking, man, I wish *I* could meet a French girl.

Not three minutes later, a young woman with a thick accent entered. “Excuse me, do you sell phone cards?”

“Yes,” I said, slipping into salesman mode. I pointed at the touch-screen at the end of the counter. “Pick what you want, and I’ll print it for you.”

“I don’t understand,” she said.

“Where are you trying to call?”


This calls for extreme customer service.

I quickly dispatched the guy buying a pack of gum and hurried to the end of the counter. She looked perplexed, so I tapped the screen and began my sales pitch. “Is this for a cell phone, or land line?”

“Can I do both?”

“I think so.” I hadn’t a fucking clue.

I looked at her eyebrows. Full, yet not unkempt or masculine. She smelled slightly of whiskey and cigarettes, a combination that’s like jet fuel for my libido. I leaned over close, tapped a couple of buttons and left her to decide. If I stood there much longer I’d be dry-humping her leg.

I went back to the register, picked up the paper and quickly excised the Mr & Mrs Potato Head cartoon. I took her $20 bill, handed her the receipt, the phone card and the cartoon. “I was looking at this, right before you walked in. You may have it.”

“Ooh! Merci!”

“Au revoir!” I responded, not knowing how to say “You’re welcome” in French.

She grinned and waved. “Au revoir!”

Vive Le France!

Should I blame the devil with his ‘lucky’ numbers for all this fun? Can I really be upset with the girl with the naughty texting thumbs? (I’d like to hold it against her, and I’m not talking grudges.)

I guess being devilish requires a few horny moments. Ooh la lah!


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