Yes, I Have No Bananas Today

October 13, 2009 at 12:31 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

The air in the stock room/office turned blue. “Where are my motherfucking bananas?”

I looked all around. Nada. Grr…

I have been trying to eat healthy, and taken a fair amount of teasing for it. I eat fruits and nuts instead of Little Debbie for lunch, and look for excuses to walk a lot. We sell fruit at the store, but it’s $1 per item, and I can get my own stuff at the fruit stand for a fraction of that. (So does the lady who sells the fruit to the store: We’ve crossed paths there before.) I bring my stuff to work and hide it in the stock room. I have a little cubby-hole that houses my work shirt and fruit stash. I’ve been doing it for a couple years, and no one has messed with my stuff.

Until the other day…

As I grouped my lunch into a bag to take out front, I pondered what had happened. The store sells bananas, but they are the “organic” kind, which means they have a cool sticker on them. Mine are simple old Dole bananas, which seem more organic because they don’t have a little plastic stem-protector melted on. Mine tend to be smaller than the ones we sell, so it’s not hard to tell them apart. Who was the culprit?

One of the lunch ladies is notorious for coming in and rearranging stores while the clerk is at lunch. She separates plastic bags from their neat stack into a big puffy mess, opens a roll of every kind of change, (“I wouldn’t want you to run out, honey…”) and moves all my working tools into different spots. It’s an obsessive/compulsive thing; I do the same kinds of things, but only when I’m beginning my own shift, not creating havoc for someone else. I called her.

“Did you move any bananas around?”

“No, honey. There were some for sale, but I didn’t move them.”

Hmm.

The new guy? He doesn’t know about my stash. I asked. “Nope. I sold six of them to this one guy. He was excited at how fresh they were.”

No doubt.

My next culprit? Giggles. He’s newer, and somewhat irresponsible with money. He hovers like a pigeon eyeing an old lady eating popcorn when it’s time to throw out the expired sandwiches, and has been known to pilfer lunches from other employees. (He’s not touched mine, evidence of which being that he’s still walking around.) He wasn’t on the schedule, but he’d be a likely suspect. I’ll keep him in mind…

Roscoe? Nah, he’s an excellent, conscientious worker. He’s got a great job at a foundry, and works a couple of graveyard shifts a week. He’s calm, good-natured, but a wee bit scary. (He reminds me of the Samuel L. Jackson character from Black Snake Moan.) He’s got big, muscly arms with knife scars, and a “Don’t fuck with me” air about him. We’ve posted mugshots of people arrested with giant swollen black eyes because they wouldn’t return a pint of shoplifted ice cream.

Jesus, I get to confront Roscoe about bananas.

He comes in every night to get snacks and newspapers for his ‘real’ job. As he rolled in, I said hi and asked, “Hey Roscoe, did you move any bananas out of the office yesterday?”

He gave me an exasperated look. “Yeah! Some damned fool idiot put them back there! I had all these joggers coming around looking for healthy stuff, so I set them out. Looks like they sold!”

I smiled. “They sure did. That was most of my lunch for the week.”

His grin melted away. “You know, I wondered. They were back there next to your stuff, but I thought they were inventory. Sorry! Here, what do I owe ya? Six bucks?” Out came his wallet.

“Nah,” I said. “I only paid two dollars for them. I can afford to work at Master P’s, not shop here. Don’t worry about it.” Roscoe has brought me unsolicited snacks from the taco truck before, I can take a two dollar hit.

“Here, take three.” He dropped the bills on the counter and walked away. All righty then. Master P made $6 off my bananas, and I’m up a buck. The only one out is Roscoe.

I spent the next day regaling co-workers with my adventures in confronting Roscoe, tarting it up for some audiences. Dr T was not buying into my tough-guy version, especially when I tossed an empty can of nuts at the trash can and missed. I went to pick it up, but he scurried past me and grabbed it. I had never seen him move that fast. “Wow, look at you, mister spry!”

He flipped the can on its side, gripping it between his two feet. Is he gonna place kick it? Awesome! No, wait… he’s… Oh. No. He’s. Not!… It looked like he was going to bring both feet up and make a basket with the can. Yikes!

“Careful, you’ll break a hip,” I said.

We trash talk each other all the time, in good fun, and no maliciousness is ever meant, but this zinger looked like it hurt. “Oh fuck you!” he said, and picked up the can, tossing it. I had visions of him losing balance and crashing into a candy rack, splitting open his head, paramedics, get well cards, overtime. My comment looked like it hurt more than all of that.

As I rang people up, he wandered over. “I’m just gonna position my walker here, so I don’t tip over, while you use the bathroom, go fishing, whatever.” His smirk hadn’t evaporated yet.

I grabbed a few $20s and headed to the back to buy change. “I’ll go fishing.”

As I walked away, he called me back. A customer had a hundred-dollar bill, which I broke for him with my $20s.

“I guess it’s probably too soon to make a joke about the Old Man and the C-note, eh Mister Hemingway?”

“OH FUCK YOU!” He started laughing. “That was pretty good, but FUCK YOU.”

It’s always so much fun to kiss and make up with my co-workers.

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