He's baaaack. That potty-mouthed leopard who creeps around my 44 oz. Diet Coke store, waiting to pounce. I had been Diet-Coking it up, happily shed of him, for some weeks now. Our schedules don't mesh. The predator had to make do with other prey. Until last evening.
There it was, my 44 oz. Diet Coke store, an oasis along the savanna of Thanskgiving. The lights glowed at dusk. Exotic and domestic cars, trucks, and motorcycles crouched by the gas pumps to sip, headlights wide open, wary of waiting watchers who would slink out of the shadows and overwhelm. Inside, blocking access to my own personal oasis, the soda bar, was Potmo, the potty-mouthed leopard who just might share a few genes with the howler monkey family.
As usual, Potmo launched into his monologue as soon as he spied me over his shoulder. Under the guise of drawing a 44 oz. draught for himself while talking shop with a co-worker, he once again offended. Killed any good will I might have shown in regards to our past parting acquaintance.
"Yeah, so this deal with Loretta is f*cking crap. I had her Monday night, and Lenny had her Saturday night. It's a crock of sh*t."
I have no idea who Loretta is, but I suspect she's one of the older ladies who tolerates no nonsense from Potmo. Thus his outrage. And by had her, I imagine he's talking about working a shift with her, not about knowing her in the Biblical sense. Lenny is the one who gives me the deep discounts on my soothing carbonated elixir. He's a stand-up guy, aside from defrauding the business by proffering me free soda. I can't imagine his issues with Loretta. He seems to get along with all co-workers every time I'm in there.
Help me reposition this thorn in my side. It's not feasible to remove it. The cost would be too great. I can live with it. But that doesn't mean I will like it. In fact, I might need to alter my activities until that thorn works its way loose. Bend a bit. Avoid actions that might aggravate my condition.
As I have mentioned before, Potmo is a former student five times removed. That's about how many years he's been gone from the nicely-waxed halls of Newmentia. He was that kid who would raise his hand and wait to be called on, then ask an off-topic, polarizing question to get the class off track. He was the kid who would bring up evolution in civics class, or abortion in English. Smart enough not to break the rules and draw a disciplinary referral. A chip-shouldered young man without a circle of friends to encourage his behavior. One to start a fiery discussion, then crawl under a cool fern and watch, amused, while sketching death-heads and swords on his art pad. We always thought he would go into the tattoo business. He was quite talented in that style.
Now he's a convenience store clerk. Who loudly spouts profanity every time our paths cross. What about the people who bring their children in there while they buy cases of beer and rolling papers? Kids don't need to be exposed to that kind of language!
I would find a way to complain to management, except that Potmo and I share a past. I don't make it my business to go around trying to get former students fired. I would not wish to get anybody fired in this economy. Yet I would like to conduct my business without fear of profanity being flung in my direction. Even my business of procuring a free soda every now and then.
There comes a time to put away childish things. And that time is when you're on the clock at your job in a convenience store.