It's getting so that every time I leave the Mansion, I have a weirdo encounter! Either a little man goes around me to the counter to butt in on my lottery ticket action like there's no line, or a different little man in a different convenience store stands in front of the only door, scratching to beat the band like there's no tomorrow to his heart's content.
Today, the ladies demanded equal time.
I dashed in the convenience store that should have been built before Newmentia let school out during the May of my retirement. It's a bright, clean place with wide aisles and that new-construction smell that is just now fading. My purpose was to cash in a winner and get more tickets.
Last week, a bleachy-haired, 70s-style bouffant lady who reminded me of my high school guidance counselor, Shirley, had almost done me wrong at that very store. The cheerful clerk was setting out my tickets and looking at that win receipt when not-Shirley walked up with a cup of coffee and put it on the counter and pushed her money across. I will cut her some slack, because she DID have the courtesy to say, "Oh, did I butt in?" Still, the clerk rang up her coffee before finishing with my transaction. Apparently, my teacher aura has faded, and I command little respect in the public sector. Now that I think about it, nobody has asked me the price of items, or where something is located in a store lately, either!
Anyhoo...today I waited to make a left turn onto that parking lot. A police car went by, and then this white SUV. I pulled in at the end of the building, and the SUV went to the front. As I walked in, the driver, who could have been not-Shirley (2), got out and came right up behind me. I don't like that. I like a gap. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom enjoys a bubble of personal space. Anyhoo...I gave the door an extra push to allow her to follow on my heels without it slamming her face. That's how Mrs. HM rolls.
I cashed in my winner, and this different clerk was laying out my tickets, preparing to scan them, when not-Shirley 2 came right up to my shoulder and said, "Oh, do you have any luck?" I don't know about you, but when I'm getting my gambling fix for the day, I don't particularly care to wax philosophical on the method of my madness. But Mrs. HM is a polite sort, and explained that she does okay.
"What's the most that you've won?"
Whoa, not-Shirley (2)! Do you ask childless couples about fertility treatments? Hirsute construction workers if they shave their back? Ambulance drivers if the have a body in their rig? Sometimes we need a filter. But...Mrs. HM is a polite sort, so I answered her, and THEN she wanted to know which tickets won the best. SWEET GUMMI MARY! I felt like asking her if she was on The Meth.
Anyhoo...not-Shirley (2) didn't even take the cake today in the weirdo cakewalk. Nope. That prize went to the weirdo in line behind me at The Devil's Playground. And by "behind" I mean all up in my bubble, virtually in my left pants pocket. Let's just say it nearly took an NFL offensive lineman to finally move her so I could get back to the card-slider.
I had put a 12-pack of Diet Coke in my cart, with an 8-pack of bottled Diet Coke (12 oz size) laying on top. Both bar codes were on top, ready for the scan gun. I didn't see a need to lift them onto the conveyor. I always do this with awkward or heavy items, and push the cart around the bag carousel so the Devil's Handmaiden doesn't have to come far out of her lair. So she can just poke out a little bit, like a moray eel from its crevice.
Well. There was no going back to a normal position in front of the card-slider. AND there was no going back to my superficial repartee with the Handmaiden. Verbose'n'Close had horned in when Handmaiden told me how she, too, missed her college sons carrying in her bags for her. Out of the blue, Verbose'n'Close hijacked the conversation.
"Oh! How many kids do you have?"
"Two boys in college. And I just got re-married, and I have four step-kids. So six. I have six kids..."
"Yeah, I have two myself. Sometimes it seems like more--"
So much for hearing more about how Handmaiden had asked her boys to hook up her VCR before they left after Thanksgiving, and one of them gave her a look and said, "Are you sure you don't want us to hook up the Victrola as well?"
Weirdos. Always horning in on Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's only time of the day to interact with an adult. Or any human. Weirdos not included.