Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nurse the Hate: Hate Christmas Shopping

It must have been about ten years ago, right about this time of year. I had procrastinated in doing my Xmas shopping, like any other year. I was in a real jam, with a weekend full of gigs taking me all over the frozen tundra of the Midwest. The prospects of finding my special lady friend the perfect holiday gift at an Indiana Fireworks Warehouse (even the "World's Largest") or a Cracker Barrel Gift Shop off the Turnpike seemed dim at best. I would be forced to go to The Mall.

The timing of this particular shopping trip could not have been worse. We were closing in on Christmas at a rate causing normal citizens to shop like pirates, slashing and pillaging their way through the discount sweater tables and destroyed leather glove displays. It had reached a point where it was almost a frenzy, eyes darting around retail establishments looking for an answer to their particular shopping dilemma. "OK.. OK... Now I remember her Brother-In-Law mentioning a deer hunting trip at that cookout on the 4th. Maybe he would like that camouflage tie over there. No... No... Don't panic man! The answer is here... Somewhere... Maybe that battery operated singing fish. That's funny. Yeah, people like that, don't they?"

Making matters even worse, I was entering The Mall directly after leaving the dentist and a particularly horrific crown replacement procedure that left me like a dead on replica of Dick Clark circa 2009. I swear that at one point a drill had gone through my lower jaw and spun directly into my Adam's Apple, but the poker face of the dentist and assistant did not give it away to the point where I can make this statement with absolute certainty. But you get the idea. I was a wreck. When I spoke the shop clerks thought I was either a stroke victim or functionally retarded. Neither of these categories are especially helpful to be on a holiday shopping blitzkrieg by the way.

Let me throw in a couple other conditions that were nagging me as well. I had a head cold that left the front of my skull like it was filled with a soggy mucous filled sponge. There were not enough Kleenex available at any time to deal with the constant drainage leaving every orifice. There was so much coming out of me, that mere nostrils couldn't handle the flow. It was so bad I seem to recall I had to occasionally swipe at my ears to stop the incessant flow of fluid. Mothers pulled their children to their bosom when I walked past. Adding to my misery was an ingrown whisker on my left cheek that a casual observer might have referred to as a "boil", but let's be correct here. It was a whisker something like the ones that grew out of "Brendal Fly" when Jeff Goldblum was The Fly in that 1980s remake. It was about as thick as the bristles of hair that protrude out of a pot bellied pig. It was a good look for me all around. I looked pretty hot.

It was when I reached for a sweater on a rack at the Banana Republic that my hand met another shopper reaching for the same sweater. "Oh, I'm sorry.", I said sounding like The Elephant Man. I looked up and saw that the hand belonged to my old college girlfriend. She looked at me with a mixture of recognition, shock, and perhaps pity. I immediately started to stammer and explain my sorry state. It sounded kind of like this: "Oh... I'm sowwy... (sniffle) I just got back fwom da dentist, and I ah... I know I sound a wittle weird wight now bwut..."

She, on the other hand, had taken up distance running. Her well muscled lean thighs showed through her perfectly fitting designer jeans, hands crossed to reveal a monsterous diamond engagement ring that if not for her (no doubt) rigorous schedule at the gym would have been impossible to lift. Her lusterous hair flowed down her smart leather jacket, and her green eyes sized me up quickly.

You could read on her face what she was thinking. I was a bullet she had dodged only years earlier. Thank God she had met Mr. Wonderful and didn't end up in whatever filthy trailer park I had crawled out of like some prehistoric amphibean. Now she had only to walk from this store, and call all of her old girlfriends as she walked The Mall. "Oh God! You will never believe who I saw... Greg Miller!!! No! No! He looked terrible. I almost wanted to drive him to the City Mission for a bowl of soup. I think he might have had a stroke or something. I could barely understand him. He also had these sores all over his face. He must be a heroin addict or something. I know! I know! Can you believe I dated him that long! What was I thinking? Hahahahaha!!!!!"

I don't know what your shopping plans are for this holiday season are, but take a tip. Shop online.


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