I know there's been a lot of talk about swine flu in the media lately, and it's sad and all, but I don't have time for that right now. I'm having a hair emergency.
What? It's humid.
There's this perfect product I really like, so naturally the manufacturer discontinued it. All you can find out there these days are pomades designed to smooth and straighten out your hair, or sculpting mousse and gels that make it all crispy. Soft, natural curls are apparently out. It's sad when what you have goes out of style, but I guess hair is the least of my worries, as far as that's concerned.
At least I know some straight men.
So I ran out of hair goo, and rushed post haste to HEB to get some more, tonight at about 9:15, figuring I'd pick up a fresh eyeliner as well. Alas! HEB has an odd policy of blocking off the makeup aisle after dark, and I haven't quite figured out the reasoning behind that. It's probably so that vampires, stumbling in sleepily to stock up for a long night of murderous debauchery, won't be able to conceal their true nature from their victims through the artful use of flesh-colored foundation (and will therefore have to rely on nightclub lighting and beer goggles like the rest of us). Or maybe cosmetics get shoplifted a lot. Whatever. At least the hair goo aisle was still open - you can't prohibit vampires from shampooing, that'd be discrimination - but my preferred brand no longer exists; so I grabbed a bottle of something that looked reasonably close and got in the 10-items-or-fewer line.
(The blocked-off cosmetics aisle pisses me off, but I do have to applaud HEB for their "10 items or fewer" checkout lanes. Signs that say "10 items or less" make the baby Jesus cry.)
There was a middle-aged couple ahead of me in line. Now, I didn't count the number of items they had, partly because I think that's kind of tacky and ill-natured, but largely because I wasn't sure I'd have enough fingers. They purchased their items and struggled a little bit with the card swiper - it appeared to be the first one they'd ever seen - and then, as the cashier was finalizing their transaction, the woman noticed the gum on clearance next to the register.
"That gum," she said to the cashier, "how much is that?"
"It's a dollar," the cashier responded.
"Let me have a pack of the winter fresh," said the woman.
Unfortunately, the transaction had already been closed out, so the woman decided to pay cash separately for the gum. But comically, while she was fishing slowly in her purse for a dollar, the cashier voided the transaction. So the cashier rang the whole thing up over again, became confused when the woman attempted to pay for the entire purchase with a dollar, they finally arrived at an understanding, and the man began once more trying to figure out how the card swiper worked. Meanwhile, the woman noticed the price of the gum as it flashed up on the checkout display and began bickering with the cashier because the amount was more than a dollar. The cashier attempted to explain the concept of sales tax. The woman wasn't having any of it. People in the non-express lane one over, who had arrived in line much later than I did, were finishing up and leaving. The haggling continued.
Finally they concluded everything to their satisfaction, completed their purchase, took their bags, and left. The clerk rang up my hair goo, I swiped my card and got my receipt, and I overtook the couple in the parking lot halfway to my car. I strode past them with rather needless flamboyance, I'm afraid. I wanted to make a point. Stupid slow people!
Karma will probably catch up with me either in the form of swine flu or of being sucked dry by vampires, but at least I'll have good hair.