Why the hell they hired me, I honestly couldn't tell you.
During the interview I was so nervous I barely formed a coherent sentence. I managed to pronounce my own last name wrong and I dripped damn near a gallon of sweat onto the carpet of the woman tossing questions my way. Not to mention the fact that I was moments from spewing the turkey and cheddar Lunchables I’d eaten earlier in the day on her pretty blue shoes.
Despite all this, two weeks later I was standing behind a register in one of those swanky red vests, pretending like I gave a crap whether or not the person I was checking out had "found everything all right."
"Did you find everything all right?"
"Find everything did you?"
"Find everything you needed?"
Ug. If I’d known how to handle a gun I might have blown my brains out.
Unfortunately I had as much gun knowledge as, Howie Mandel has comic timing, or anyone that thinks, Jennifer Aniston movies are fantastic pieces of American cinema, has taste.
No. I just would have shot myself in the foot. And where would I have been then?
Working the checkout line at Kmart in a cast, that's where.
No thanks, dillweed.
A couple months after starting at Kmart my supervisor gave me a cart full of returns and told me head into the store and put them back where they belonged. I was okay with this job. I fact, I sort of liked it. It got me away from the checkout line and it allowed me to walk aimlessly through the store pretending that I couldn't figure out where things went in a desperate attempt to kill some time.
If a shopper approached me with a question like, "Where can I find the lug nuts?" I'd point them in the wrong direction, then go and hide.
I knew where the lug nuts were. So why didn’t I just tell them?
I'm a jerk? I thought it was funny? I was an idiotic fifteen year-old and I wanted to take out the anger I felt for having to work at Kmart on innocent people? Most likely, it was a mix of all three.
Plus, lets go ahead and throw in something about my father never loving me, or some such nonsense. It works for serial killers, right? Why not me? Why should serial killers get all the breaks?
They get to eat people, they get to wear the skin of their victims as a summer dress AND they get to blame it all on their parents? Screw that. I want in on this action.
One specific afternoon, while shuffling through the store, wasting time and pointing people in the wrong direction, I found myself in the toy department. The guy who worked in Sporting Goods and the guy who worked in electronics were huddled close near the rear of the action figure aisle. They were speaking in whispers - being real secretive and such.
Sporting goods guy noticed me. "Hey, come here."
My super-spy abilities kicked in. I needed to know what they were up to and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.
Bet you didn't think I had super-spy abilities, did you? Turns out, as of 2011 it’s my number one ability. So suck on that.
Don't misunderstand me, I can't single handily save Air Force One from terrorists, I can't do karate or even punch a guy in the face. I can't speak fifteen different languages. I can't bed down various sexy women that are revealed to be my enemies in the last reel either.
What I can do, and what I could do even back then is exactly what I did: turn my head to the left and the right to make sure no one is looking.
I never said they were "impressive" super-spy abilities.
Confident the coast was clear I made my way over to the knuckeheads at the end of the aisle. When I was close, sporting goods guy motioned to one of the shelves and said, "Check this out."
Crammed in between the Ninja Turtles Super Turtle Chopper and some X-Men action figures, was a Stretch Armstrong doll. Stretch was lying on his back and he had an Exacto knife protruding from his chest. He looked like the victim of a satanic cult. There was milky-clear liquid is leaking from the hole in his chest cavity.
It was thick and creamy – a weird mixture of molasses and snot – sort of what I imagine, Big Foot’s spooge must look like.
Not that I think about that a lot or anything.
Sporting Goods guy turned to Electronics guy and offered with a sly grin and a half-chuckle, "Dude, I totally dare you to eat it."
"No way man. That's like…filled with toxic, and shit."
"Pussy. You don't have to eat a lot, just taste it."
"Fuck you. You taste it."
Realizing he was getting nowhere, Sporting Goods guy turned his attention to me.
Yeah, right. This idiot was even dumber than he looked if he thought for even a second that I was going to touch the warm insides of Stretch to my tongue.
Electronics guy said it best: "it's like...filled with toxic...and shit."
I looked at Sporting Goods guy like he was insane and shook my head.
He was clearly annoyed. He was also a little angry. "Man, you two are a couple pussies! Go to the women's section and buy yourselves some dresses, you dress wearing pussies. Fine. I'll do it myself, but you assholes owe me like fifty bucks for doing it…each"
Nobody was going to give him fifty bucks.
Not on a Kmart salary.
Hesitantly, he touched the tip of his finger to Stretch's gooey insides, placed the glob to his lips and dabbed it with the tip of his tongue. His eyes closed. His face scrunched and his lips pulled back. Within seconds he was spitting and fanning his mouth like it was on fire. He was spinning in circles and jogging in place.
With his eyes still shut he screamed far louder than he should have, "Aw, man! Fuck! It tastes like a ferret’s pussy!”
A ferret’s pussy?
To this day I still have no idea what the hell that was supposed to mean or why he chose it as an example of something that tasted bad.
More importantly, how did he know a ferret’s pussy tasted so awful to begin with?
Hell, ferret pussy might taste like cinnamon – hairy cinnamon – mixed with wood chips.
In any case, the reason Kmart hired me in the first place suddenly made complete and total sense: Look who they were comparing me to.