Hazelnut Gelato and Picking Fights with Tommy Lister in the Maze of Forgotten Construction Projects / part 2
Wouldn’t it be great if—
That’s how this part of it started.
I cleaned up pretty well, but there was still some signs of what had happened. That meant questions from coworkers and queer looks from customers. I explained what happened to a couple people, but this was embarrassing. It wasn’t something I wanted to talk about it. Most were satisfied with a mumbled, absentminded, “Oh, yeah, got something [trails off into unintelligible muttering].”
My coworker Natasha didn’t accept such an answer. My evasive muttering seemed only to pique her interest. This former Soviet spy turned cashier following the fall of the USSR wasn’t about to let the issue drop. Her dastardly interrogation technique of not walking away and asking repeatedly, “What you mean?” finally broke my desire to not rehash the traumatic parking lot incident of that morning.
I was running late, I told her, already pissed off about the traffic. I couldn’t get on the Youngmann and then got sucked into going almost around in circles before I finally made it in. Getting to the parking lot was just the beginning.
I have my man-bag on and I’m friggin around with my keys and making sure I haven’t forgotten anything. I’m angry, I’m pissed off—I’m late, there was construction, I’m going to work. How am I not in a bad mood?
I’m busy digging into my bag so I don’t notice that heading along the row of cars opposite me is this guy. This big guy. This big black guy.
Think Deebo from Friday. Or the Galactic President from the Fifth Element. Or picture the convict from the Dark Knight who threw the detonator out of the window on the ferry. These would all be the same guy.
Picture him. Because it was him. It’s Tommy Lister in the parking lot, coming right towards me.
He’s about three of me. We’re heading right for each other, but I don’t notice him because I have my head down, making sure I have whatever crap I need.
And he’s eating a cupcake.
He’s really enjoying this cupcake too, so much that he apparently doesn’t really notice me either. He’s enjoying this cupcake far more than 300lb. man should. Picture a fat little kid who just heard the music from the ice cream truck. That’s how this guy looked, one hand raising a cupcake to his lips, the other hand with the second Hostess Cupcake on standby.
If I knew how he looked of course, which I didn’t since I had my head down and I’m doing my pissed off emo-Matt walk towards the front entrance of the store.
So my head is down and Tommy Lister is making sweet love to his cupcake and—POW!
ZONK! may be more appropriate for how ridiculous this is.
So my head is down and Tommy Lister is making sweet love to his cupcake and—ZONK!—we collide.
I’m sure this guy was actually pretty nice, you know, underneath all that terrifying massiveness. I wouldn’t know. I got bumped, one of those hard shoulder to shoulder impacts that kind of spins both parties back and to the left so you’re almost facing each other. There was the impact and then I saw cupcake.
And then I mumbled under my breath, “Nice cupcake, Little Debbie,” and started to turn around to head once again to the store.
Only… I didn’t quite mumble it under my breath as much as I’d intended. It wasn’t quite under my breath at all. Or sufficiently mumbled. And he heard me.
His eyes went wide in a blind sugar- and people-saying-stupid-shit-induced rage. My eyes went wide as I realized what I’d just said that out loud.
Remember that second cupcake Tommy was holding? Ready to go when he finished the first one?
I’m not sure if he intended to do what happened next, or if he forgot the cupcake was in his hand. He still had a piece of the first cupcake in his right hand, so he may have forgot and thought his left was free for the dismembering of skinny smart-ass white boys. Or maybe he was just upset that I’d referred to him as Little Debbie when this was a completely different brand from what he was eating. It could have been that I called him Little Debbie at all.
Perhaps that cupcake in his left hand was the only thing that saved my life that day.
You ever see a SWAT team take out a door with a battering ram? Now imagine me as the door and a cupcake on the end of the battering ram.
I was thrown back from the impact with his left sledgehammer and slammed into a Burberry painted Smart Car, crumpling the recycled pop can body. I looked down to see the cupcake exploded across the front of my shirt, chocolate blossoming from the point of impact and bits of white swirly icing littering the crater that once was my shoulder.
Tommy Lister was a mix of emotions. He wasn’t sure what to feel. On one hand he was pretty good to go on ripping my arms and legs off and stuffing me in a garbage can (seriously, he was probably a really nice guy, so I’m sure he would have thrown me out when he was done rather than leave a mess for someone else to clean up). On the other hand, he looked genuinely upset he just lost his other cupcake.
I took that moment’s hesitation to run the fuck out of there.
There may have been some frantic, hysterical arm waving when the running occurred. There may have been terrified shrieking.
I can’t confirm these details, and I thank anyone who witnessed this incident not to confirm them either.
Once safely locked inside the employee break room I set to work cleaning off my shirt. Which went relatively well, actually. Little warm water, paper towels, some careful yet insistent dabbing, and I was left with a wet shirt and a very light brown stain instead of the Hostess Cupcake carnage.
I still got questions and funny looks, and one douche actually took a step back and lowered his head, tilted to one side. Really? The stain on my shirt wasn’t that dark, and wasn’t that big. You don’t need to step back to take it all in, so knock it off and tell me what color the book you’re looking for is, because I know that’s all you know about it.
Most people let it go when I mumbled an explanation, and I’d pretty much forgotten the whole thing by the end of the day. But Natasha was a little trickier. She wouldn’t have been satisfied with the story I’d passed off on others throughout the day. Oh, and gullible. That’s right, that’s why I was able to tell her this version.
But that’s OK, because this story was way better than what actually happened.