Friday, October 16, 2009

The Accidental Bureaubrat


My ticket to Heckydarnpoo is already punched, so I might as well enhance the seating arrangement, whenever the chance avails.
I am infamous at my local grocery store. Not only as the one that got "knighted" by a disorderly conduit pipe at Customer Service (only to ask the manager if he was going to call the paramedics...for the conduit), but also as the regular, "patient customer" (LOL) with the off-the-wall sense of humor.
One bagger -- I'll refer to her as "J" -- learned this of me the very first time she threw me that standard line expected of all clerks to ask of all customers: "did you find everything okay?". I shook my left leg and indicated that I hadn't broken anything, though I might have strained my left lower oblique posterior muscle while reaching for the pickles.
While it drew a smirk from the checker, from "J" it got my first of many-since *eye rolls*.
In the years since I've frequented the place, "J" has nicknamed me "Trouble", and usually throws me a "what...YOU again?" look whenever she sees me. But a few months ago, "J" broke her usual routine (asking questions like "do you need help out?", and rolling her eyes when I'd respond with "I'm beyond help, thanks"), and asked me what it was I did for a living.
For once, I responded with a straight answer, which I think surprised her; for once, her eyes didn't automatically go into *roll* mode.
Maybe that was where her comprehension broke down; my being straight, when being a wiseacre was SOP, was more than she could adjust to. That has to be it, because from that time on, she got it in her head that I worked for the nearby Colorado State Parks Department.
Perhaps I resembled someone from there. Or perhaps all the Parks Department employees are smart arses. Whatever the case, whenever I'd enter the store thereafter, if she saw me, she'd glance at her watch and quip "they let you out this early?", or "who let you out of your cubicle over there?", and "isn't there a park where you need to go do something with?".
And, of course, the signature *eye roll*.
I corrected her the first time, reminding her what I'd told her I did and where, but it didn't seem to take: she continued to lump me in with the folks at the Parks Department. From that point, after hearing one of her usual quips in my direction, I'd just shrug and mutter something about "oh, you know us petty government bureaucrats", get my anticipated *eye roll*, and go on about grocifying.
After about a month of her believing thus, she one day asked me what it was I did for the Parks Department.
Instead of her patented *eye roll*, I heard that tell-tale *TOING* in my own head that suggested I was about to enhance my seating on the train to Heckydarnpoo. And thus, instead of trying to correct her once more, I decided to take the ball and run widdit. The following is a paraphrased recap of the conversation:
Me: I work in the Ecological Equity Analysis and Reclamation Office.
Her: *raised eyebrow*...What do they do?
Me: Well, we see to the evaluation of the ecological balance of the parks in the state. My area of responsibility is here in Lakewood.
Her: But what do you do?
Me *in my best full of crap mode*: I go to each park and evaluate the ecological balance of plants, animals, insects and other ecosystems therein, and where I find an imbalance, I take steps to remediate it.
Her: What does that mean?
Me: Well, let's say that the population of robins in one park exceeds the food sources standards established by the Federal Bureau of Resources. I trap the excess robins, and move them to a park with a lesser population, and greater food supply.
Her: *eye roll*...nooooooo, you're not serious...
Me *in my best fauxsincerity* I am quite serious. You have no idea how difficult it is to keep the parks in Lakewood so pristine and balanced.
Her: Uh...I don't...you don't really relocate birds, do you?
Me *time to reel her in*: Yep, I sure do. Or plants, animals, even insects, if necessary. We have a stinkbug problem in Green Mountain Park, just up the hill here...
Her: *look of astonishment*...a what? You..you can't be serious...are you?
Me: Well, it's not a glamorous or well-publicized job, but it's your tax dollars at work, and someone has to do it...
Her: Wow...
I am so going to Heckydarnpoo for leaving her thinking I was serious. So before I left, I stopped over at Customer Service, and told the clerk there what I'd done. She laughed her butt off.
But I think she blew my story; on my next visit to the store, I got me a crusty look from "J", and a sarcastic "move any stinkbugs lately?".
I told her, with my patented straight face, that I'd be starting that in September.
*Eye roll*

7 Comments:

Blogger The Dental Maven said...

POOR J!!! She'll never believe another word you say. But the "stinkbug" response was pure brilliance. :)

16 October, 2009 05:54  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Maven: mwhahaha...she should have believed me in the first place. Now...anything goes ;)

16 October, 2009 05:59  
Blogger Debbie said...

Your mind is way too fertile, ha.

Deborah F. Hamilton
Right Truth
http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

16 October, 2009 07:45  
Blogger Sandee said...

I think you just shovel s*** for a living. Bwahahahahahahahaha.

Have a terrific day and weekend. :)

16 October, 2009 09:35  
Blogger Jack K. said...

I hope you let her know that there was a dearth of stinkbugs in her neighborhood. And that you would be visiting there in due time.

Have fun in heckydarnpoo.

snerx

16 October, 2009 18:04  
Blogger Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, Mike, you do beat all!!! I wish I could have been a fly on the grocery store wall!!!! How absolutely hilarious!!! Thanks for stopping by, my friend! I'm feeling a little better today, and so I couldn't resist stopping by to see what pranks you were up to!!! And as always, you did not disappoint!! I have to be careful not to laugh so hard as to split my stitches!!! Hugs, Janine

17 October, 2009 10:28  
Blogger A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

You know, if I had a patented straight face, I could remediate a lot of things. A lot.

18 October, 2009 18:10  

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