Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rush the 99 Cent Store Part 1

There's a saying, "the best plans of mice and men..." something something something. I never learned the end of that one. Until today, I never really understood what the whole sentence meant. I mean, why on this green earth would mice be makin elaborate plans? I guess some mouse could be havin one of them debutante balls or bar-mitzvahs or one of them other big-type party things, then they'd prolly need to lay some plans. But, seriously, what're you gonna serve at a mouse party? Appetizers. I don't know if you've noticed, but them mice is pretty small little things, and havin a big elaborate dinner would just waste a lot of food. And after mice waste food, who gets it? Sure, there're probably mice charities and things like that, but there's only so much waste a mouse would want to create at a big party, plus, if they're wastin a lot of food, then they're wastin their parents money and mice don't have too much money. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to name more than three mice that I knew had any money whatsoever. So, to avoid waste at the big party, I suppose some manner of planning would have to be involved but I still ain't sure it'd be that elaborate. To be fair, our plan for raidin that 99 cent store wasn't too elaborate, neither, but I still think, overall, humans make more complex plans than mice.

That's really where I was tryin to go with this thing; that job at the 99 cent store didn't go as well as we'd expected it. It sure as shootin coulda gone a lot worse than it did, I'll give ya that, but it also coulda gone a heck of a lot better. I mostly blame myself. Everyone else blames myself, also, so at least we have a consensus, but I made my feelings clear well before this whole thing started and they went ahead and invited me along anyway. Make yerself a list of people you'd want with you while raiding a meth distribution hub disguised as a 99 cent store and your old pal Pat O'Neil likely won't be in the top ten. If your list was anything like mine, your top ten would be:
1. An employee of the 99 cent store who also happens to have crazy kung-fu powers from his or her time in the special forces and an arsenal of weapons at home from his or her time as a super spy.
2. Some sorta highly advanced robot fighter sent to us by aliens or the future or aliens in the future to save us from the evils meth has wreaked on their alien/future world and knows it all starts at the 99 cent store. The robot would also have to appear cold and unfeeling on the outside, but have a heart of gold. A literal heart of gold would be better because, when the robot had completed his mission, he could give you his heart and you could sell it on the open market and be set for life.
3. An alien shape shifter that could appear like anything in any world. It could go in looking human and then turn into a giant octopus with razor arms when stuff started to go bad.
4. Chuck Norris.
5. A big sumo guy who's actually fast on his feet, because people would underestimate him.
6. A small, weak, nerdy guy who's actually wearing an exoskeleton he designed himself after he graduated top of his class at MIT and made billions of dollars in some obscure internet deal, but refuses to kill on moral grounds and who also sometimes has to stop fighting for a minute because of his asthma.
7. A guy who's really into guns and who is also really angry because his parents' death was somehow cause by meth or the 99 cent store and who vowed revenge.
8. Someone who looks like Chuck Norris, for the intimidation factor.
9. Someone who is good at fighting and has no ancient qualms with going into the 99 cent store.
10. Someone who knows any of the above and has picked up some skills from being around these people.
Notice who's not anywhere on that list? It's Pat O'Neil. And you know why? I'll tell you why. I obviously can't hold it together in the 99 cent store even when my life is on the line. Theoretically speaking, we'd walk into the store, Douggy, me, and three skin bags filled with squimonk and sorta fan out. Then, Douggy and I might wander over to the cleaning products section to get a good view of the back door while keeping an eye on the clerks. Then, if this were anything like I suspect it was, Douggy would go and say a durn fool stupid like, "Hey, 99 cents for a mop? That's not a bad deal. I don't know what your problem is, Pat."

And that would probably set me off yellin, "That ain't the point, Douggy! There's principals in this this thing! That mop ain't no 99 cent mop! That's a dollar mop! You think right now you gonna pay 99 cents for that there mop, but you're gonna pay a dollar!"

And he'd be shootin his mouth off sayin somethin like, "A dollar's still a good deal for a mop."

And I'd have to respond with somethin like, "Good grievous aneurysm, Douggy, are you tryin to make my head explode?! That's how they get you, Douggy! They lure you in with promises of low prices and then they nickle and dime you until you got nothin left."

And he'd have to say somethin like, "There's no nickles and dimes involved; just pennies."

And, you know, theoretically, then a worker would come over and say somethin like, "Would you two gentlemen keep it down?"

And I'd turn to him and say, "Wait! Wait! What's the name of this store?"

And the world weary lady who's on the slow decline towards old age, probably still supporting her no-good kids while barely scraping by in her double wide, taking this as a second job just to keep her head above water, just rolls her eyes and tells me, "99 cents, sir." And she would then heave a big sigh.

I would then respond, "Exactly! And how much is this mop, ma'am?"

Then she would say something sarcastic like, "What do you think?"

I would then, in this imagined situation, be forced to say somethin like, "I would think that it was 99 cents, but when I got myself up to that cash register, I would find out it was a dollar, wouldn't I? Wouldn't I?!?!"

And then she'd mumble something under her breath that sounds like, "I don't get paid enough for this." And she'd wander off.

Ok, look, it's time for me to level with you. This wasn't really a theoretical situation. I'm sorry I lied to you, you deserve better than that. I was just trying to show you how all this stuff coulda worked out and couldn't have worked out in any other way. I don't want to get all fancy-pants on you now, but I heard some scientists are talking that everything that happens does so the way it has to happen because of the physics of particles and whatnot, and they're sayin this affects even brain chemistry and so our reactions aren't really our reactions but are just a process of physics. Looked at from that angle, I'm innocent here. It was just my atoms that made me react the way I did. Even if that's the case, I'm still sorry. I'm so wracked with guilt now I gotta go lay down and maybe put some ice on my head. I'll be better tomorrow.


Kerrik Wolf said...

It's 99 cents and you get to the register to discover it's 1.00.

Then they add tax. What's up with that?

gandy said...

If you don't think mice have money, you've never played a Final Fantasy game.

Oh, and (in response to a comment I read awhile ago but don't remember which post it was on and am too lazy to look through them all) I like the dialogue parts, they help break it up more.