So the other day I’m walking through a mall when a young girl that resembled Penelope Cruz waved in my direction. My first instinct was to look behind me to see who she was waving at because at my age I don’t get a lot of greetings from Penelope Cruz lookalikes.
There was no one behind me and when I turned back to look at her, she was pointing at me.
I was carrying a Van’s shoe bag containing a pair I wanted to exchange and when I got close enough she asked: “Are those for me?” and damned if she didn’t have the same Spanish accent as Penelope.
I said no and she replied: “You’re breaking my heart.”
If I had a dollar for every woman who said that to me, I’d have a dollar.
I continued on my way, exchanged the shoes and came back past the shop where Penelope Cruz Jr. had been standing and she’d been replaced by a dude who started talking to me and gesturing and he had the same damn Spanish accent.
Couldn’t understand a fucking word.
He grabbed my sleeve and tugged me into the shop and while I was still trying to figure out what the hell all this was about, he reached up and put some kind of whale-sperm- based cream under my right eye.
Sensing a fresh victim, the shop manager joined in – yet another woman with a Spanish accent – and she resembled Penelope Cruz if Penelope put on a hundred pounds and ran face-first into a fire hydrant.
The shop manager wanted me to sit down in a chair and look in a mirror so I could see that my right eye looked like it belonged to Christopher Hemsworth and my left looked like it belonged to Christopher Lee.
Being sharp as a tack, by now I realized they didn’t have some kind of makeup-based emergency they needed help with, so I said I had to leave, someone was waiting for me — which was bullshit — but there’s so much of that flying around the shop I didn’t think anyone would notice another shovel full.
Then the shop manager said: “Who is more important than me?”
My first thought was “everybody I’ve ever met” but instead I said: “My son” and got the fuck out of there. As I left, the Fire-Hydrant Version Penelope pressed something into my hand and here it is:
Just in case you can’t read the label, it says: Advanced Body Butter which I thought I’d been producing sporadically since I reached puberty. It sounds pornographic, but even with that advantage, at $79.95 for a jar of this shit I think I’d prefer to rub myself down with a stick of Land O Lakes – $4.89 at Target.
BTW: Looks like the eye stuff goes for $600, so small wonder they have to shanghai stray mall walkers to get someone into their shop.
The strong-arm tactics of the Barcelona Beauty Supply Gang got my goat, or would if I owned one, and I’ve decided that’s it.
As far as I’m concerned, the jerks who take advantage of people’s instinct to be nice have forfeited the right to be treated politely, so just like someone who puts a legal notice in the paper saying they are not responsible for their brother-in-law’s fuckups, I’m serving notice.
Yeah, I’m talking to you Mr. Panhandler, anyone who knocks on my door to sell me something or stands outside a grocery store trying to get me to sign a petition and the lady who wants to solve my college debt problem even though I barely graduated high school:
From now on, you can all form a line and kiss my ass.
I don’t ask you for your money or show up on your doorstep or call you just when the bases are loaded, there are two outs and the pitcher’s delivering a 3-2 pitch and I sure as shit don’t put eye cream on you without asking.
You’re not polite to me, so I’m done being polite to you.
NO MORE MR. NICE GUY.
The trash can caper
Not long after the Beauty Shop Incident I drove me and my new take-no-shit attitude over to Rocklin to spend time with old friends and my brother Paul T, his son Beau and Beau’s son Braden, showed up.
The old friends all remembered my dad and I told them that my dad’s grave currently had a trash can almost on top of it and even though I’ve posted this picture before, here it is again:
After a few Bud Lights and shots of Crown Royal the idea of going over to the cemetery to move that trash can went from “something to think about” to “let’s go get that shit done.”
And here’s that picture:
Turns out that trash can weighs a ton because it’s made of concrete and it took all of us to move it. Being a good uncle I insisted Braden get involved because if one of us went to jail we were all going to jail; it’s what family togetherness is all about.
(If it looks like I’m doing less than anyone else, that’s only because it’s a clear picture.)
Afterwards, we debated whether we had in fact done anything wrong; are there anti-trash-can-moving laws on the books?
All we did was move the trash can about six feet so it wasn’t on top of anyone’s chest anymore and if someone at the cemetery wants to make an issue of it and proclaim their right to decorate someone’s grave with a damn trash can, I’m thinking that wouldn’t be good for business.
I’m headed back to Kansas City in a couple days, but Paul T has promised to check on dad’s grave once in a while and make sure that trash can stays off it.
So there you go:
Whether it’s unrequested eye cream or a trash can on my dad, no more Mr. Nice Guys.
Even if you do look like Penelope Cruz.