The Zombie Shopper
Jobs suck. Working sucks. Having to spend your time doing some bullshit that you’d never really want to spend your time doing is unfair. In my book (in stores now), it’s classified as cruel and unusual punishment. I’m not too sure why the government hasn’t looked into this more than they have but I’ve already sent about six letters to different congressman about it. So don’t blame me when you think about how horrible your job has made your life.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and say some bullshit like “but sometimes, something happens at work that shows you why it’s all worth it.” There is no situation where that could ever be true. I don’t care if you just helped One Armed Sally find the perfect prom dress. There are ten thousand better things you could’ve been doing at that second. But there is some truth in the statement that being at work allows you to interact with some of the most ridiculous people you will ever come across. Without being at work, you’d never be able to even dream up these people. Which is normally the best thing that could ever happen to you. But in this case…nevermind. It would have been fine with me if I never had to meet this guy.
My day started out like any other day at my place of employment. I’m not going to tell you where I worked for privacy reasons. Ok, I lied. I worked at a paint store. Since it was a smaller store, I was usually the only employee there when I worked. I was your typical hardworking employee. I had been spending my day like I usually did; running laps around the store, playing basketball in the stock room with roller covers and dropping gallons of paint off of ladders and watching them explode all over the ground.
I cartwheeled out onto the sales floor to see if any customers had decided to stroll in when I noticed that the weather outside had gone to Hell. It was raining. It was windy. Tumbleweeds were blowing across the parking lot. There was thunder and lightning. It was snowing. It was fucking thundersnowing. All of a sudden, everything around me turned to black and white. The store’s front door swung open but I didn’t think anything of it. The door was broken, it happened all the time. I’m not an emotionless robot. Suddenly, cheesy organ music started to play and a wavering voice that came out of nowhere announced “Jason in…THE ZOMBIE SHOPPER!”
Before I could even ask the voice what it was talking about, I looked toward the front door that was still swinging in the wind. To my surprise, there was a man walking through the door and toward me. Actually, Frankensteining is the proper term. He was Frankensteining toward me. Very slowly. In his extended arms, he carried at least ten plastic shopping bags. By the time he reached the counter where I was standing, at least five minutes had passed. He was dripping wet from the thundersnow and appeared to be drooling. He started to talk. I think.
“Gasuh muh muh aaah amuh muh bags. Noajuh meah bbmbm back. Bauh uhh muooh.”
“Excuse me sir?” I asked. I was the most darling, polite employee you could ever dream of.
“Bags,” was all he said. He set his bags on the counter and turned back toward the door. He started to Frankenzombie again. I called out to him, telling him that he had left his bags on the counter. He completely ignored me. If I wanted to, I could have chased him down and found out what the hell was going on. I knew I would never understand what he said though. Five minutes passed and he had finally made his way back out of the store. I stood there in shock. Was he drunk? Was he a zombie? Was he an unexplained creature that rode to earth on a lightning bolt in the thundersnow? The only thing that I really knew was that I had to see what was inside those bags.
For some reason, I tip-toed toward the bags. I guess I didn’t want the paint cans to hear me. As I reached to open the bags, what sounded like an angel’s voice started to sing.
“Aaaaaaaaaaah,” sang the high-pitched voice as the bag and it’s contents suddenly turned to color. Remember, everything else was black and white. As I peered inside, I couldn’t believe my eyes. No seriously, who the hell would carry this shit around with them? Inside the bags there were a few mystery items, at least six Wayne’s World VHS tapes and ten to fifteen ceramic figurines, most of them of clowns. The voice kept on singing.
“Oh my god, it’s fucking Wayne’s World video tapes! SHUT UP!” I screamed at the voice. The singing stopped immediately and the bags turned back to black and white. Probably a darker shade than they had been before they turned to color.
A couple of hours had passed. I had spent the time doing back flips off of the counter and making prank phone calls from the store phone. As I was doing a log roll down the middle of the sales floor, I heard the door swing open again. I did a somersault and sprung to my feet. I wasn’t surprised when I saw the male version of Rob Zombie’s Living Dead Girl walking toward me again. I prepared myself in a karate stance just in case he was coming back to devour my soul. But after a few minutes, my legs started to hurt and I readjusted to the classical athletic position.
The zombie customer actually started to browse the store. He eventually made his way over to the discount paint brushes, picked one up and came to the counter. As he inched closer, I was nearly blinded by the light that was emanating off of the beads of drool that were swaying from his chin. He set the paint brush down on the counter and pulled out his check book. For a two dollar paint brush. He started to write the check as my worst nightmare unfolded. Slowly from his lip, a fresh string of drool descended toward the check. Just as he finished writing it, the drool splashed onto the check, covering half of it with zombie slobber. “Oopfths!,” he said as more drool sprayed from his mouth. He handed the check to me and I maneuvered so that I could barely pinch the corners and grab it, avoiding the toxic ooze. The name on the check was Tauhughuh Muahakuh. I gagged as I asked him for a phone number that I could use for the check.
“Eeh seah soouh fwouggh mieeeeyy nahnahnono seposoewo,” apparently he had his own hotline.
“Was that 861-8757?” I asked, completely making up each number.
“Yahwugugh,” he answered and picked up his magical treasures that he had left behind earlier. He lumbered toward the door until he was out of sight, never to be seen again. Until the next week. But seriously, after that second time I never saw him again.