“Hey, Grammy, are you okay? We haven’t heard from you for a couple weeks.” I was happy my granddaughter called, but kind of reluctant to tell her about my latest flubberment. After all, if I talked about it to one grape on the family vine, I’ve told the whole blasted bunch. Oh bother, might as well get it over with.
“To tell you the truth, Sweetie, I’m a touch depressed. I got f-fired,” I admitted.
“Fired! From a job? How long have you been working?” Carol Ann’s normally squeaky voice rose even higher, making her sound like a sow-stomped piglet.
“Well….I only worked one day. Actually, it was only part of one day. Since I couldn’t keep up the whole farm anymore and the golldarn pension only covers the gotta-haves, I figured I could use a little extra; you know, for the wanna-haves. So I applied at the Foods-R-Us store down there by the post office. You remember old Willy Fartham? He’s been shuffling around there as a greeter, sayin’ ‘Hello’ and shovin’ a cart at customers when they come in. That Willy’s older than dirt and just about as smart, so I knew I could do it easy-peasy.”
“I understand, Gram, but how did you get fired?"
“Just hold onto your petticoats, Carol Ann, I’m coming to that. The store manager, Mr. Grimm, interviewed me and gave me the job right away. He’s a skinny little man with a strange hair cut, kinda looks like a red bowl on his head, like those haircuts my George (God rest his soul) used to give your Mama and the rest of the kids. Mr. Grimm handed me the cutest blue smock to wear and a nametag and employee discount coupons and-”
“Graaamm, just tell me what happened, would you?”
Sigh. Young people are so impatient. “Okay, I was up by the door, smiling’ my choppers off and howdy-dooing everybody as I gave ‘em a cart just like I was supposed to do. It was easy as pie, too. One lady had just taken her cart and stopped at the pyramid display of cereal on her way inside. You should have seen her, Honey, all dressed up and wearin’ more jewelry than King Midas Muffler. Why, she had gold hangin‘ all over; must‘ve weighed ten pounds.”
“Puhleeze, get to the point already!”
“Hush, child, I’m tryin’ to. There she was by that display and there I was trying to give out the next cart to a man with a whole passel of noisy kids. You know how those blasted carts sometimes get stuck together and don’t want to go their separate ways? Well, I had a pair like that, stuck tighter than a tree frog on a window. I pulled and pushed and kicked the darned things. Finally, I wedged my shoe on the bottom rail of the front cart, yanked back hard on the t’other one, and all-of-a-sudden, whoosh! That cantankerous cart went scootin’ down the aisle and rear-ended the lady in gold.”
“Oh, Gram, how terrible!” gasped Carol Ann. “And that’s when you were fired?”
“Uh, not exactly, Dear. When the cart hit the lady, she plowed head-first into the display. About a hundred boxes of Sugar Pops came down like an avalanche, and flew every which way. A lot of the boxes were broken and people were slippin’ and slidin’ on the cereal all over the place. Those rowdy kids started gobblin’ nuggets as fast as they could scoop ‘em up.”
Carol Ann said, “What a mess that must have been, but the whole thing was an accident. You shouldn’t have been fired for that!”
“Oh, I wasn’t let go for that. Mr. Grimm heard all the racket and ran out of his office. He slipped on the cereal. and went down like a stone in water. He wasn’t hurt, thank the Good Lord, but that red topknot of his turned out to be a toupee and it took flight like a cat-chased cardinal The man sat up, clapped his hands on his bald head, and turned redder than his flyin’ rug.
“At first, I stood there and gawked, sort of stunned. But Sweetie, I just couldn’t help myself-I started laughin’ and laughin’ until I thought I’d bust my girdle. And that, Carol Ann, is when I got fired.”
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