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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Melody (08/24/06)

TITLE: There Are No Words
By Joanne Malley


There are No Words

Of one hundred women polled, ninety-seven claim shopping more important than acquiring their next breath.

Who knew?

Although I’m really embarrassed to belong to the group willing to die in the name of a sale, make no mistake…I still took my discount coupons as well as my store card and headed straight to the food mart.

Even though we girls are able to say that four-letter word, “sale” at the moment of our birth, it has created problems and unpleasant physical symptoms for us ever since. It also turns that same pack of ninety-seven women into God’s least favorite species for the duration of the sale.

Upon entering the store, I noticed melodies coming from the overhead stereo system – you know – those hideous tunes that have no words. But, I regarded the sound as a minor insurance policy in regard to the other shoppers. I rested comfortably knowing that the peaceful, melodious sound might create a calming effect on those who tried to load up their cart with twelve dozen cans of creamed artichokes before me.

I could hardly think straight and was overcome with dizzying excitement. Signs claiming huge savings made me wobble, but I felt at ease knowing my paper bag remained tucked away in case hyperventilation kicked in. I brought extras and received gracious thanks as I handed them to those who had trouble breathing. I also looked above and thanked God for the calming, peaceful music at a time like this.

As the thoughtful one, I also drank six cups of chamomile tea before I left. I wanted to ensure that I’d display only calm behavior and make wise choices while on my quest for bargains. After all, I had tons of unnecessary items to buy.

I was appalled when countless women used their baby strollers as tripping devices and their bratty kids as weapons to bite the ankles of a little old lady holding three cans of prunes. If you ask me, anyone who sends their children to harm a granny with constipation is ruthless. Countless catfights were in progress in Aisle 3, but I’m happy to report that I had pen and paper to keep perfect score.

Perhaps if they listened to the calming melodies that were piped in through the store’s stereo system, their bad behavior wouldn’t be a topic of discussion right now.

The only thing that brings me a sense of pride to belong to this group is that I have learned the Godly art of rejoicing through being part of the blockbuster Can-Can sale.

I’d liked to also report that all went well - not just because of the sedative qualities of the tea and my exemplary behavior, but because I managed to load up like never before. I noticed plenty of whispering from other women and for some strange reason, seemed to clear out every isle.

I toyed with the fact that my pink Mohawk, white, thigh-high boots and leather spike wristlets made hordes of housewives envious of me. Or maybe it was my neck collar.

Jealousy’s a killer, you know, but I had no time for guilt. My cart wasn’t full yet.

When I exited the store, I was still able to hear the melodies of the dreaded elevator-type music, but began to actually welcome the sound.

As I walked to my car, I hummed to some of the melodies that resonated from the store. Thank goodness I didn’t feel compelled to sing the words that went with the tunes. That would have been more embarrassing than the previous actions of my fellow shoppers.

In a moment of complete confidence – when no one was looking – I swayed to one of the songs. The euphoria and rush I felt after finding such bargains can’t be put into words. There was nothing to do but rejoice through body language.

You know, I used to wonder why God never gave me the ability to carry a tune, because I admire that gift a few of my friends received. However, I am thankful enough for the keen shopping sense he gave me as well as my ability to save a buck.

Although I’ve yet to have my fill of bargains, I’m certain I’ve had my fill of instrumental melodies for a while. But I’ll never get my fill of having Him next to me wherever I go.

On a note of fashion, I know He, too, liked my outfit that day. I clearly heard Him say…”Child, there simply are no words.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Suzanne R09/01/06
LOL - very good! I have a good guess as to who might be behind this too ... someone with the same keen sense of humour as this writer and who has written about shops and certain aisles and stuff before ... I wonder if I'm right.

The calming melodies of supermarkets, eh? Now that's an out-of-the-box concept. And you've done it justice. Well done.
Beth Muehlhausen09/01/06
Funny, for sure. Loved your description: "I toyed with the fact that my pink Mohawk, white, thigh-high boots and leather spike wristlets made hordes of housewives envious of me. Or maybe it was my neck collar." I don't think of the stuff coming through the speakers as "melodies" - more like sandpaper-ish grinding sometimes (which could be enhanced by the fact I have a hearing disorder). But anyway, this was a fun one. :-)

Lynda Lee Schab 09/01/06
ROFL! What a hoot. Loved this line, "If you ask me, anyone who sends their children to harm a granny with constipation is ruthless." Too funny! Cleverly written, made me laugh, which always scores high with me (but I wasn't a judge this week, in case you're wondering :-))
Lynda Schultz 09/01/06
Hilarious, and sadly true. Good job.
Joanne Sher 09/03/06
I ALSO wonder if this is who I think it is (that would be quick for me to be able to spot her writing!). I just ROLLED with laughter on this one - and such a good lesson! You truly have a gift for teaching profound truths with humor. Wonderful!
Allison Egley 09/05/06
lol This was great. I especially liked the last line. The story made me chuckle throughout. Great job.
Jan Ackerson 09/05/06
You crack me up! One of FW's best humorists. This is fantastic.
Deborah Bauers09/05/06
If you ever tire of writing, you might try stand-up comedy! LOL! That was great!
Sharlyn Guthrie09/05/06
Hey, take it a little easy on us die-hard shoppers! Great job, and VERY FUNNY!
Rebecca Livermore09/06/06
What a hoot! This made me laugh out loud, right here in my office. Hopefully no one noticed; if they say anything, I'll just have them read your story, and then they'll understand!
Debbie Sickler09/06/06
Hehehe. Loved the lines about the granny with the prunes and that last line especially. Remind me not to go shopping with you... :)
T. F. Chezum09/06/06
LOL. This is very good. Thanks for the laugh.
Marilyn Schnepp 09/07/06
Sorry to be a killjoy... but I'm one of the 3% that hates to shop; and after reading this story, I'm more convinced than ever that shopping, sale or no sale, is not my cup of tea. From the accolades and kudos, plus those that rolled in the aisles with laughter, I can see the other 97% really enjoyed this scene - but just give me a catalog with a"Free Postage" Special...and I'm content. Thanks for proving my point. Well written.
Val Clark09/08/06
Too funny. Loved your last line - I hear it often! So glad our Father approves of way out clothing, oh, and shopping. lol yeggy