Anyone who has ever watched an episode of Married with Children will recall that Al Bundy’s famous tagline was “A fat lady came into the shoe store today…”
Well, recently, I realized that I’ve been reciting the same thing: “An insane person came into the ______ store today….”
I have become Al Bundy!
Case in point: here is a transcript of what went on yesterday. For reasons of privacy, I cannot reveal names or places. All I can tell you is that I work in a medical office…of sorts…and I took an oath. I also serve the public and, because we have to turn a profit, I am forbidden to yell at people. But that doesn’t stop me from crafting clever little plays like the one you’re about to read below.
Cast of characters:
A crazy lady
A crazy lady came into the store today:
Me (bright and smiley): Hi! How can I help you?
I proceed to back away because as the crazy lady approaches, her body odor is, for lack of a better word, repugnant. My eyes travel to her big bag. The bag is the biggest bag I have ever seen, possibly bigger than my entire body. It should be mentioned that crazy lady is substantially large: a giantess with a giant bag and a giant attitude. Immediately, I shrink down in my swivel chair, my eyes darting to the exit, planning my escape.
Crazy lady (stumbling up to the reception counter): Um…yeah…I need a copy of my prescription.
Me: Sure! Happy to help you. Can I have your name please?
Crazy lady: I don’t remember which name I used here.
Me: Okay… Maybe you can provide me with the name you use most frequently.
Crazy lady: Smith (not her real name, but it was something just as generic as Smith or Jones)
Me: And your first name?
Crazy lady: Why do I have to give you my first name?
Me: So I can find your file, ma’am.
Crazy lady: I already gave you my name. Do I have to spell it out for you? S-M-I-T-H.
Me: Yes, but there are a hundred Smiths in this area alone.
Crazy lady: I want to speak with the girl who helped me before. Get me _____.
Me: Today’s her day off.
Crazy lady: Then call her.
Me: I can’t do that. She’s in class right now.
Crazy lady: Sure you can. Here, give me her cell number and I’ll call her myself.
Me: We’re really not suppose to do that…
Crazy lady: Just tell her Smith is asking for her.
Me (I’m getting visibly peeved. Still, like a good trooper, I smile into the face of evil): Which Smith?
Crazy lady (leaning forward): Smith Smith!
Me: I see… Here, maybe I can find you in our files if you provide your date of birth.
Crazy lady (shaking her head): No. No. I don’t have a date of birth.
Me (eyeball ticking): Let me rephrase that. Can you give me your birthday?
Crazy lady: I don’t have one.
Me: You don’t have a birthday?
Crazy lady: That’s what I said. You deaf or something?
Me: But everybody’s gotta be born some day…
Crazy lady: Not me.
Me: You’re saying you were never born?
Crazy lady: That’s right.
Me: How did you come into this world?
Crazy lady: Jesus.
Several minutes later…
Since this little exchange when on for an hour, I’ll spare you what happened next because the dialogue just circles around itself and by the end of the day, I felt like Crazy Lady had sucked me into a Waiting for Godot nightmare.
That was day one.
A crazy man comes into the _____ store…
Crazy man: …My glasses fell to the bottom of the sea and a shark swam away with it.
Me: You’re saying a shark ate your glasses…
Crazy man: No. I’m saying the shark swam away with my glasses…to wear.
Me: The shark wore your glasses?
Crazy man: Saw it myself.
Me: You saw the shark wearing your glasses? (At this point, I’m contemplating taking an aspirin or two or the whole bottle).
Crazy man (absolutely serious): Yes. (The man is not joking folks!)
And people wonder why I read. After a day full of this, you would run and cower in the corner with a book too! Sometimes I think fictional characters are saner than real people. Or maybe it has to do with where I live? How about you? Do you meet insane people at your job?