Bent Words

Bent Words

July 12, 2007

They were simply precious.

There is not another word which could define them more precisely than 'precious.'

They entered the shop with their arms linked, ahead of their boyfriends, and each had a small, sparkling hand bag dangling from her free arm. All of sixteen, they were beautiful and skinny (though taller in their toothpick heels) with highlighted hair, manicured everything and donned enough shades of blue eye shadow for an entire photo shoot session of Playboy magazine. They looked perfect and they were simply precious.

But did I mention that they were utterly useless?

"Sooooo, do you, like, have any other, ya know, coloooooors?" one asked me in a ridiculous, high-pitched voice.

"Colors of what?" I asked, wondering if she could possibly be referring to eyeshadow.

"Like, do you have mooooore helmets? I mean, ya know, in different coloooooors?"

One really has to work hard on sounding that stupid so I felt badly about disappointing her.

"Ahhh, no," I said.

And then we commenced staring at each other for a good moment or two before she realized I had nothing further to offer her. I felt relieved when she walked away, turning on her toothpick heel and slashing the ends of her hair in my face, as I wasn't sure what else she would have wanted me to do. It wasn't as though I was hiding all the "pretty helmets" in back, carefully stowing them away until the perfect couple of Barbie Dolls entered the store with nose-in-air expectations.

Besides, I have plenty of girlie helmets. One that is light pink, one that is more shocking pink and one called the Flutter which has a damned butterfly painted across the back (alternatively available in "hi-I'm-a-rock-star" blue).

I also have two types of pink jackets, two different baby blue jackets and pink gloves. What more do you want? And are you really worried that just because you have a helmet on someone is going to, OH MY GOD, mistake your sex once you get off the back of a 900RR? I'm pretty sure most people get the idea with the stilleto heels. Of course, that is only an assumption based on the fact that most women aren't capable of shifting a bike, much less keeping it in an upright position, while wearing tiny sticks on the bottom of their shoes. I could be wrong.

"So, like, that's it then? For chooooooices?"

She had crept up on me while my back was turned and the sound of her screeching voice, likened to the squeals of an excited six-year-old, scared me more than the fact that she didn't appear to have any eyebrows. The pitch of her voice raised up at the end of each word, which she seemed to elongate for the sole purpose of sounding confused. And I wasn't sure she was serious so I just nodded my head and hoped she'd go away. But she and her conjoined Arm Friend just sort of turned around, slowly and without reason, as if they were lost in a giant sea of ugly people. I rolled my eyes. More than once. Zac, my manager, just giggled from behind the part's counter.

As I was eagerly searching out other customers to assist -- prodding at people's children who I just knew needed something ("Need some motocross gloves? A new DVD? How about some candy, kid??") -- I heard one of the girl's insignificant others raise his voice behind me.

"Whadya mean, full pop? I'm not paying full-fucking-price for damaged goods!" he bellowed.

"The price is $150.00," said Zac, "take it or leave it."

"Come on, man, just gimme a discount -- it's scratched!" pleaded Squid Boy (Squid = person who rides solely to endanger the lives of others by engaging in stunts such as wheelies and stoppies. Often thinks revving the throttle, going really fast in a straight line and doing burnouts will promote facial hair).

"Five percent. I'll give you five percent off. Take it or leave it," said Zac, obviously annoyed.

Normally, Zac would have obliged with the discount but because we decided to disregard these people as functional human beings since the moment they skipped into the store, Zac wouldn't budge. His decision was based solely on the principle that these people wouldn't benefit society by purchasing a life-saving device. Perhaps it would have been best if natural selection were to take its course...

So, instead of taking it, Squid Boy left it.

He stomped toward the door in a huff and, as Zac retreated to the break room, he ran into the owner, Tom. Apparently there was some unsightly whining and a little stomping of the feet and thus Squid Boy returned to the counter to announce that his shameless fit had triumphed over divine providence. He leaned over and propped his right elbow on the counter, behind which I stood, and grinned like the cat after having just posited a still-warm hairball in the recesses of your shoe. And then, he spoke...

"Dude over there just said I could get ten off."

"And which "Dude" might that be?" I dryly inquired.

He pointed, my eyes followed, Tom grinned and gave me a thumbs up.

As I rang up the sale, I explained to Squid Boy the proper handling of the helmet and informed him that my name was on the receipt should he have any questions. And then, he spoke... Again.

"And is your phone number on the receipt, too?"

"Ahhh, the store's number is right there. Dude."

I quickly turned around and began shuffling through part's books with feigned urgency. He stood there for awhile, incapable of reading body language (or road signs, I'm sure), and then finally strode away with a pink helmet held proudly in his grasp.

I watched him as he approached his frenzied females. They were engaged in the culturally exclusive ritual wherein one claps their hands closely together, giggles like a baby monkey and tries to jump but really just bounces for fear of falling over on shaky toothpick heels.

It was simply precious...

Written at 10:37 p.m.