Okay so as everyone who has spent more than an hour with me knows, my life is pretty ridiculous. It is often so ridiculous that even my closest friends and family still can’t believe that something happened, because even the most mundane, ordinary things that so many people do somehow turn into hilarious disasters. My best friend Chaney always says that God smiles on, and I oftentimes luck out in some extraordinary ways, but I feel like honestly its just him helping me out since there are so many other times where my life is total absurdity and He’s probably up there cracking up like it’s a juicy episode of a reality TV show.
In trying to explain this ridiculousness to people, I have a couple go-to anecdotes. My pants-ripping while volunteering with the nuns in India? Classic. However, this examples usually tend to lean more towards the spectacular, and in order to truly help people understand the constant practical joke that is my life I’ve decided that it’s time to share a more low-key, yet still ridiculous story…
Pretty recently my manager asked me to run over to Wawa and buy him a pack of cigarettes since I got cut from work early. Now, this dude helps me out alot at work, so of course I wanted to help him out even though I’ve never bought cigarettes in my entire life and could already feel myself having some anxiety about it. But, despite this anxiety, I asked myself the same question I always do, “how bad can it be?”, and headed off to Wawa. I guess I should mention that my manager is probably in his 40s, so it’s not like I was buying them for some underage kid. This will come up later.
My plan upon arriving at Wawa was to just walk-up to the checkout counter and ask for the cigs, because I had just had a talk with myself that day about needing to cut back on my spending of useless things (i.e. multiple soft pretzels). However, once I was standing in the store panic set in. What do I say when I order cigs? Will they know I’m not ordering them for myself? Is “ordering” even the right terminology?! Obviously, these are the types of questions that required me to pace around the store pretending the read the labels on Tastykakes and protein shakes while I figured out the exact script of what I was going to say. During one of my laps, I was close enough to the cash register to hear someone else order cigarettes and I listened carefully to take note of exactly how they said it. This was the final push I needed and I made my approach.
As I was waiting in line for the nice cashier who had already sold the other guy cigarettes, someone opened up the line on the other side and called us over. Now, this is something that’s always annoyed me because clearly I can see that the other line is shorter, so if I chose to go the other person than they probably have a better vibe or something. But on this night the young kid was clearly beckoning me over pretty aggressively so I decided to give him a chance. I walked over there, and it seemed like he must still be in training or something, because standing right behind him was a man in a black polo with a name tag that said “manager.” So that wasn’t a good sign. I had to trudge along regardless, so I spat out my carefully rehearsed “can I have a pack of Newport 100s please” and crossed my fingers that I said the right name and looked like someone who would buy a pack of Newport 100s.
Unfortunately, the kid working must have been VERY new, because he just kinda turned and looked at all the cigarettes on the wall and then turned back to me with his own panicked look. The manager training him steps in to be helpful and points out that when you don’t know where a specific brand of cigarette is its always a good idea to ask the customer what it looks like. Alright, like I can see how that would be helpful except for the fact that I have no idea what the pack looks like and I’m probably about to get arrested for buying and grown man cigarettes. That’s how that works, right? I have a vague memory of seeing green when my manager was smoking so I gesture at a super general spot on the wall and say something like “it’s that green one there.” The boy still looks concerned and asks me to clarifying which one at which point my only option is to lie and say that my glasses aren’t on so I can’t really see but that they’re usually somewhere in the middle. Naturally.
The manager is clearly starting to get a little suspicious and he not only reminds the kid to ID me but then ALSO makes one of those jokes-thats-really-a-serious-question comments and says “You sure these are for you right?” Obviously we have now officaily reached DEFCON 1 and I am seconds away from just straight up running out the door, but the kid-in-training comes back just in time with the Newport 100s (which are in fact green, hallelujah) so I just laugh nervously at the managers comment, pay for them, and hustle out the door. As I get into my car, I look back and make eye contact with the manger who is now STANDING IN THE WINDOW WATCHING ME. I guess he wanted to make sure I wasn’t meeting up with any shady teens in the parking lot or passing them off to someone in the car. Basically, I almost got arrested in Wawa for buying cigs for my 40-something manager.
Now, some of you may be thinking that this story really isn’t that ridiculous, and I agree that compared to so many of my other stories it’s pretty tame. But that’s the point. You see, so many of my co-workers have also ran to Wawa to buy cigarettes for our manager and absolutely nothing out of the ordinary occurred. And yet, the one time I go of course someone is being trained who doesn’t know where the cigarettes are and I end up looking as suspicious as possible. This is the true level of a ridiculous life: not in the crazy stories of me choking on a fish bone or having to eat an eye ball in third world countries, but the everyday tasks that so many other people undertake with zero problems that turn into a comedy sketch when I do them.
Moral of the story, my life is absurd so stay tuned for more ridiculousness over the next year.