In Jan. 24 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
I strolled into the junk store the other day, and something instantly captured my attention.
A rather "hip"-looking female, who appeared to be in her 20s, was standing over a pile of axe-handles.
She had picked up two of the long pieces of wood, held them like drum sticks, and was gently tapping them on a table.
Cool, I thought.
I began looking around and noticed “The Little Drummer Girl” and I were the only shoppers in the store.
She would walk around, pick things up, and comment out loud about them.
Cool, again, I thought.
This is the person I will jump in front of and save if someone comes in here and starts shooting the place up, or the person I will carry to safety in case of a fire.
Am I the only person who thinks things like that?
Well, yeah, I am on medication, why?
Browsing around, I ended up in front of a huge pile of clothes-which I dug through earnestly.
I had noticed my fellow shopper had also made her way to the clothes, and was standing across from me.
There were several “novelty” t-shirts among the clothes, and I would methodically pick them up, look at what was printed on them, and either throw them over my shoulder to keep, or toss them back in the pile if I wasn’t interested.
I picked up one shirt that had a risqué saying on it.
While I was holding it up to look at, I heard the woman across from me say, “Ah, that’s not very nice.”
I quickly threw the shirt down, and kept digging.
When I pulled out another, questionable shirt, I heard her say, “You better stop it!”
Intrigued, I kept trying to make eye contact with her.
She never looked up, but I noticed a smile on her face..
I should say something, I thought to myself.
I found a shirt that was even more objectionable than the first two, and held it up to read.
“Am I going to have to give you a smack on the tush?” I heard her say.
My eyes widened, I threw the shirt down, and quickly backed away from the pile of clothes.
OK, OK, just remain calm, I kept repeating in a rapid-fire, internal dialogue.I wondered around, trying to regain my composure, and ended up at a “toy bin” full on stuffed animals and plastic playthings.
It wasn’t long before I noticed she was standing near me, digging through the toy bin, too.
“Oh, look at this,” she would say, as she picked up various toys.
There was NO WAY I was about to look for fear of getting my bottom smacked.
One toy she picked up made a shrill noise, which made her jump slightly, then laugh.
NOW is my chance, I thought….
I said something which came out as roughly, “Rguvrih.”
She looked at me, sorta cocked her head, then resumed digging.
“Hey,” I heard her say, “it’s growling at you.”
WHAT is growling at me?
My mind raced.
“It’s gonna get ya!” she said.
Panicking, I slowly shuffled backwards until I felt myself pinned against a table full of pieces of glassware-which I heard crashing together as I pressed against it.
I realized she was talking about some kind of scary-looking, monster toy she was holding.
OK, OK, no problem, just chill out and roll with it, I whispered to myself.
As I re-approached the toy bin, it dawned on me I looked like I was dressed for a trip to gym because…I was, ironically…on my to the gym.
I straightened my awkward-looking, “South Park”-like togie, and gave my clothes a quick sniff to see if any odor was emanating from them.
She pulled at the huge purse she had slung on her arm and said, “How ‘bout if we go home and lay down?”
My ears popped, and started whistling.
I felt sweat break out under my togie…and other things.
As I slowly looked up at her, about to speak, I saw her purse “move.”
It “moved” again.
Then it “moved” violently as if something was about to burst out of it.
I saw the head of a tiny dog peek over the top of her purse.
SHE HAD BEEN TALKING TO THE DOG THE ENTIRE TIME!
I looked around, wishing something/anything would happen so I could escape the store unnoticed.
About that time, I group of kids came in (thank you, Lord, thank you), and wouldn’t you know it, the first thing THEY saw was the tiny dog in the big purse.
Why handn’t I notice that earlier?
The kids gathered around the dog, the purse, and The Little Drummer Girl.
I am pretty sure I saw that tiny, little dog turn, look at me, “smile,” (can dogs smile?), and not bark, but “laugh” at me.
I nodded to no one in particular, and slithered out the door.
As I sat in my car, beating my head against the steering wheel, I decided right then and there it’s best to “let sleeping dogs lie.”