July 2006/Volume Seven/Issue Two
Jason Floyd Williams
customer service.

The mother was this 50+ pawn-shop
clone of Martha Stewart; the
sorta woman who’d plan Avon parties
years in advance; a
swollen tofu-plank w/ dyed blonde hair &
teeth like a pore-strip, wormy & scattered–
She demanded to know why
I kicked her pudgy Augustus Gloop,
her Pillsbury doughboy, of a son
out of the store.

“Well, we got this policy,”
& I pointed at the
big sign on the door,
“no kids under 18 without
a parent.”

“He’s got plenty of money &
he’s not going to make a mess!”

“You’re missing the point,” I said.
“What if all the black kids
I kick-out every day, saw
one white kid in here
without a parent.
It’s unfair.”

“I can’t believe you just said that.
That’s racist, & you’re discriminating
against kids,” she scowled,
like a sour President Johnson
during Reconstruction.

It wasn’t a soap-box derby,
it was simply a soap-box.
She needed an issue, &
I was it.

“Look, lady. I just follow the store rules.
This isn’t my place. I just work here.
That’s it.”

The Dalai Lama’s cantankerous land-lady
finally decided to stay since
she couldn’t debate the point
to my absent boss.

The cannibal’s buffet delight spent
$65 bucks on Chinese plastic crap that
Augustus would open, diddle
for a moment, then

She left the store like an
80s sitcom cliff-hanger-
all huffy & w/ promises
to return.

The very next day she returned,
& continued in on me like
I was the reason
Dodoes were extinct.

It was the same script.
Yesterday was the rehearsal dinner,
today was the wedding.

The one fat difference this time
was her credit card # wouldn’t
work, so I went in the backroom &
fondled the fax-machines.
When I came back up,
she was gone.

She took the Jolly Green Giant’s son,
more junk, her card, & simply
Well, maybe not simply…
She vanished with much effort.

We pulled some Matlock tricks &
deciphered her cuneiform signature
from the previous day’s credit-card slip
& discovered she was a Judge.

She was this district’s Judge,
& she was up for re-election.

Which she didn’t get.