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Friday, August 05, 2005

Friday Spies© : Who Moved My Cheese Edition

Thank you to our friends over at Begging the Question for another great edition of Friday Spies©.

1. What's your favorite cheese?

Does Velveeta Mexican fiesta flavor count? No? It technically can't be considered an actual "cheese?" Then I don't know . . .

But I do LOVE to head over to Market Street United . . . (which, if you have never been to one, you don't possibly know what you are missing. United is headquartered in Lubbock. This is the most awesome supermarket. Ever.)

Anyways, so I like to head over to Market Street and spend 15 minutes conversing with the bread and cheese ladies.

As there isn't much of an art to knowing the differences between various breads and olive oil-based dips, I think I've conquered that area and am quite capable of delighting the old dear who seems to have no problem with me spending my lunch sampling the many breads she has sliced into small bites.

The cheese lady is an entirely different story. I have never failed to get my lunch of small bites of cheese on small bites of bread, but . . . I feel as if I'm in the movie Sideways faking my way through a sophisticated wine tasting when I do it.

"Sure, sure . . . yes, this brie aged 8 years has a much more pungent taste and aroma than this other from Holland and yet it compliments this bread. Good choice. And this particular cheese here, this is made with goat's milk? And this one is buffalo milk? Mmkay, mmkay. Yes, I can definitely taste the subtleties. What would be a good cheese to compliment the bell pepper bruschetta bread I just scored off the bread lady?"

Wow, I really haven't answered this question, have I?

So I don't know my favorite cheese. But I do know that I love Market Street!

2. Cheesy movie: If you were in Top Gun, what would your call sign be?

Given my answer to question #1, and my awkward form of humor . . .


3. Big cheese: Tell us a boss story -- best boss, worst boss, a time when you were the boss, etc.

Ha Ha. I hadn't read this question when I answered the last. But here it goes . . .


I worked at Henry's Gibsons when I was a senior in high school. Now I've read blog entries making fun of Wal-Mart as being the Mecca of White Trash. Huh uh. No way. Gibson's was kind of like Wal-Mart, sure, but not as upscale . . .

I was the lowest rung on the totem pole. (huh??) My official designation was "cashier's assistant" but I think I preferred to be called what I really was: a primordial form of the modern "gopher boy." I would sack, mop, clean the bathrooms, restock the ghetto snack bar, clean the parking lot . . . anything needed done-- no task too mundane, too ridiculous, too dangerous (how about being asked to balance yourself and walk along atop a line of rolling shopping carts with no one to hold them in place) . . . I was the man.

And I did it all in my cute little red vest. Oh yeah.

But, as if that wasn't bad enough, I had a boss there who was the manager of the children's toy department . . . who wanted to have sex with me.

Now HE (yes, what? Did you think I would be lucky enough to be sexually harassed by a woman??) Again, HE never stated it in those words, but he made his intentions quite clear.

He started with small talk and hanging around the front of the store. He would follow me into the stock room and stand between myself and the doorway while telling dirty jokes which just made my skin crawl when told by him with is evil-slash-goofy smile. He would invite me to come home with him to play . . . uhm, video games . . . what? Mmkay.

It took a sudden turn for the worst when he used a balloon, flour and baby oil to make a couple of "stress balls." He followed me into the stock room one Sunday morning and handed it to me, said that I looked a little stressed and he figured I could use some relief. Honestly, I was stressed-- especially with being cornered by him -- and so I took it in order to pretend it was his head and squeeze the **** out of it until it exploded.

But, of course, he didn't leave it at that. He just stood there squeezing his and staring at it. Then he looked at me with the most horrifying grin and said:

"Look, if you squeeze it like this it feels just like you are masturbating . . . "

I turned away and started tossing bags of unpopped popcorn around and restacking buckets of nacho cheese . . .

"Hey, do you masturbate?"

I excused myself by saying I needed to use the restroom.

"Can I go with you?"

I quickly left and made it to the toilet just in time to get sick. Thank God, if I hadn't made it -- of course -- I would be the one cleaning it up.

But when I reappeared, he was still there . . . waiting.

"Feel better? Hey, how many times a week do you masturbate? Have you ever masturbated with a friend?"

Okay, now that I'd gotten sick . . . I was ready to get violent. Standing off to the side was Terry, the cop that would moonlight by standing by the snack bar in his uniform and make a little money protecting this flea market of a store. We were good friends.

And I walked up to him, with the manager still trailing me rythmically squeezing his rubber sack of flour and oil . . . and it was at this point the balloon busted and he-- I SWEAR -- got white goo all over his shirt.

"Oh my God, mine busted prematurely . . . " he said laughing.

And I just looked at Terry and told him with every ounce of rage I felt at that moment pouring out in my words: "Terry, you'd better get him away from me right now or I swear to you I am going to hurt him so ****** bad."

Terry knew what had been going on and he grabbed him by the arm and led him away to the offices. I did not show back up to work the next day, or any day after that. And I wrote a letter to the store manager too which they paid lip service.

Henry's Gibsons was torn down a couple years ago and replaced with a Lowe's. Before the debris was cleared away and the new construction started, I went home for a visit . . .

And the first night there I went to where it had once stood, unzipped my pants . . .

And unloaded.

4. Say cheese: Are you a photobug? Are you photogenic? Or, in 1000 words or less, tell us about your best picture.

I can do it in 3 words: "Don't have one."

5. Just cheesy: What's the worst pick-up line you've ever used, or had used on you? Did it work?

I'm not a pick-up line kind of guy. But I was with a couple of co-workers at Mardi Gras in Galveston once when I heard the WORST line ever:

"Hey, baby-doll, you sure do have a pretty mouth. Wanna come home with me and use it?"

They ended up spending the rest of the night at a strip club, I believe.


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