I was in the ‘Dangerous: Keep Away’ market (Shemp Howard would pronounce it with an Australian accent as ‘DANGEROO: KEP AWAI’). The manager, customer service rep, checkers, and baggers were braced for my attack. I felt I had it in me, but merely muttered “FUCKING IDIOTS!” (Like Daniel Baldwin, I weighed 210), slamming my Cossack hat on the counter. I was livid. It took 40 minutes to attend to two customers (after the service rep was located).

She was training another employee about how to process money orders simultaneously, before logging out for the day. I meekly asked if I could do a quick grocery return first, to no avail. The manager told me to wait behind ten people in check stand eight for the trainee; I refused, so he opened nine. “This market has turned into a skanky bank so lowlifes can cash checks all day!” I was returning dried apricots that were erroneously on sale. I tried to phone first, but no answer. It was 40 degrees. I’d walked, listening to 4 wheel drive cacophony, and people yelling at me about my hat; I was in no mood to wait for a price check.

Though it was Sunday, I called the regional office. “There’s an unusually high volume of calls, go online!” It was a ploy to get you off the phone, like the redundant suggestion to press ‘1’ and leave a message. No F’n way! I’d waited 20 minutes when a man answered. I refused to provide personal info beyond my phone and discount card number, recounting the saga, as he concurred with all my talking points, emboldening me to run the gamut of their incompetency: Passed expiration dates, stale bread, Chinese fish with toxic mercury, genetic fish, mistitled fish, faulty dairy cases, stale pizza on a brand-wide level, spoiled sale items, bad hooch, tannic, and turned wine from dubious distributors.

I tried to shield the weekday manager, but it was too late for that.

My outer skull and scalp are mottled like a Kraft cheese single was melted over the cerebellum; like Road Warrior‘s, Humongous. Hopefully, I’ll never go bald. The brain must resemble a darkened, desiccated walnut, with cobwebs. I pondered this as I equated my outburst with normalcy. I’d stopped taking Ibuprofen (heartburn and lethargy), but that’s another story, as Conan’s chronicler would say. Had it been relaxing me? Would that explain the episode? Was it a psychotic one? At first I thought so, but talking to the regional rep, I realized it was Paradise all along!