Sunday, July 1, 2012
Instant Karma's Gonna Getcha
"What the HELL?" Gina shrieked as I sat down across from her at Starbucks. She sputtered on her tea and gestured dramatically at my leg. "Oh my God, what did you do THIS time?"
Choosing to ignore Gina's judgy "this time" comment I glanced down at the rather impressive bruise on my left shin, now in the stages of turning a charming shade of ochre which (thank God) is in my color palette. I shrugged dismissively. "Nothing major. Just trying to give an etiquette lesson to some hipsters."
Gina shook her head somberly. "It figures. Any story involving you and the words 'etiquette' and 'hipsters' can only end in bloodshed.. You're just lucky they didn't throw soy chai in your face and run you over with their Schwinn fixies. So. . .let's hear it."
OK, so, let me start with some brief backstory. For those of you not familiar with Portland, Oregon, we are a veritable hipster mecca. To stand amidst our city limits and voice your displeasure of vegan cuisine, indy bands, and ironic 80's-themed T-shirts is tantamount to standing in the middle of a N.O.W. rally and screaming "Bitch, get me a beer!" It won't end well. So, a wise person would know that it is easier to put on slippers rather than carpet the world. That is to say: if you're smart, you'll shut up and simply learn to adapt to your environment. Apparently I'm not that smart.
So, the other day I ventured over to Whole Foods. . .
"Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Back. The hell. Up." interjected Gina, raising a hand in protest. "The day you decide to go all Arab Spring on the hipsters you do it in their Holy Land? Why not just hand out 'Romney for President' bumper stickers at Urban Outfitters while you're at it?"
I levelled Gina with my iciest glare. "May I continue?" She shrugged and pushed her half-eaten scone to me in apology (Ooh! Chocolate chip!). "So, as I was saying. . ."
. . .I ventured over to Whole Foods. After making my way past a phalanx of twenty-somethings who had obviously decided that they could make a much better living selling woven bracelets in the parking lot than investing in a few semesters of community college I made my way inside. I immediately knew I was out of my element when some asshat with muttonchops, a "Diff'rent Strokes" T-shirt, and a nametag that read 'Sage' came at me with one of those moppy-broomy things, jabbing at my ankles like Wayne Gretzke.
"And he cracked you in the shin with the moppy-broomy thing because you called him, Willis, right? Right?" Gina squealed, bouncing in her seat.
"Excuse me" I cried indignantly "I'm in the middle of a story here! Can you keep the hasty intejerctions to a minimum. God! It's like having coffee with Hoda and Kathie Lee only less drunk and Botox-y."
Gina rolled her eyes and gestured for me to continue. . .with her middle finger. OK. So. Getting my ankles jabbed by the hyper-caffeinated mop boy. Annoying, yes, but being all benevolent and shit, I can turn the other cheek. However, turning that cheek just put me face-to-face with two dreadlocked girls debating the merits of a vegan versus a paleo diet. Now, I don't really have a problem with vegans in theory. . .*
*Partly because I know I could beat their protein and calcium deprived bodies in a cage fight
. . .but when these chicks saw the ground beef in my cart and looked at me like I was Josef Mengele I kinda lost my shit. If you choose not to eat meat, fine. But riddle me this, Alicia Silverstone: if your lifestyle is so fabulous, why do most vegans look like anemic cancer patients? So I stared them down making soft mooing noises as I made my way to the produce aisle.
"So, they kicked you in the shin?" Gina asked incredulously. "I wouldn't think their hemp sandals could do that much damage. Nor would you think someone hopped up on edamame and tofu could pack such a wallop."
I shook my head, pausing to take a sip of my latte.*
*Nonfat, no-foam, three pumps of sugar-free vanilla. Starbucks, you complete me.
"No" I replied, "they were just the warm-up act. The headliner was yet to take the stage."
Gina nodded sagely. "All right, carry on, Girl on Fire."
So, I navigated past the rice milk and the gluten-free pastries to the produce section. Now, while I am not an avid fan of Whole Foods by any stretch of the imagination, I do love their sample policy, which is, you can always try before you buy. That day there was a table manned by a girl who looked like the love child of Paul Simon and Aimee Mann handing out slices of nectarine. Now, this may seem like pretty basic sampling etiquette, but for those not in the know, one generally takes ONE sample and then steps aside to let others partake of the gratuitous bounty. Apparently this nicety is not common knowledge, however, as evidenced by the skinny jeans-wearing, clove cigarette-scented twatbadger who parked himself in front of the samples and started cramming sample after sample into his cavernous maw like he was downing shots at T.G.I.Fridays.
I waited patiently at first as this dipshit sucked chunks of fruit off of six more toothpicks before I finally lost it. As his bony, flaccid paw reached out for yet another nectarine kebab, I darted to his side and snatched it from his grasp.
"This is a sample, got it?" I growled, brandishing the toothpick in his soul-patched face "A sample. Do you know what 'sample' means? It means you take one. One! To s-a-m-p-l-e. You don't start hoovering up the whole fruit case like Kobiyashi!" At this point his eyes began darting about frantically, looking for escape. "I mean, I get it. You have a sense of entitlement. I'm sure you feel the world owes you a bountious harvest of fruit because you didn't get into that Womyn's Studies class or your parents wouldn't buy you those kickass tickets to the Phish concert, but I have news for you: the sun does not rise and set in your skinny ass. So go buy your kombucha and your organic kale chips and get the HELL out of the way!"
Gina stared at me, astounded. "Holy batshit, Jen. No wonder he kicked you in the shins. Forget your tinfoil helmet that day, Sweetie?"
I shot her a puzzled look. "He didn't kick me in the shins. He was too busy waving down the security guard."
Gina shook her head rapidly in confusion. "Wait. . .I. . .I thought you said you got that bruise teaching a hipster about etiquette."
"I did." I said with a nod.
"Ok," she sighed, throwing her hands up in exasperation, "as usual, I have no freaking clue where you're going with this."
"It's simple." I replied, popping a final bite of scone in my mouth "after I scared the guy off I made a dramatic gesture of shoving the nectarine sample in my mouth. I forgot about the toothpick though and I jabbed it down into my gum, which made me scream like Celine Dion passing a kidney stone, which startled the sample girl, which made her drop the tray of nectarines all over the floor. I leaned over to help her clean up, slipped in the juice, landed on my ass, and the sample table fell on my shin."
Gina stared in astonishment before rising from her seat and delivering a s-l-o-w c-l-a-p.
"Why thank you, milady" I acknowledged with a queenlike nod and hand flourish, "but that's not even the best part."
"Of course it isn't" Gina sighed "OK, don't leave me hangin'."
"The sample girl? The one who dropped the tray that led to the Rube Goldberg-like circumstances surrounding my injury?"
Gina nodded cautiously. "What about her?"
"As I was helping her wipe the nectarine spooge off of her poncho I saw her nametag." I paused dramatically. "Karma. Her name was Karma".
Gina patted my hand comfortingly. "Of course it was, Sweetie. . .of course it was."
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