Saturday, July 4, 2009

Star-Spangled Shoppers

The mall is open on fourth of July. Albeit shorter, sunday hours, it is still open. I suppose one of the most modern shows of american patriotism is spending money on a separate iPod for the gym and a stroller for your dog. It's all good if you're going to a barbecue later; i'm partial to fireworks.
The day is gorgeous and my hours are early. I take the long way to work, through the nice neighborhoods. Cops are smiling. Freshly waxed fire-trucks filled with heros are making their way to parade routes. Every other car has red-white-and-blue, happy tiny children are waving proportionate flags. There's even good parking. It is a beautiful morning in America.
I sip my coffee, happily walking down the halls knowing the world is good, patriotism is delicious and I get paid time-and-a-half. It's a good day. And as I wait outside the glass doors for the manager to finish counting-in the register, come open the doors so I might begin my caffeine-fueled day-
"It's 10:06! They should be fined!" says the Vulture Woman.
A customer with a store bag is pacing next to me.
"They have 15 minutes before they get fined."
"I'm calling corporate on monday! This is ridiculous!"
So, knowing i'm going to see this woman at some point in her rampage of the patience of my managers and staff, as I wait to be let in and sip my coffee, I sing quietly to myself:

"Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag."

Before she can cross the barrier of dirty looks the cleaning woman lets me in and I'm able to slip in the back, safely hidden until her return was complete.

"Should auld acquaintence be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag."

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