Wednesday, July 06, 2005

These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty

You know, sometimes I can sit for hours trying to come up with material for this blog. It’s hard, I did a rough estimate last night and worked out that since this blog was born on 28th April, I have written roughly one hundred and ten thousand words on this blog.

No wonder I’m so knackered.

However, occasionally, after spending hours desperately trying to come up with something interesting, you give up…then have an experience that is like manna from heaven.

Today I had just such an experience.

I was rudely awoken this morning by the wife, who very inconsiderately dragged me out of bed at the crack of afternoon.

Come on, 2pm? That’s the middle of the night! (In my defense, we didn’t go to bed until 7am).

However, just because I don’t have a job, and just because she works a 40 hour week, she expects me to get out of bed, and go with her when she pays bills and buys groceries. Talk about selfish!

…I’m sorry, I can’t even type that with a straight face. I admit it, I’m spoiled.

Anyway, I haven’t been feeling very well for the past couple of days, so when she popped into the local Bi-Lo to cash her check, I waited in the car.

Suddenly, a blood-curdling cry fills the parking lot…


I came close to evacuating my bowels, as that inhuman scream somehow reached the part of me that is still a tiny caveman, surrounded by big hungry dinosaurs. It entered that part of my brain, without even going through my ears. It made me cringe. It sounded like I’d stumbled upon some huge, wounded animal.

Imagine the sound you’d hear if you stamped on an Elephant’s testicles…and you’re getting close.

Trust me, Darth Vader’s cry at the end of Episode III had nothing on this.

Now despite the fact that I’ve lived in the USA for over a year, and found that the psychopathic ‘gun culture’ you hear about is about as accurate as the belief that all British people live in thatched cottages and do nothing but drink tea and crumpets; I still have 23 years of ingrained cultural conditioning to overcome.

In other words, the first thing that popped into my head was: “Someone’s been shot, and I’m going to die.” Suddenly, I remember every hostage film I’ve ever seen. I start to wonder if I can fit my 6”1 frame under the seat.

My head began to whip around frantically as, in the car, it’s difficult to locate where a sound is coming from.

The scream continues, although now I notice it’s more angry than afraid:


I was impressed, this was swearing at its most creative.

Finally, I noticed where the scream was coming from.

The sound was issuing from a true American Stereotype. The Hugely Fat Person. I think it shows just how outraged she was that I saw she was at least 100 yards away from me, and I managed to hear her.

In a car.

With the windows wound up.

With the radio on.

It appeared to be a woman. Why was she screaming the parking lot down? Had someone stabbed her? Had she been shot? Was some social miscreant ‘giving it toes’ along the parking lot with her purse at this very moment?


A Soda machine had swallowed her money. That was the reason she was bellowing like a T-Rex with its balls on fire.

My heart rate returned to normal, and I began to watch this classical, textbook example of full on, entertaining ‘Human Theatre’.

She didn’t appear to be sated with screaming. As I watched, she began attacking the machine. I don’t just mean punching it.

We’ve all attacked a robbing soda machine at one time or another. This usually consists of a couple of stiff smacks with the ball of your hand, partly to try and dislodge your can of Pepsi, but mostly to vent a little frustration at the hard earned dollar you’ll never see again.

However, this woman wasn’t satisfied with a few slaps. My jaw dropped open as she began head-butting the machine. I don’t just mean a slight knock, as you might rest your head on the machine’s side in defeat. I mean, BAM! BAM! BAM!!!

Let’s just say that when you can move an over-sized Pepsi Machine using only your head, you either get therapy, or become one of those sideshow-esque mini-celebrities on Jerry Springer and Ripley’s Believe it or not.

The punches, kicks and headbutts where flying. As I focused on the scene, I see another person, probably her son, laughing his ass off at her. In direct contrast, he looked as though he was about 90lbs. She could easily lose him in the fold underneath one of her enormous, spaniel-ear-like breasts

Now I don’t think I’ve done justice to how big this woman was. I don’t just mean overweight, hell, I’m overweight, but this woman was frigging HUGE! 400lbs if she’s an ounce.

The kind of fat that you really have to work at. The kind of fat you go into training to achieve. The kind of fat that requires full on purposeful self-abuse to achieve. The kind of person you usually only find at state fairs. The kind of person you can see on your worst day, and she’ll make you feel good about yourself because, hey! At least I don’t look like that!

I should feel a little guilty about making fun like this. However, her reaction to not getting her carbonated sugar-water led me to believe her weight wasn’t glandular. You don’t get like that from comfort-eating. You get like that through 50,000 calories a day.

Now I’m not a morning person. I’m not much good to anyone, or very much fun, before I’ve had my morning caffeine. Apparently, this woman hadn’t had her caffeine fix either, and she was pissed.

I mentioned a little while ago that the usual response to a malfunctioning soda machine is a little tantrum.

For some strange reason, her screaming flying legs, fists and forehead routine seemed a little extreme.

Finally she gave up. The soda machine, which must have weighed at least a half-ton, was now ten feet from where it was. I got to give her credit.

That’s an impressive distance to move a soda machine, using only your head.

The story doesn’t end there.

Obviously distraught, she headed into the Bi-lo. At that point, I couldn’t get a good look at her, as I was busy laughing my ass off. I mean that high-pitched scream-laugh. The kind of laugh you only get once or twice in a lifetime. I was expecting a boring shopping trip, and was treated to the sight of a 400lb woman head-butting a Pepsi machine. Picture a couple of elk clashing antlers, a-la the Discovery Channel, and you’ll get the idea of the spectacle being performed in front of me.

It dawned on me that the machine actually belonged to Walmart, so it appeared getting her money back wasn’t her top priority. She was heading into Bi-Lo. That sugar craving must have been extreme.

About 5 minutes later, as I was busy wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes, she exits the Walmart. The last trace of guilt at ‘laughing at the fat woman’ left me, as she was walking along, swigging a 2 liter bottle of Pepsi, while munching on a family sized bag of Doritos. She also had a full cake under her arm.

Then, as she got closer, I noticed something.

This ‘woman’ had huge sideburns.

Holy Shit! It’s a man!

Now many of you will have heard the expression ‘Man-boobs’ before. Let me tell you, that unless you’ve seen this man, you have never seen man-boobs. They were massive! I mean at least a double-D cup. His T-shirt looked like a St.Bernard and two puppies fighting in a sack.

Trust me, they hung down past his navel.

What I had assumed was a 50 year old woman, who from the looks of her had had 15 kids, turned out to be a guy.

Considering the snippet of their conversation I heard, that actually included the line ‘We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!’, delivered in perfect ‘Waynesworld-ese’, this was not an older gentleman.

A close look convinced me he was 19 at the oldest. The sideburns, the ‘Hanson’ hairstyle and the acne finally convinced me. I started to wonder how someone so young could get so fat.

I’d assumed the 90lb guy with him was his son.

So now picture the scene. The 400lb Pepsi machine psycho, with his 90lb counterpart (His legs looked like two pieces of knotted string), walk past the car in a shower of Dorito crumbs, (Fat Guy was shoveling about 20 at a time into his face). As they near my car, he hands the Doritos to his companion, and he takes out the cake, rips off a hunk, and starts munching is an orgy of icing and cream.

They near my car, and look through the windshield to see an Englishman laughing so hard, he was almost screaming.

They gave me a really funny look.

That look, combined with the cream on his sideburns just made me laugh harder.

So what have we learned?

Just because something is a stereotype, doesn’t mean it can’t be real.

I look forward to reading about an American watching a Brit leave his thatched cottage, while sipping tea and munching on a crumpet…With a stiff upper lip, of course.

1 comment:

Kato said...

Wow, that's intense, and quite funny. Sounds like he puts Bob from Fight Club to shame.