Before I begin I want to say two things.
- I am not making this up
- Recall that I live in the ghetto
On Saturday morning I went to my local Tom Thumb, which is a grocery store. This is a place where the manager will ask how you are if he happens to see you and well meaning stock boys will ask if they can help you find anything if they catch you staring at the cheese section for a little too long. It's a nice store. It sells reusable bags that you can crumple down into the shape of a fruit for pity's sake. And when the incident occurred, it was 9:30 a.m. at the very latest. And on a Saturday! Who the fuck is in a grocery store before 10 a.m. on a Saturday? Old ladies, parents of really little kids who are either sick or need diapers, college kids who are hungover, and people like me who want to avoid crowds.
I was there buying breakfast items and various lunch things for the following week because bitch had just got paid. My basket was full enough that I didn't want to hog self check out so I got in line behind someone who had a bunch of items themselves. I wasn't in a rush, I didn't have anywhere to be, no big deal.
That was not the case for the couple behind me who will be referred to as 'The Rednecks' or the remainder of this story. Chick was wearing a too tight camo tanktop and either a skirt or shorts and she was at least in her late thirties. Dude had one of those beards. I say it that way because I don't know how to describe it. Not quite duck dynasty but gray and older and more raggedy than is the fashion. Red Neck couple is behind me and I guess they don't like the looks of my haul because the wife goes over with the cart to check out the action in self checkout. Her husband goes with and asks what she's doing blah blah blah. In the meantime, a lady with a bundle of flowers and a bag of grapes gets behind me as does a woman with a cart. I'm not paying loads of attention but next thing I know Redneck Man is telling his wife, no, let's just go back and take our place and he tells the women behind me they were there first.
Enter Guy in the Right (as in, the guy who was right). He starts saying that Redneck Couple can't just cut in front of those ladies and that they had to get in the back of the line. The woman behind me looked nervous and that was when I noticed she only had two items so I told her she could go before me. She was hesitant to do so but I eventually convinced her and told her, truthfully, that people have let me go first a bunch of times.
Meanwhile, Guy in the Right is chastising Red Neck Guy about how he should apologize to "these ladies" and he should be ashamed of himself. Red Neck Guy is telling him to shut up and they were here first and stepped away for a minute. They are both yelling and so the staff opened up the next lane to take care of Red Neck Couple to get them out of there. Guy in the Right doesn't let up and the next thing I know, Red Neck Guy is saying "you want to fight? I'm parked over there" pointing towards an area of the parking lot. Guy in the Right says he's ready to go right then and there. Red Neck Chick says "you'll have to hit me first". Other things were said but I forget. What I do remember is Red Neck Guy saying, as he was paying "like I said, I'm parked over there" and Guy in the Right took off his sweatshirt and said "I'm ready to go right here right now."
By that point I'd gotten to the cashier and, almost laughing,I said "so we are supposed to have nice weather today, aren't we?" Because what the fuck do you say? I guess I was doing that thing where you are pretending everything isn't awkward as hell. But once both guys were on their way out, the cashier, the lady behind me, and I all whispered and giggled about the what the fuckery of it all. Because seriously, 9:30 in the morning at Tom Thumb and there was almost a rumble.
One really funny thing was that I kept thinking "please don't fight in the store. You'll either break something or knock over a display or both and make more work for the people who work here." I also realized just how uncomfortable people can make complete strangers. We were all quiet and pretending it wasn't happening whilst Red Neck Guy and Guy in the Right were hollering at one another and in that moment, we were all sort of bonded together as "small group of shoppers and staff who feel uncomfortable and a tiny bit afraid".
I wonder if that is why I see Garland PD outside the store these days.