Dave McAwesome vs. Halloween
Putting the 'wee!' in Halloweenby Dave McAwesome
The assignment was simple:
- Go to the store sometime in October. Buy the following:
- 1. a bag of apples
- 2. a box of razor blades
- 3. a bag of candy
- 4. rat poison or turpentine or liquid bug killer or anything of that sort
- 5. Nothing else. That should be your entire purchase.
The addendum: Please, do NOT actually give this to a kid. Not even as a joke. I will not bail you out of jail.
For the moment, let's forget the lollygaggers and Johnny Do-nothings who came up short. Moment over? Good, cuz I spy with my little eye Adam ("That's fucking brilliant. I'm in.") and Chad ("It shall be done, and I will get video of it."). Nice job, guys. Remind me not to hire you for the Coast Guard.
sailor: Ship sinking! I'm drowning! Send help!
Adam or Chad: I'm on it.
sailor: I'm sending longitude and latitude coordinates now.
Adam or Chad: That's fucking brilliant.
(15 minutes later)
sailor: *glug glug*
Adam or Chad: I will get video of it.
Know, gentlemen, that you were outperformed and outpranked by two girls, FRA and Malfouka. Onward, ho.
The trouble with razor blades is that they're not often sold in the same stores as apples and candy bars. It took several stops until I finally struck gold. I carried my booty to the register. "I love this crazy mixed-up holiday," I smiled. 'Beep' went the candy on the UPC scanner. Was I the cashier's 238th or 322nd customer of the day? 'Beep' went the apples on the register scale. She was young, but out of high school. Her life was inches away from that fork in the road when she would either get outta Dodge or remain a professional cashier for the remainder of her miserable days. 'Beep' went the razor blades. It didn't hit until she dropped them in the grocery bag--that ugly flash of reality. She punched her buttons; I held out a 20. She glanced up repeatedly, not with disgust but the curiosity of a person trying to get a grip on just the sort of creature who would make so strange a purchase.
A jolt of panic reverberated through my skull. What if she was "into" this kind of thing? What if she matched my gaze and whispered in a monotone mumble: "There's a busload of kids I aim to firebomb. Meet me out back tomorrow morning before dawn." I'd be incapable of rational dissuasion if confronted with that response. "See you tomorrow," seems incorrect (ethically so, despite its adherence to the rules of courtesy when invited to ANYthing by a woman). "I have a job interview scheduled at 4am, but good luck with the firebombing!" Also wrong.
When I looked up, I was already outside, bag in hand. How long was I daydreaming? Had I been standing at the checkout mouth agape? What a blank-faced fiend I must have appeared.
Two other intrepid journalismos submitted their stories. Because FRA ignored my instructions to email me her experience and instead wrote it up on the forum, I'll have to retell it...as if it were a Penthouse Forum letter.
FRA held her groceries tightly against her ample D-cupped chest. One by one, she placed the items on the cashier's belt, bending over slightly as she did so. "Is it inappropriate to wear 4-inch stiletto heals and a mini skirt to the supermarket?" she wondered. The cashier, a mousy ingenue in need of a thorough licking, thought so and huffed mightily as she rung up the bill. Something gave her pause. Was it FRA's pouty lips? Her massive rack? Or the razor blades she was idly stuffing into Snickers bars while she ground her hips against the chewing gum stand?
The cashier called the manager over. He modelled for the covers of romance paperbacks in his spare time. "Three way!" FRA thought as she ran a hand between her breasts. "Hm," said the manager. "Sigh," FRA sighed. "Will this take long?" "I hope so," said the manager, forgetting all pretence of saucy innuendo and ribaldry. The cashier grinned naughtily as she removed her nametag in an extra naughty fashion with double naughty intents.
...and...you get the point.
I have never met FRA nor have any idea what she looks like, but after creating such unrealistic physical expectations I suspect she'll not venture within seven zipcodes of me.
The excursion began with high hopes and a particular earnestness that only perfectionists can manage. My friend, Monique, and I entered the grocery store--voice recorder and camera ready to go. We headed to the "personal grooming" section where, to my surprise, we found a minor selection of straight-razor blades. We spent some minutes comparing brands and prices--briefly debating cost vs. quality--before choosing an undoubtedly cut-rate generic brand of blades (reasoning that if we were really going to attempt to hurt and maim innocent trick-or-treaters, we'd go for the quality assured name-brand). Razors secured, we headed off to the poison section (household chemicals) whereupon we were once again greeted by the sight of an alarming number of choices. Should we buy insect or rat poison? What about fly paper? What would be better: liquid, powder, or pellets? It was all so confusing. Perhaps forgetting that these purchases would be in no way used together, I determined that rat poison would be more effective and the pellet type easier to work with. Monique grabbed a box and into the cart it went. Next stop, the candy aisle.
Now, if choice had been an issue with the razors and poison, imagine what it was like to be faced with a 200-foot-long aisle of candy. We looked for candy that would be the easiest and cleanest to tamper with. Tootsie Rolls were out. So were Hershey bars, anything "gummy," and hard candy. After rating countless bags, we determined that Reese's Peanut Butter Cups would stand the greatest chance of success. Yay, 75 percent done!
Our last stop was the produce section. After a brief scuttle--Monique wanted Red Delicious apples, I wanted Granny Smith, and neither of us were backing down (threats were made, insults hurled), until we spied organic apples. We couldn't resist. The ridiculous incongruity of using organic apples in our fake Halloween mischief was too great. "Sure they've got razor blades in ‘em, but they're organic."
In between discussions of the weather and football, the cashier didn't blink an eye at our purchases. I don't think I've ever been so disappointed.
Operation Rat Poison was not a success. We did not get arrested. We were not questioned. We didn't even manage to elicit any alarmed looks. In fact, the only thing remotely negative came from a security guard who followed us around for ten minutes before telling me that photography is not allowed in the store (I regret not snapping her photo as she was talking). Next time, we're going with the non-organic apples--then we'd at least be guaranteed a lecture from one of the San Francisco Bay Area "buy organic or die" contingent.