Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Assaulted in the City 

Although I try to avoid this city's large shopping district as much as I can, there are just some items that can only be obtained properly in person at a large department store. I found this out the hard way after ordering some bras over the internet at Macys.com. Of course none of them fit right, so I went down to Macy's to exchange them. Even though the website assured that this would be an effortless, simple process I must have been the first person to ever attempt this in that department. The two saleswomen behind the counter weren't sure how to go about it and then disagreed about the correct procedure. Before I knew it, their disagreement quickly escalated to vicious bickering. As an alumna of Carole Reed I know how miserable being on your feet all day working retail is, but there is really nothing excusable about losing it in front of a customer like that. They didn't even try to restrain themselves and threw all professionalism out the window. They finally desisted when another coworker intervened and said that she would handle it. The women gave each other the stink eye and skulked off in opposites directions.

The saleswoman eventually figured it out and I exited Macy's, a little traumatized after witnessing the Macy's women turn on each other like that. While I was walking on the sidewalk of the busy shopping square ruminating about happy I was not to work in retail I felt someone grab me from behind. Before I knew it, two hands gripped my hips, shaking them back and forth like one of those old fraudulent quack machine belt weight reducers. I thought that maybe it was some friend giving me an overly exuberant greeting when it dawned on me that I didn't know anyone who looked like some old WPA reject who stank of fortified wine. I gave a cry of outrage and took my shopping bags and began beating my assailant on the head and body. The bags made very ineffective and unsatisfying weapons of defence because they only contained had a couple of bras and tissue paper. I then screamed something nasty at him that I'm too embarassed to repeat.

These two sweet Midwestern matrons who didn't have enough streetsmarts to pretend that they weren't seeing anything were aghast. I heard one of them say,

"Oh, my goodness. What on earth is going on?"

After the language I used, they probably reported back to all of their friends at home that they had seen an exciting fight between a pimp and one of his bitches. Anyway, my butt grabber started cackling like a crazy old miner and staggered off. The next time the library's beat cop paid a visit I complained to him about it. He said, "That sounds just like Rayland Flowers." I said, "You mean Rayland Flowers of Rayland and Madame? Has his career sunk so low?" And he said, "No, that's Wayland Flowers." You can understand my confusion.

He came in later that afternoon with a mug shot and sure enough it was a picture of a Mr. Rayland Flowers, who had this sheepish, coy, "Aren't I a naughty, naughty boy" smirk on his face in the picture. His m.o. is to run up and grab women on the ass and then run off. He's more of a nuisance than danger, and he only grabs booties of the finest quality, only certain ones that arouse sudden and violent passions in him, so it's a compliment, in a way. Our beat cop said that he would have a talk with Mr. Flowers.

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