This is Sharla.
Sharla is one of my dearest friends and as you can see… quite a beauty.
And like most beautiful women, she tends to be a bit bratty every now and then… a life time of “getting away with murder” due to her exceptionally good looks.
And though her attitude has mellowed over the years… this brattiness… still appears on occasion.
This is me:
Why ANY serious shopper would want to take me to a store is BEYOND my realm of thought.
I loathe shopping.
I hate it with a passion.
I will do ANYTHING to act up and act out when placed in a store or worse yet… a shopping mall but… Sharla seemed to really want me to come along… and because I actually like to go just about anywhere with my friends… even the garbage dump can be quite entertaining with the right person… I decided to join her on the outing.
So let me set up the scenario for you:
The scene: Michael’s Art and Craft store.
The players: Sharla Bafia and D.D. Wood
The conflict: The bird.
I had never been shopping with Sharla before, but since we spent most of our time together being totally inappropriate and usually lost in laughter and unable to breathe… I assumed that she could make shopping fun.
However, as soon as we entered the store, I watched Sharla change into a person I did not know.
She became what I could only describe as a militant mom: on a mission… on a deadline… and I seemed to be the “child” that was annoying her as she fought to complete her very important task at hand.
Suddenly, I was afraid I had made a terrible mistake.
We were barely five feet in the door when I went to pick up an item and Sharla said, “Don’t touch that. We don’t have time to look at non-Halloween specific items.”
I eyed her suspiciously… shocked by her tone… as I put down the plastic foam cone I had been fondling and remained silent.
I wasn’t sure if I liked being the toadie on her little shopping trip.
I walked on behind her, shuffling my feet, a bit of a pout beginning to show on my face.
I reached for another item.
“What are you doing now?” Sharla snapped.
I stopped, and looked at the item I was now holding in my hand.
“What?” I gave her a dirty look. “I was just…”
“Put it down!” Sharla ordered before I even had a chance to finish the sentence. “God!” She rolled her eyes, “I’ve never seen you like this. Are you going to stop and touch everything in the entire God damn store?”
I looked at the ceramic Paint-A-Gnome art kit that I held in my hand.
By the time I looked up again, she was already ten paces ahead of me, furiously pushing her cart towards the Halloween aisle… sure in her knowledge that she was about to grab hold of the “Halloween Find of the Century” if I would just hurry the fuck up and stop dicking around.
I sauntered after her now, the rebelliousness in me coming out in my swagger, and found her admiring fake black crows in a large discount bin between aisle 9 and aisle 10.
Her eyes were glassy and glazed.
I knew an addict when I saw one.
She was jonzing for her fix and she had found it in the bin of birds.
“Aren’t they great?” Sharla said as she admired the bird she was holding. “Don’t you think I could really come up with something good with these guys?”
I reached over and took the bird from her hand to examine it.
“Yeah,” I said nodding in agreement.” These are super cool. You could…”
Sharla looked at me and snatched the bird out of my hand, her eyes burning into my core. “IDIOT,” she said. “You don’t get to hold the bird.”
She placed it in her cart as if she was placing the baby Jesus in his manager.
She was smug and self-satisfied and I had finally had enough.
I would teach her a lesson she would never forget.
I have no shame when it comes to acting the fool in public.
I will make a scene anywhere if I believe it will make a point or improve on a comic prank and so…
I did what only the best kind of friends do: I publicly shamed Sharla.
I turned away from her and began to pace furiously back-and-forth in a small neat pattern. I roughed my hair up with both hands before I took my open palm and banged it against the side of my head repeatedly while shouting at the top of my lungs to anyone and everyone in the crowded store that…
“SHARLA WON’T LET ME HOLD THE BIRD!”
At first, Sharla couldn’t understand what was happening.
She looked at me like I had lost my mind and she seemed genuinely concerned for my well-being.
But when she realized that my acting skills were impeccable… and that to every other shopper in the store I actually did look and sound like a person in the middle of an EXTREME psychotic break… she began to panic.
“Shut the fuck up,” she whispered.
I didn’t even acknowledge her.
I was in character.
I was the Robert DeNiro of the craft mart.
She had gone TOO far and now… she was gonna fucking pay.
“SHARLA WON’T LET ME HOLD THE BIRD!” I screamed again, banging my head fiercely as I pretended to cry and moan.
“Shame on you!” an older woman, holding a bag of pom-poms shouted from aisle 7. “Shame on YOU!” she repeated. “Let her hold that bird!”
“D.D. fucking stop it,” Sharla begged. I smirked at her as I continued my tirade.
“SHARLA WON’T LET ME HOLD THE BIRD!” I screamed and watched as a man walked up towards Sharla and said, “What the hell is wrong with you? Let her hold the bird for God’s sake.”
Sharla looked at him, tried to explain, but he wasn’t having it. “Give her the bird,” he repeated sternly.
“Give her the bird!” A couple shouted from the end of aisle 5.
Sharla confronted with a store load of DIY’ers…was afraid that they might just make their own torches, light them up, and chase her out of the store, where she would be banned for eternity, from Michael’s Art and Craft Mart, a WANTED poster of her bewildered face posted on each and every craft store wall for the remainder of her life.
She reached into the basket and thrust the bird towards me. “You are such a fucking bitch,” she said as she rushed away from the scene, her cart bobbing wildly as the speed caused the wheels to wobble and bend.
I held the bird close to me, and began to rock gently back and forth whispering, “Sharla lets me hold the bird. Yes Sharla lets me hold the bird.”
The older woman from aisle 7 patted my back and said, “Yes. Isn’t that nice? Sharla lets you hold the bird.”
She shot Sharla a vicious smile and I watched as Sharla stood at the checkstand, pretending not to see it, pretending not to know me, praying that the line would hurry up and move, so that she could pay for her birds and leave the store as quickly as possible.
I looked over at Sharla; my head tucked low, cuddling my bird, wicked smile on my face so that she would know that I had won.
I finished my scene for the shoppers, they all felt content with their good deed for the day, helping a psychotic person hold a fake bird, before heading off down God knows what aisle in search of the perfect glue stick or shiny, sparkly Bedazzler.
I walked towards the front of the store, ditching the bird somewhere around aisle 13, before making my way to the exit where I walked over to the car, leaned against the passenger side door, arms crossed in front of my chest, triumphant smile on my face and watched as Sharla headed towards me.
“I hate you,” she said. “I so totally hate you.”
I watched as she put her bags in the car.
“Are you going to let me hold one of those birds?” I asked.
She pulled one from the bag, and placed it in my hands.
“Fucker,” she laughed hysterically. “I can’t believe you did that to me. I’m never taking you to Michael’s again.”
“Good,” I said. “I hate that fucking place anyways.”
Then I climbed into the passenger seat and held my bird all the way home.