BY CONNIE COOK
Copyright is held by the author.
SOMEWHERE DEEP inside of me it did my heart good to slap that huge gob of chewing gum on the old man’s car door. All the injustices of the world, I thought on the way home, could be cured with a wad of gum firmly attached to someone’s car and then imagining the whole scenario when they found it. Here’s how my story goes.
He almost hit me in the Costco parking lot. I swear I thought he was going to stop while I made my way across the pedestrian crosswalk, so I didn’t pay much attention but he kept coming. I scooted out of the way just in time. I could see an old man was at the wheel with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.
“Hey,” I yelled.
“I was just looking for a parking spot,” he called through the open window, the cigarette jangling out of the side of his thick lips.
“Well, you should be looking for pedestrians,” I hollered back.
My heart pounding, I wheeled the cart over the speed bump. I don’t know if anyone else saw the incident but I shook my head in disbelief. When I got to my car I looked around to see where he ended up. His beaten-up grey Pontiac eased into a spot near the front door and he and his wife got out and headed for the Costco entrance. The cigarette was still hanging on, then he flung it aside when he reached the big front door of the store.
Probably hit someone with it, I thought, loading groceries into my car. A heavy cat food bag, milk on top, careful with the eggs.
A picture spun in my head of a couple of fried eggs (it was about 32 degrees that day) sliding down the windshield of the Pontiac. He’d be scraping a long time to get that muck off. I looked around the parking lot. A teenaged kid with a Costco vest on was gathering up shopping carts nearby. He might see me with the eggs, or maybe there was even a camera in the lot. Forget the eggs. Into the trunk went more groceries — vegetables, toilet paper, potato chips, and gum.
I popped three pieces into my mouth and worked them for all I was worth. Then I took the grocery cart and headed for his car, spit out the wad of gum when I got there and stuck it on his car door as I passed. The hot sun beating down on the concrete would do the rest of the job. Just a sticky mess by the time he got back to it.
That wasn’t the first time I did that. Another time, a young punk gave me the finger in the LCBO parking lot and yelled “Move it lard-ass.” When he disappeared into the liquor store, I popped a few pieces of gum into my mouth and in a few minutes had them coiled around his side mirror like a spider web. I parked across the street and waited. When he saw it, he freaked, swearing and looking around him for the culprit. I almost wet my pants laughing.
The best was the old girl at the doctor’s office. She bumped the back end of my car trying to park her big Buick. I just happened to be sitting in the car on my cell and saw it. In she went to the doctor’s office without so much as even inspecting my car for damage. I found a few pieces of Double Bubble, chewed them into a sticky bundle and got out and wound it around her car like ribbon on a birthday present. Over the hood, down around the door handles and across the back end. Even stood back and admired my handy work, then got the hell out of there before she came out. Even though it was her that hit my car in the first place I figured I’d get the bum end of it if she saw me and called the cops.
Why did I get even with all those people after they did me wrong?
Listen, my Dad was a bully and never let my Mom or I get a word in edgewise about anything. But we got him back plenty of times. Ex-Lax in his food, saliva stirred into his coffee mug; once we took turds out of the cat litter, slathered them in barbecue sauce, rolled them in dough and served them to him as “pigs in the blanket.” We laughed and laughed about that one. So no matter how nasty he was, we always knew we could get him back. It sure helped us blow off a lot of steam. Mom is still living but Dad’s gone so it must have been good for her to have an outlet from all the abuse he gave her. I’d say the cat turds might have killed him since he had stomach troubles for many years.
So that’s my story, Officer, and you can write it down in your notebook all you want, serve me with papers and tell the judge what a bad girl I am, but you won’t stop me from getting even when I need to.
I think that’s going a little too far when I was the one who was almost hit. I’m the victim here, Officer. But that’s how the world works, the real bad guys always get away with things.
Mind if I chew a little gum while we talk?