20 February 2002


Two things you need to know going into today's entry:

  1. I'm wearing a short-sleeved shirt today.

  2. I really, really dislike the thought (and the sight!) of other people's saliva. Seeing people spit is one of the most distasteful things I can see, really, and I don't do it myself until I'm nearly drowning in phlegm. Once, early in our marriage, Sonya and I were having this tickle-fight/wrestling combo match and she was laughing so hard and long she drooled on my face. I think I hurt her feelings a little bit when I ran to the bathroom, retching, and started scrubbing around my mouth and eyes.

    Spit - I don't like it.

So after I left the gym today I went by Taco Bell to grab a bit of lunch. I placed my order, got my change and went back where the sauces and napkins and what-not are to wait for my name to be called.

Now, this particular Taco Bell - the one closest to where I work, as fate would have it - has a retarded employee. She's happy, though, and she's always stocking napkins and hot sauce and dumping out people's trays. Stocking the napkins, though, is her true calling. She can do that for hours. Sometimes she gets in the customers way, she's so busy stocking and cleaning.

In fact, getting between her and the condiment station is a little like getting between a mama bear and her cub. This retarded person will push you aside to pick up the paper people discard from their straws and put a few more packets of "Fire" sauce in the "Fire" sauce bin.

But as I went to get my napkins today I saw the retarded girl was nowhere to be seen. Strange. But I didn't care too much - this meant I could get my stuff together in peace.

Then two things happened simultaneously:

I heard a sneeze, and...

...I felt a fine spray land all over my right arm.

I looked to my right bleakly. There, bearing down on me, was the retarded girl, rubbing at her nose and carrying a big pile of napkins.

Those of you that know me, I think, know that if I had had a gun on me I would have shot the poor girl instantly. It's good I don't go armed, I guess.

And there was no recourse! Had this been a normal employee I would have bitched at them furiously. I'm not a bitching man - but she fuckin' sneezed on me, man! But no, by the time I made eye contact with this unfortunate girl she had obviously forgotten all about sneezing and she barely registered my existence, her mind full of thought of puppies and fruit pies and plastic forks, no doubt.

And screaming at a retarded girl is no way to look good, I'm sure.

And complaining to the manager? I don't think so. For all I know uncontrollable sneezing is part of her tragic condition, or maybe her arms don't work nearly fast enough to cover her mouth when I sneeze sneaks up on her. Then I'd look like a real heel.

I'm still twitching over this, people.