It is entirely possible that a man was trying to abduct me this afternoon in Eckerd. I was looking for a card to give to a friend who is in the hospital. She was just taken out of the ICU--and they don't make appropriate cards for sick people. They make a lot of "God is always with you" cards, which are intensely obnoxious. Just because someone is sick doesn't mean she wants a bunch of questionably relevant scripture tossed at her.
And then there are the cute cards. These are a worse abomination than pork-rind encrusted shrimp. They feature a teddy bear or a kitten or some other fucking doe-eyed creature with a speech impediment and a limb in a cast wishing the reader well. "We hope your widdle boo-boo is aww better vewwy soon!" I'd like to go hunting in the Cute Animal Forest. I'd bag me a bunch of already-wounded purple bears. That victory would be sweeter than anything imaginable.
So I got a blank card and I was backing away from American Greetings when I arrived in Valentine's Land. I was surrounded by puppy-kitten-teddy bear-hybrids all dressed in tshirts that read Someone In Forest Hills, PA Loves Me! when the man in the aisle with me flipped open his cell phone and started having an imaginary conversation.
"Well we need a babysitter. $30 an hour. We'll have to put an ad in the City Paper. $30 AN HOUR. Yeah, $30 AN HOUR. It's impossible."
Then he hung up on I.M. Aginary and started talking to the air in my general direction. "I can't believe how hard it is to find a sitter. $30 AN HOUR. That's what I pay. Yep, $30 AN HOUR."
I blinked and he started circling me like Land Shark. "$30 AN HOUR. I wish I could find a sitter. You'd think for $30 AN HOUR I could find a nice. Young. Woman."
I was torn. I couldn't decide if he was going to sprout fangs and dig them into my neck or ask me to help him load some furniture into his windowless van. No matter, because then I spotted one of my mother's friends, and engaged her in an impossibly long conversation about essentially nothing. He lost the scent and moved on.
But if someone knocks on your door claiming to have a telegram, then a candygram, then your lost puppy, and finally to offer you $30 an hour for something, please don't answer.