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Charlie the Unicorn
My gym is in the University District, but I rarely interact with students. Most of them go to UW's rec center, which is covered by their tuition, leaving my gym safe for old people like me. After working out tonight, I realized I needed some groceries, so I swung by the 24-hour Safeway* over there. I don't fear late night grocery shopping. I kind of like it. Most of the undesirables in that area are over working the I-5 exit/entrance on 45th anyway. They're too busy to go to Safeway, unlike me and UW's entire inebriated student body.

Shopping after working out is in the same class as shopping hungry, drunk, or pregnant. You just want weird stuff. 90% of my produce purchases occur after the gym, and I'm always horrified the next day. It's like waking up with someone you picked up at a bar. "Oh my God. Why did I bring home asparagus?" Tonight the lizard part of my brain decided my survival depended upon whole wheat pasta and red sauce--a dish I've had way, way too much in my life because it's cheap and easy. I avoid it if I can. But tonight? It seemed like the best thing ever. Yum.

I went to get in line and found a guy and a girl hovering near its end but kind of not. The guy was balancing a water jug on his head with one hand and held a twenty in the other. I asked if they were in line. They decided they were and moved up. Thirty seconds later, the guy dropped his cell phone. It broke, and he simply stared with blank eyes. The girl sighed, picked it up, and began reassembling it.

Meanwhile, two girls got in line behind me. They were cute in a fashionably alternative sort of way and chatted blandly with each other until two guys walked in. The girls got really excited, and the blond one started talking in this voice...well, it's hard to explain. It was high but not like a cheerleader high voice. Like a "Dude" slow stoner voice--but feminine. Or, better still, if you've seen Charlie the Unicorn, just imagine her speaking like Charlie's friends:

"Brian! Briiiiiiiian. Oh my God. It's Brian. Hey, Brian! Come give me a hug. Brian! Briiiiiiian. You have a popsicle. Look, you have a popsicle." It's worth noting here that Brian did indeed have a popsicle. "What are you doing here Brian? Why are you in line? Briiiiiiiian." Her friend, whose voice was more puzzled than unicornish, then started pondering her own relationship with Brian. "I know you. How do I know you?" Brian, despite being well over 6', looked about 12-years-old to me, as do most UW students nowadays. He giggled nervously and mumbled answers to their questions.

It was Water Jug Guy's turn by that point, but he and his girl weren't moving in line. The cashier finally got their attention, and they moved up. I was able unload my basket, only to discover the chain on my travel purse had gotten caught in the basket's grid. I tried futilely to unhook it while Water Jug Guy stared in confusion as the cashier gave him back change. When my turn came, the cashier told me twice to put the basket in the neighboring lane. I then showed him my problem with the chain. He stopped what he was doing to help me but had about as much luck as I had. I told him not to worry, that I'd deal with it after I paid.

Flustered by the knowledge that I was holding up the line and that this was not the first time I'd tangled the chain in a grocery store basket (really!), I didn't pay much attention to my surroundings right away. Then, I looked down by the credit card machine and saw cash and a cell phone. I pointed it out to the cashier, and as one, we looked over to the store's door to try to catch Water Jug Guy before he left. Water Jug Guy was there, fortunately, but he appeared to be going back into the store, jug still on his head, off toward the shampoo. The cashier called to him, eliciting no reaction. The girl came over instead and hurriedly gathered up the guy's things.

I finished my transaction finally. Maybe because I was the only other sober person in the store, the cashier still wanted to help me with my purse. So, Briiiian-Girl be damned, he tugged and tugged on the chain until it finally came out--and broke. It was okay. I've been needing to replace it anyway. I thanked him and just happened to glance down at what Briiiian-Girl was buying: freeze-dried imitation crab meat and Ritz crackers.

I don't know what it was about that selection, but that was when I nearly lost it and started cracking up. I'd kept my blah poker face in place up until that moment...but man, the crab and crackers were the night's final punchline. Had she and her friends been sitting in a dorm room and then suddenly decided they needed that? Wacky even by my standards. But hey, what do I know? The joke's going to be on me the next time I do post-gym shopping and come home with more produce and some freeze-dried crab meat of my own.

*Yes, this is the same Safeway where a guy in line said, after hearing me read my old phone number aloud, that he was going to call my ex-husband and find out if he wanted to party.

Scenes from a grocery store...and a motto

So, last night I was at Safeway, buying large amounts of Splenda-infused foods. Like so many grocery stores, Safeway has a 'club' that you're essentially forced to join if you don't want to pay ridiculous prices. Instead of a card, I usually have them look me up by my phone number.

Here's a conversation that could probably only take place at 12:30am:

Cashier: It says the phone number is invalid. Do you have another one?
Me: I've used this one for years. I must have mistyped it.
Cashier: Go ahead and tell me. I'll put it in.
Me: xxx-xxx-xxxx
Cashier: Ok, that went through.
Guy behind me: Ooh, now I have your phone number.
Me: Actually, you have my ex-husband's phone number.
Guy: I should give him a call. Maybe he likes to party.
Me: You do that.

It's worth noting to Seattle-ites that this unsurprisingly took place in the University District. And that the guy behind me was buying beer.

Anyway, in other news, St. Vladimir's has a motto! Ironically, it wasn't actually an entry, but it was *inspired* by an entry. Congratulations to calisaw. She suggested "The Way, the Truth, and the Life." For some reason, that suddenly made my brain click and decide to use "Truth, life, blood." Because honestly, how could a vampire academy not have blood in their logo? So, drop me a line, Calisa, and claim your swag for being my muse.

To everyone else: thanks so much for submitting such great entries! Special props to the Latin speakers. When you see what this is being used for, your jaws will drop at the awesomeness.

PLEASE! Mark all spoilers in your comments.

*If you have questions about books, release dates, tour dates, or anything else, please check my website instead of leaving the question in comments or using LJ mail. You're more likely to find an answer!.*

I have red hair and subsist entirely on Kona coffee.

Other crucial information--such as my books, background, and appearances--can be found by clicking the links below.

Please note: I am HOPELESSLY behind in responding to e-mails and LJ comments right now. Be patient as I catch up!



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