It’s more than just lip service
Thank Gawd we have Ed Coonce to restore some sanity to this site! The featured image is a view from Ed’s window on a clear day. His entry into our contest per suedes me not to step on his shoes.
The sales associate at Billy Bob’s Bargain Basement and General Store seemed irked and irritated.
“Can I get a discount on that?” I had asked, expecting a positive response.
“No,” she replied, tossing the gorgeous leather and lace cargo shorts back in the display bin.
“Why not?” I countered. “I’m a bona fide member of the Scrumptious Junction Soroptimist Club.”
“That doesn’t qualify, and cargo shorts aren’t on the list.”
“What list?” I hadn’t seen any lists.
“This list.” She scribbled on, then held up a scrap of paper with four words, No Discount for You!
“Ohh.” I was more than a bit perplexed and a tad miffed. This hadn’t happened before. Me, of all people, the toast of East Hell, the thespian-in-residence, artist without peer, instantly recognizable. I guess the leather and lace cargo shorts had something to do with that, but what else would you wear to a flash mob zombie dance?
“Let me show you something,” she said. Red hair hung past her shoulders, covering one eye. Her name tag said Irene. She watched the front door nervously.
She led me to the frozen foods aisle and unlocked a small door at the end of the poultry display. She glanced over her shoulder, pulled out a burlap bag, brushed off a coating of ice crystals, and ceremoniously dumped it in my shopping cart. It was a frozen chicken.
I looked at her. “What?”
“It’s a collector’s item.”
“Sure.” I picked up the chicken and looked at the label. The expiration date read 10/15/70. “You’re shittin’ me!” I blurted out. “I’m sure that a forty-five year old frozen chicken is a collector’s item in some circles, but I’d rather have the leather and lace cargo shorts.”
“Shut up, dummy.” Irene whispered. “It was found in a hidden frozen food locker at Graceland last year. It belonged to Elvis. He never had the chance to deep fry it, although some believe that was the plan.”
“Cool…how’d you get it?”
She looked directly into my eyes, and moved closer, till her face was nearly touching mine. “I stole it.” she whispered, her lips on my ear. Feeling a bit awkward, I pushed her away. She started to sob. “They’ll kill me!”
“Who, them?” I gestured toward the ’58 Bel Air wagon parked across the street, guy in dark glasses behind the wheel, passenger nothing more than a shadow. I offered her my handkerchief.
“Hell,” I said, and pulled her back onto my shoulder. I thought for a bit.
“OK, we’ve got Elvis’s stolen frozen chicken. Now what?”
“I don’t know! Hide me!”
“On one condition, Irene.” I paused.
“Here’s the deal, ring up those leather and lace cargo shorts for me with a big discount and I’ll take you out of here.”
She slapped me then, but before it could even register, trapped me in a level five liplock.
Somewhere in the ether I could hear a car radio playing Blue Suede Shoes.
Wanna have some fun? Find Ed Coonce, seen below before he ran afowel rocking the jailhouse, by visiting East Hell Boulevard: https://www.amazon.com/Stories-East-Hell-Ed-Coonce-ebook/dp/B0050VQHLA