I think I need to take a break from watching Law and Order reruns. Generally, I’m a (too?) trusting person and I tend to think that people won’t be mean to me because I’m not mean to people- which is ridiculous, I know. But, lately I’ve been swinging the pendulum to the other side, imagining that everyone is some kind of deranged killer and that’s probably worse than being happy go lucky. Last night, I realized I need to get myself in check when I stopped to get gas. The credit card machine wasn’t working at the pump, so I had to go inside to pay. Standing near the cashier counter were two suspicious looking guys who were clearly ready to shoot the place up, like an episode of SVU I saw this weekend. Unfortunately, Ice-T wasn’t lurking in the background waiting to take the bullet for me.
Perp Number One had a backpack (probably filled with body parts OR empty waiting to put my chopped up body in it- either or) with a skateboard strapped to it. Now, one thing you need to know about me is that when I get nervous, I talk. A lot. On first dates, work meetings, awkward situations, you can always count on me to blabber on so much I turn blue because I forget to breathe. Turns out, being nervous about getting chopped into a million pieces is no exception.
“Oh! Look! Your skateboard is missing a wheel!” I exclaimed, pointing to at his getaway vehicle. I think my subconscious had rationalized it might be harder for him to slice and dice me if he knew how nice I was. Make it personal, I was thinking.
He looked at me grimly and then slurred out some gibberish through his missing teeth.
I literally had no idea what he had said. But of course, I kept talking, gib gabbering away about his broken wheel. Then, I began to panic. What if all this “personalizing” made him think I would want to give him a ride or something? Then what would I say? If I said no, he might want to stab me and cut my boobs off as a trophy and bring them to his Russian mob boss for his body-parts showcase.
Stop talking, Tracy. STOP!!
I couldn’t stop.
“Yeah, that’s too bad, hopefully you can fix it soon.”
“Uh huh.” (More gibberish). “I found this glove.” He held up a black glove with the fingers cut off.
“Oh, um. Well that’s great! See- you found a glove to make up for the skateboard wheel!” I exclaimed excitedly.
“I can’t ride a glove home,” he retorted.
I thought about that for a minute. “That’s true. Well, I was just trying to find the silver lining for ya….” I trailed off, suddenly aware that Murderer Number Two didn’t seem to be partners with the no-fingered glove skateboard bandit.
Oh my god. I’d been chatting up the WRONG KILLER this whole time!!! This skateboard guy was probably harmless and this OTHER fella was ready to blow the whole place up with a semi-automatic and I hadn’t made it personal with him AT ALL. GAH!
Skateboard guy left without incident.
My hands shook as I thought of something to say to the other killer. Nothing came to mind because I was so frazzled so I focused my nervous chats on the cashier, silently begging him with my eyes to call 911. He didn’t get my telepathic memo so I just settled for blurting out, “Fifty on pump 4 please.”
Skateboard guy suddenly stuck his head back into the store.
This was it. The ambush. The jig was up- and they were about to end it all right now.
I whispered, “Hail Mary Full of Grace. The lord is something.” I don’t really even know the Hail Mary but I figured if there was ever a time to say a quick prayer, it was now, even if just a little part of one.
Then, I grabbed at my chest where I had been shot and everything went dark.
No but really I just grabbed my receipt and watched the skateboard guy hand the cashier a dollar while he grabbed a lighter off the counter. The second guy never moved an inch and I’m still having my doubts about him.
So, yeah I’m thinking no crime shows for a while- maybe I’ll stick to watching wholesome Cosby Show reruns on Nick at Nite until the dust in my insane imagination settles… although Rudy in her awkward phase might dredge up scarier delusions than the murderers do- I’ll keep you posted.
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