a hard lesson in politics
by Johnny St. Clair

i had to go to one of those chain retail stores to take back something. and i swear it wasn’t stolen merchandise. anyway, i went in the front doors and over to the return counter. the girl who was working, she was talking with a middle-aged lady over on the other side of the counter. so i sat down in one of the ‘job opportunity’ kiosks and became vaguely depressed that the place drug tests.

these two guys walk in and i notice the one sit down at the kiosk opposite me. the other guy goes directly to the counter. he looks at me, looks at the girl, and then back at me again.

“hey man,” he says, leaning lazily on the counter, “that your girl?”

the clown is wearing a headband pulled down over the tops of his ears. his hair isn’t combed, got lint in it. he’s got a neck tattoo, one arm in his jacket – this big leather-type thing – with the other half just brushing the floor. yellow teeth. fingerprints and smears all over his wire-rim glasses. and he needs to pull his pants up.

i look over at her. she doesn’t seem to notice.

“naw man,” i say, “that’s my little sister.”

“oh yeah?” he rubs what scraggly chin beard he’s got. it could be leftover pubic hair. i don’t know. “how old is she?”

“i don’t know,” i say, “twenty?”

“yeah. she got a boyfriend?”


“does she talk to…”

“yeah man. big motherfucker. Big. crazy, too. my moms don’t even let him in the house no more.”


“word. and he ran my dog over, too. RIGHT IN THE DRIVEWAY!!!"

“aiight. i get wit’chu later,” he said, and put out his fist.

i’ve never really been good with those types of pleasantries, and i just shook his fist with my outstretched hand. he threw his hands up to the girl, nodded his head, and he and his buddy headed towards the cash registers to no doubt menace some more girls working hard for minimum wage.

after the girl behind the counter finished with the old lady on the other side, she made her way over to me. i laid out the merchandise and my story about a bad gift. when she asked for it, i handed her my license and made some wisecrack about the guy who just left.

“he’s been in and out of here for about a month. he keeps trying to get me to go out with him, and i keep telling him ‘no.’ he’ll be back, though. i should tell security.”

“i don’t think he’s coming back,” i said.

“and why is that?”

“i told him you had a boyfriend.”

“oh you did?”

“yeah,” i tried to laugh, “i told him i was your brother and you had a big, crazy boyfriend. he got outta here pretty quick after that.”

“what the fuck did you do that for?”

“excuse me?” i tried to laugh again. “i was just…i mean, it seemed…”

“look, motherfucker, i don’t need no one to do shit for me, ok? i pay my own motherfuckin’ bills. i got my own motherfuckin’ place, ok. i’m a grown-ass woman. i can take care of my own motherfuckin’ problems. i don’t need no one to look after me, especially some brokedown lookin’ motherfucker like you.”

“i was…”

“I WA – I WA – I WA!!! just listen to your stutterin’ ass. what makes you think you can do shit for me? hmmm? here,” she threw my license across the counter. “get your shit and get the hell outta here before i call security. stupid motherfucker.”

so after that, you know, i just kinda stumbled towards the door in a daze most familiar to boxers, crash tests dummies, and mass-transit riders. it wasn’t until i was outside the front doors, distractedly bumping into people waiting for the bus, that i realized i’d forgotten my merchandise.

i went back to the counter and reminded the girl – in the most pleasant way possible – that i’d left my unreturned goods behind.

“what kind of sorry ass shit is that? huh? even that other motherfucker’s got better lines than you. ‘you forgot your merchandise.’ please. i got a good mind to mace your crazy ass. you know what, where’s the motherfuckin’ phone at? i’m callin’ security. and i’m havin’ them call the police.”

i don’t need anyone to tell me when i’ve worn out my welcome – i’m sensitive to that type of shit. still, plenty in the general vicinity were able to hear her remind me that the whole incident was caught on the security tape.

Johnny has forgotten his shit many times in the chase of a good piece of pussy....

We're Gonna Be Using Aliases On This One.. Archives


She's going to make someone a lovely wife some day.

You're quite the gentleman. I would have hauled off and punched her in the face.


Said it before and I'll say it again, YIKES!


What's the word the kids are using? Oh yeah,


I think that's the one.


you know what? i pretended she was talkin' dirty to me and it turned me on.

her enthusiasm made me chuckle. clearly, this girl wanted me to know that she didn't need someone to take care of her.

which is just as well. i can't even take care of myself.


Jesus, that's some customer service right there.

Why did I never work the retail places where I could pull that kind of shit and keep my job?


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