The Lobster Guy (Three)

The Lobster Guy. A live lobster seen in water.

Even though he was running late, the oddity that is Truman Humboldt took his time biking to the Neptune Pop-In Shop Food Market to work his cashier shift. He could not stop thinking about Maggie Barrymore though, her sensual curves, the way she tapped a pen against her pillowy lips when she listened to him talk, the way she filled the entire office with her feminine scent, the way she crinkled her petite nose when she made a face of disgust toward him… And at one point in his daydreaming ride, Truman closed his eyes completely and just sailed peacefully through Neptune, Nebraska as if he were on a lobster boat on the big, big ocean, hugging Miss Maggie close to him in the wind and salty sea air, her hand down his seafaring pants. But when Truman opened his eyes, his daydream ended abruptly, foiled by reality, and he found himself crashing into a big wall of hedges encapsulating someone’s ornamental front yard.

“Damn it all to hell!” Truman cursed, as he picked himself up off the walkway and slapped shredded greenery off his now torn pants. He got stuck with sticks as well. His arms were covered in red scratches. One nearly missed his eye.

A pack of wild teenagers loitering in front of a house on the other side of the street pointed at disheveled Truman and burst out laughing. “Hey moron, watch out for the bushes!” one of them yelled. “Nice bike, weirdo. Is it your little sister’s!?” another boy added.

Truman tried to ignore them, but he was boiling on the inside as he got back on his bike and rode away. The pack of wild teenagers just laughed at him, and their laughing caught the wind and followed him as Truman went, his legs pumping harder for more speed so he could just get away from them, even though part of him wanted to turn around and go back to kill them.

When Truman arrived at the Neptune Pop-In Shop Food Market he was a sweaty, riled mess. He chained his bicycle to the OUT OF ORDER kiddie horse ride outside the store and rushed inside, nearly knocking over an old woman coming out of the store carrying her groceries.

“Why don’t you watch where you’re going, you jackass!” the old lady snapped at him.

Truman clenched his jaw. He wanted to turn around and punch her right in the face and then throw her damn groceries all over the parking lot. But he did not do that.

Instead, he was screaming like mad on the inside as he walked into the employee lounge and punched in for his shift. “Damn it! I’m twelve minutes late!” Truman yelled out.

Some of his co-workers who were sitting around a table drinking Coke and munching popcorn snickered among themselves. Suddenly, as if by magic, the store manager, that being Mr. Guldencock, was standing right behind him.

Guldencock was a definite cock. Some nicknamed him Mr. Mustard, a play on Gulden’s Mustard, and because he always smelled like mustard for some reason. It all worked out perfectly for those who made fun of him. Mr. Guldencock had a spicy personality, but not in a tasteful way. He was grossly tangy. He sweated a lot. He had horrible breath. He lingered around the female employees way too much. He was touchy feely in a creepy way. Everyone hated him.

And now Truman faced his stern grossness. Mr. Guldencock’s thick, overly hairy arms were folded and resting on his blubbery belly. His pale eyes bore through Truman’s soul.

“Jiminy Cricket! You scared the jeepers out of me, Mr. Guldencock,” Truman said.

“You’re nearly 15 minutes late, Truman, and we’re busy as hell out there,” Mr. Guldencock said. “Where in the world have you been? We got customers waiting!”

“I’m sorry sir, I got tied up at my other job, and then I had a bicycle accident. I couldn’t help it.”

Mr. Guldencock looked Truman up and down with a hint of suspicion mixed with disgust. “You look like hell. Now go get yourself cleaned up and get on register one. And for God’s sake, comb your hair.”

“Hello. How are you today? Did you find everything okay?”

“Hello. How are you today? Did you find everything okay?”

“Hello. How are you today? Did you find everything okay?”

The moronic monotony of it all was murder, Truman thought to himself, as he robotically scanned groceries, pushed buttons, and took money.

Then a certain item caught his attention as he ran it over the scanner. He looked up at the customer, a chunky woman with a bad complexion and tattoos all over her chubby arms. She’s no Maggie Barrymore, Truman thought to himself. This chick is gross.

“Excuse me, mam,” Truman said. “But do you realize this is imitation lobster.”

The lady annoyingly smacked her gum and looked at Truman with odd wonder.

“Yeah, so what?” she said, somewhat offended.

“Well, it’s not real lobster. It’s fake lobster, says so right here on the package.”

“Well, I don’t care if it’s fake lobster and I don’t care for your opinion about my groceries, cashier man. Now just ring up my shit so I can get out of here.”

Truman clutched the package of imitation lobster and just stared at her.

“Well?” the lady shrugged, “Are you going to do your god damn job or not!?”

Truman looked around. Everything seemed so damn crazy to him. His line was growing longer, and people were becoming grumbly and impatient. All the noise and rattle tattle of the place became one blaring sound and even his vision got a bit fuzzy.

“Hello!” the chunky woman said, waving her hands in front of Truman’s face. “Earth to dipshit. Anybody there?”

“I’m sorry, mam. I can’t let you do it,” Truman said. And with that, he threw the package of imitation lobster as hard as he could across the store. It must have hit someone in the head.

“Hey!” someone yelled from far off.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing!?” the chunky woman yelled. “I want to speak to your supervisor right now!”

Truman got on the intercom and spoke nervously. The feedback initially piercing in the air.

 “Umm, hello, is anyone there? Mr. Guldencock, please report to register one for customer assistance. Over and out. Have a nice day… And stuff.”

The chunky woman who tried to buy imitation lobster turned to the customer in line behind her. “Can you believe this whack-a-doodle shit?” she said, shaking her bloated head.

“Ugh, I know,” the other customer said. “This guy is the worst cashier they have. He’s so awkward and weird. I hate coming here.”

The imitation lobster woman laughed, revealing her mouth with a few missing teeth. “Tell me about it,” she said. “They need to just fire his stupid ass.”

Mr. Guldencock waddled over to the checkout stand with his usual faux smile plastered to his fat face. “Is there a problem here?” he cheerfully asked.

“There sure as hell is,” the woman complained loudly. “Your moron cashier here started giving me crap about buying imitation lobster, and then he threw my damn package across the store. I think it hit someone.”

Mr. Guldencock looked at Truman with evil eyes of utter disappointment, and then he sighed, the air around him reeking from his breath. Then he got on the intercom. “Register backup to one please. Code Truman. Thank you.”

Mr. Guldencock tapped the tip of his pen on his desk and just stared at him. Truman shifted uncomfortably in the chair. Mr. Guldencock leaned forward. “Well, I have no choice but to let you go, Truman. Your behavior this evening was inexcusable. I mean, what the hell were you thinking? Throwing a customer’s food selection across the store!”

“I was just trying to save her from making a terrible mistake,” Truman mumbled.

“What!? Speak up. Why can’t you ever just talk like a normal person?”

“I said I was trying to keep the customer from making a terrible choice! She was going to buy imitation lobster! That means not real lobster! That’s ridiculous. I had to stop it. I just had to.”

Mr. Guldencock shook his sweaty head and sighed deeply. “We don’t pay you to make choices for our customers, Truman. We pay you to ring up their shit and take their money and act like you love doing it. That’s it. You have no opinion on anything. Your voice does not matter in my grocery store. I mean, who the hell do you think you are?”

Truman looked at the floor dejectedly. “I guess I’m nobody.”

“You know what? You’re probably right,” Mr. Guldencock said with a scalding chuckle. “Now go clean out your locker and get the hell out of here. I don’t ever want to see you in here again.”

“But where am I supposed to buy my food then?” Truman wanted to know.

“I don’t give a dead moose’s last shit where you buy your food, just don’t ever come in here again!” Mr. Guldencock bellowed. Truman just sat there and took his boss’ abuse. Then he started to cry.


In case you missed the previous part of this story, you can check it out HERE. Thanks for reading and supporting independent writers and creators.

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