Tag Archives: Mayonnaise

The Mayans and the Mayonnaise

For the Mayans and the Mayonnaise.

A young man in a jacket with the hood over his head stood in aisle No. 8 in a nonchalant grocery store on the softened edge of a small Southwest American town that knew no better than what the day and night gave it.

He was looking over the selection of mayonnaise the store had there. The vast number of choices boggled his mind. He threw the hood back off his head and played with his mangled, tangled hair. He considered purchasing true, authentic, real mayonnaise. He picked up one of the jars and it weighed almost as much as a plump cantaloupe. It was far too much, he decided, and put it back. Then he was drawn to something called Wonder Whip. Undecided, he just shook his head. He looked up and down the aisle and was glad he was the only one there. Cliché soft pop music played from the invisible speaker system. It made the skin on his skull crawl.

A few moments later, a woman in a dressy red coat came up the aisle and stood right next to him. She was studying the mayonnaise and wonder whips as well. She was so close to him that their arms were touching. He couldn’t believe it. The young man took one step to his left.

The woman took notice of his discomfort. “Is something wrong?” she asked.

He turned to look at her. She had twirly red hair to match her coat and wore too much makeup, and the plastic surgery was obvious. “Nothing’s wrong… I was worried that perhaps I was in your way.”

She looked at him intensely and smiled, her artificial skin glowed like grease beneath the bright store lights. “You aren’t in my way at all,” she said in a sultry, drawn-out tone. “I suppose you could say I’m a people person and… Well, to be honest, I just like to be close to others. It’s comforting. See, I’ve suffered some terrible losses in my life. Just terrible. More terrible than any human being should ever have to endure.”

The young man rubbed at his nose with a fist and tried to smile. “I’m sorry to hear that.” Then feeling somewhat ashamed or embarrassed or whatever it was, he took a step closer to her so that their arms were touching again. He listlessly pointed. “My dad wants some of this mayonnaise stuff for his sandwiches, but I have no idea which one to get,” he said. “Why does there have to be so many?”

The woman rolled her eyes in negative agreement. “Tell me about it,” she said. “That’s the whole problem with this so-called modern society of ours. They give us far too many choices. It’s overwhelming and time consuming. We are forced to expend so much energy on needless things while what matters most is set aside because we are just plain wore out.” She put her arms out in front of her in a gesture of: Just look at all this! And she slowly rotated like a ballerina in a box. “An entire aisle dedicated to condiments. It’s abhorrent.”

The young man would have agreed if he had known what abhorrent meant. He just dumbly smiled.

“You would think humanity would have more pressing things to attend to than coming up with 100 different kinds of ketchup,” she continued. “What about starvation? Or the problems of war or disease or pollution or poverty? Why isn’t anyone sitting around thinking about all that?”

She gazed at him for an answer, her eyes wide and mad with eccentric high voltage. “I don’t know why,” he said.

She heartily gestured with her arms once more and made a lackluster trumpeting sound with her plumped up mauve mouth. “Because of all this! They’re all so god damned concerned with products… Coming up with products, advertising products, displaying products, selling products,” and she craned her neck toward the ceiling and grimaced. “And building these… These grotesque cathedrals of products!”

She clamped her hands upon his shoulders and got uncomfortably close to his face. “Do you realize what the world would be like if we could undo all that has been done!? Just imagine if only we could erase all the bloody parking lots and all the buildings and all the materials and people that went into every grain of rock, stone and glass, every piece of wood, every wire, every length of pipe… Every, every everything! I’ll tell you this, young man… I imagine it. I imagine it every day. I even go down to my church twice a week and give the little man there a quarter so that my prayers will be answered before anyone else’s.” Her emotions suddenly drooped. “But it’s like God is the god damn lottery… I never win.” And she pulled her hands away from him and looked down at the shiny floor for a few moments. She was softly mumbling something he could not understand. 

The young man became concerned that a lunatic had hitched herself to him and would never let him be. He took her pause of madness as opportunity, and he quickly snatched a jar of mayo from the shelf and started to walk away.

“Wait!” the woman cried out when she noticed his departure, and she trotted after him. She put a hand on his shoulder again, this time with a more forceful grip and one that turned him. “Don’t you care that as a society we put greater importance on products than we do people!? Don’t you care that people are diving off buildings because someone chose the love of things over plain old wonderful love!?” Her eyes bounced rapidly back and forth during the time of her latest concerned gaze at him. A tear came out of an eye, rolled down her painted face, and dangled at her jawline before falling.

The young man pulled away from her and nervously fumbled for an answer. “Sure, I care. I care very much about the state of the world… But right now, I really need to get home so my dad can have this mayonnaise for his sandwich. He’ll refuse to eat it without, and he needs to eat because he’s a diabetic. I care about that as well, mam. Have a good night.” He moved with purpose to the checkout, paid, and quickly rushed out of the store.

The young man clutched the sack holding the jar of mayonnaise and walked as fast as he could toward home. His body of quick pace skimmed along the outer face of an adobe wall that separated Spanish-style homes from the streets.

Where he was in the city was higher up and he could gaze down onto the floor of the inhabited desert, and it was like a gridwork of multi-colored lights and lines. He could make out popping blues and reds that indicated police were in action. He gazed north to the modern complex bathed in white and fizzing light that was his high school. He could see the massive parking lot and the rectangular piece of green and oval metal glint around it that made the football stadium. He was glad to be breathing the night air despite its tint of poisoned atmosphere.

He looked up and the light pollution slowly faded, and the sky grew deeper and darker, and he could see that orgasmic splash of silver screaming stars across the witch pitch firmament. He saw the spinning planets and man’s rushing satellites and golden green comets and he thought about the mad rant of that crazy woman in the grocery store and wondered if she wasn’t all that mad after all. His heart was pounding. She had really shaken him up.   

Once the young man got home, he unlocked and went through the door by the garage and into the kitchen. He shed his coat and hung it on a peg. He set the grocery store bag on the table and withdrew the jar of mayonnaise and set it down as well.

His father looked up at him and struggled to smile. The run-down man had set out in waiting before him: a plate, packages of sandwich meat and cheese, iceberg lettuce leaves peeled from a fresh head, a slice of wet tomato, a loaf of bread, and an empty glass next to a half gallon of milk. “I thought you would never get back,” he said in a grainy voice, and he shakily reached for the jar of mayonnaise that his son had opened and broken the freshness seal on.

“Sorry about that, pop,” he said. “Some crazy old lady started talking to me at the grocery store about all that’s wrong with the world.”

The father seemed disinterested as he spread the mayo across the bread slices with a shining silver butter knife. He grunted. “There’s a lot of crazy people…” and he pointed with the knife, “Out there.”

The young man pulled out one of the kitchen table chairs and sat down in it. He looked across at his father who was meticulously assembling his sandwich. “Do you ever wonder if it’s the crazy people that might be right about everything and the ones we think of as normal are the actual madmen?”

His father raised his eyebrows at that notion before taking a big bite out of the sandwich he held before him with two hands. He thought as he chewed. He picked up the glass of milk he had poured and took a long drink. He ran a paper napkin across his mouth. “Now that’s a thought that should be taken seriously.”

“You think so?”

“Absolutely. You should pursue it.”

They sat there in complete quiet as the father finished his sandwich and left the table. The young man watched him as he slowly shuffled off to the recliner in his den that sat in front of a large television. The father made an old man groan as he settled into his favorite spot. The television illuminated and soon the son heard the crack of a bat on a baseball and the sound of cheers and frenzied announcers that followed drowned out everything.

After the young man cleaned the kitchen, he went and stood in the opening to his father’s den. The older man was already snoring. He came around to the front of him and laid his favorite blanket out across his resting body and soul. He looked down and watched as the older man slept and it wasn’t long before the son saw himself in the exact same position in 50 years or so. He left a lamp on but turned the volume of the television down to just an audible softness.

The young man then went to the large window in the front living room and pulled the curtain aside so he could look out and say “goodnight” to the once classic world. The glow of the city out and below had somewhat dimmed, but the moon above was bright and thriving. Then he heard the calling and felt the vibrations of their entrance from somewhere else, and there suddenly on the quiet street beneath a streetlamp pink glow came a herd of ancient people, and they were barely clothed, and they held magic and creation and civilization in all their hands and their throng cast hopeful as they made their way into the new world to forge an old way of maddening and wonderous life.


Have You Heard of Personal Space?

Cat sitting in red plastic spaghetti strainer on kitchen counter
Polly the cat sits in a spaghetti strainer.

I don’t know what it is, but lately I feel like a human magnet.

That’s not the same as a chick magnet. I define human magnet as in everywhere I go, other human beings seem to have the need to get in my personal space… Uninvited and unwanted, of course. In light of the whole COVID mess, I have become hypersensitive to people getting too close to me when I am out in public. I really don’t like it.

Since I am a house husband, I do most of the grocery shopping. Other than our crappy Walmart, the town I live in has only one regular grocery store… And it sucks. It’s too small, it never has anything in stock, and it takes forever to get through the checkout lines because they can’t retain new employees for more than 4 hours it seems. But enough of that, the point is that the town is growing and growing and so the grocery store is getting more and more crowded. So, pretty much no matter when I go, the aisles are usually crawling with undesirables of all types.

The problem I have been facing lately is that whatever product I’m looking for, there’s always a cluster of other people right there and in the way. The section can be completely empty otherwise, but sure enough, when I go to get the one thing I need, someone’s right there, bent over and filling half the aisle with their huge ass. Ugh.

It happened to me twice today alone. The first time was in the Latin American food aisle. All I needed was one damn can of enchilada sauce. There was one other person in the whole area, and what was she doing? Standing right in front of where the enchilada sauce was and filling, and I mean filling, her cart with boxes upon boxes of taco shells. And she was going at it like a fiend. One would think she was on Guy’s Grocery Games and the countdown was on to win $20,000. Who the hell eats that many tacos? Wherever and whatever is going down with that kind of party, count me out. I like tacos, I just don’t want to be around when that digestive nuclear bomb goes off.

Anyways, I grumbled, looped around and came back later to get my one can of enchilada sauce. The taco shell section was obliterated.

The next event occurred in the salad dressing aisle where they keep all the mayo and Miracle Whip. Whip. That’s fun to say. But once again, the aisle was barren except for this couple kneeling down in front of the mayo… And I just got an image of Louis Gossett Jr. calling Richard Gere “Mayonnaise” in the movie An Officer and a Gentleman… Yeah, I watched it. So what? Check the clip out below.

But like I was saying, this couple was kneeling down in front of the mayo and looking and talking and talking and looking at all the different jars they had there. I’m like, “It’s god damn mayonnaise. Pick one and move on!” I didn’t say that out loud, I just thought it to myself. So, once again, I had to reroute, loop around, and come back. These people are chewing up my valuable time! Valuable time like writing about mayonnaise, I guess.

But the main point of this article is the fact that people have little to no sense of personal space. I don’t know if I smell good or what, but the last few times I’ve been at the store, people have creeped up on me so close that I can actually feel them breathing down my neck. I’ve had people rudely reach out in front of me, from the side and the back, and snag something off the shelf. I’ve had people nearly step on my shoes. I’ve had people nearly dry hump me from behind. What the hell!? I just want to step aside and say, “Could you back off please!” But of course, I never do. Not in this day and age. You never know what kind of lunatic you’re up against.

I want to wrap up my bitchfest by talking about the biggest violator of personal space in my entire life… Polly the cat. That’s right, our pet cat takes the cake, and the cat chow, when it comes to invading personal space. I don’t know what her problem is, and we are always asking that very question, but we have never had a cat that gets so right up into your face as this one does.

Polly isn’t one of those nice kitties that jumps up on your lap, curls a couple of times, and then plops down for a nap. Nope. Not this one. Polly is the type of cat that literally tries to crawl up your body and rest on your shoulder. And that’s how she got her name… Because when she was a kitten, she’d love to climb up and sit on your shoulder, like a parrot. Get it? But now that she’s full grown, and I mean really full grown, (she’s a fat cat, a chonker my wife says) she can’t sit up on your shoulder but really just rests her head on it, her two front paws wrapped around your neck like she’s giving you a hug. Cute, yeah, but then she licks. Yep, she’s a licker. Any kind of exposed skin is doomed to be assaulted by that sandpaper tongue. I don’t like it. My wife doesn’t like it. It’s gross. That’s the point at which we softly push her aside. And the whole gross licking thing is part of the reason we don’t have dogs. It’s so off putting and just not for us. We’re not prudes, just cat people. No offense dog lovers. She’s also into headbutting and nose to nose staring contests. It’s creepy.

If you haven’t guessed by now, the picture at the top of this post is Polly sitting in a spaghetti strainer while I was cooking dinner the other night. I never had a cat that had to be near me or next to me or on me so much. She literally follows me around the house. We don’t let her in our bedroom at night because she would literally sit on one of our faces. (I could say something dirty here, but I won’t). I don’t know about you, but I can’t sleep like that. So, out she goes to the living room. Nighty night.

Maybe I’m overreacting about all this closeness, but you have to admit, a lot of people are gross, and I don’t want to get sick. Besides that, it’s just downright rude. Sure, some might say “excuse me” but the majority say nothing at all and actually act like I’m in their way. Hmm. I was here first, dipshit. I have rights. I guess I just need to plot out my course more carefully and do the best I can to avoid the glommers who love to glom on me. My wife says I just need to accept and appreciate the love, not from the people in the grocery store, but the cat. Accepting love. That’s always been kind of tricky for me, but I’m trying.