Thursday, August 14, 2008

Witz Pickz: The People We Meet...

I ran five miles in a sweaty t-shirt yesterday and woke up feeling like I'd been suckling a litter of ferrets all night long. So that's where I'm at.

I've made a new best friend at Safeway (and if that one sentence doesn't sum up why I'm going to end up sad and alone, I don't know what will). Her name is Veronica and she works at the sandwhich counter. She's probably around fifty, short and weighty, and while I'm not sure exactly where she's from, I've narrowed it down to either Mexico, Turkey, or Armenia.

The thing about Veronica is that she is utterly outwardly joyous about her job. She smiles when you step up to her and asks how you are doing. She laughs at the subtleties of the deli process, and smiles like she's figured out the riddle of life, and it's a really good punchline. She smiles and nods her head when you are done, seems genuinely thankful when you say, "Have a good night," and truly wants you to have a good night too. And yet the thing that makes Veronica really stand out in my mind is that more than anything else, she seems to want you to have pepperoncinis on your sandwhich.

Whether you order a sandwhich that includes them or not, she'll push the issue with a very happy smile. She's made three sandwhiches for me, and each time, I've ordered something different and before closing the sandwhich, she's looked at me with caring eyes and suggested, "Ehhh, maybe some pepperoncinis...?" The first two times I politely declined, and she backed away laughing a little, doing a mock, "Ok, Ok, no pepperoncinis!" This last time I had her put em on there just to make her happy. "Ehhh, maybe some pepperoncinis?" she asked? "Yeah, absolutely!" I replied, and watched as she bubbled and smiled and nodded, saying, "Good pepperoncinis," and piling them on for me. Rereading that accurate description, I want to ensure you that Veronica is not simply one of the mentally challenged employees that grocery stores sometimes have bagging. She's just very into pepperoncinis.

It has crossed my mind that maybe there's something in pepperoncinis that she thinks will specifically benefit me. Like maybe she takes a look at me and says out loud, "Ehhh, maybe some pepperoncinis--" and then finishes in her head, "--to make your nose smaller?" Maybe where she comes from, pepperoncinis make you taller, help you sleep, and easily remove wisdom teeth. There's also an outside chance that she laces the pepperoncinis with something and she's high as shit all the time. That explanation actually makes way more sense. Suddenly you're all like, "Great-- all it takes to make Witz happy is having some foreign chick on ecstasy make him a sandwhich..."

For whatever reason, I'm glad people like Veronica exist. It beats the hell out of the other Safeway skeazy mustachioed sandwhich guy who EVERY TIME YOU ORDER A SANDWHICH says, "Wow-- I wonder how many calories are in this!" LOTS-- but I'm the kinda person who is purchasing a SANDWHICH at a GROCERY STORE instead of buying the ingredients and making it myself, so maybe I have enough that I'm dealing with.

Gym Guy:
After that aforementioned running at the gym, I was at the water fountain (the good water fountain, which means the one out in the hallway, not in the gym. This is the same type of thinking I employed in kindergarten-6th grade when I'd come in from soccer and hop into the line for the "good fountain," sweating profusely while some a-hole behind me starts counting to five) drinking lots of water, when a large, built dude steps up to the tiny fountain next to me. His headphones are still on blasting music, but it takes a second for the music to clear up and reach me while we drink. Right as I'm swallowing some water, I hear the chorus of everyone's favorite democratic party anthem: "Don't stop-- believing!" The dude was listening to Journey. I choked on my water, laughed without being able to stop myself, and shared a momentary look with him. My look said, "Journey? Really?" and his look said, "Just because I'm listening to Journey doesn't mean can't kick your ass." Touche.

Standing Room Only:

From a baseball game over the weekend with my friends...

ATTENDANT: Please stand closer to the seats…
CLARE: But not past the yellow line, right?
ATTENDANT: No, not past that.
NICK: You're sending me mixed signals—I don't know how you feel about me!
ATTENDANT: Just stand a little closer.
CLARE: Just the tip. She's saying just the tip.

Dare From A Reader:
I dare any of your readers to browse weight-lifting websites at work, then convince anyone that catches a glimpse of it that they aren't looking at gay porn. Can't be done.

...These are my readers...
(right, J-Kow?)


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