It’s that time of night, the pau hana gang making purchases they should have made the last time they were in Longs but were too sober to remember. Now, after a few beers, it’s: “Aha! I know what I should have bought last time.”
It’s that time of night where there’s only one register open, twelve of us in line, me last, of course. I really do always pick the slowest checkout line. So if there’s only one line, you can bet money it’ll be long. No pun intended.
I see two men built big, one being rung up, muscled thick like slabs of beef in Rocky, glare at each other, speak words those in the rear can’t hear, then begin throwing punches, in a slow motion kind of way so you know, guarans, they’ve been drinking too.
This is not trained Golden Gloves style, but more like Kalākaua gym newbies in their first fight, throwing with their fists, weak glancing hits, rather than dangerous knockout blows. They’re not using their hands as the points of power generated from their elbows, shoulders, trunk, hips, and legs.
The old lady just behind them stumbles backward. All of us step back, kind of in slow motion too, away from the register, just as a sea of male employees, all of them dressed in matching shirts, converge on the two drunken brawlers, hold them back from each other, then move all as one, the two fighters floating along on an ocean current of green aloha shirts, bobbing toward several blue clad police officers coming through the front entrance, hallelujah.
Now is the time to get back in line, and if we were less courteous, we’d jockey for better position, but this is Longs, Hawai’i, not CVS anywhere else. Here, aloha prevails, like with the peace-loving employees surrounding those drunk angry guys. So we keep our same positions, me still last in line, dammit.
Don’t you think with all of these stealth workers available to quash brawls, that they could spare one or two to open other registers?
I lean forward from my rear position and say, maybe a few beers too loudly, “You really need to open another register.”
Still traumatized, the little hapa cashier stares wide-eyed at me, probably can tell I’ve been drinking too, grabs her intercom phone with lightning speed, and calls for someone to come to the front to checkout. The response is quick as well, yay.
The little hapa girl stares at me again. I smile a little beer smile at her, say “thank you” probably a little too loudly again, then move to the other line.
Do I look like I’m trouble? Seriously, all I wanna do is get the hell outta here with my dental floss and Nutter Butters before who knows what other kind of hell might break loose at this time of night in Longs.
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Today’s word is
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