Dogs Don't Roll Over
Written by: Alex Sandell
Remembering That Time of Month
I lose Lisa in the crowd rushing to be first in line for wardrobe. With my last name being Ziekel, and the first letter of that name ending in "Z" I've been at the end of the line ever since pre-school. Every so often, to teach all the children that people in power positions are fair, the teachers would line us up in alphabetical order according to our first name. This never helped my cause much either, having the first name of Wayne. By the time I graduated from Kindergarten I learned that, unless you're right in the center, you'll always be counted as out.
"Have you been helped?" The monotone voice similar to the digitally recorded one that you hear every time you make a collect call pulls me from my inner-recollection. I look up and say "huh?" Which is about as meaningful as when I say "duh" but instead of covering my insecurities it shows the entire world that I just don't get it.
"Have you been helped yet?" The wardrobe lady repeats, impatient as a hyper-active child who misplaced his ritalin. "Uh, no-can you help me?" I ask in the "my husband hits me, but I just can't leave him" wife voice I use when I feel I am being treated unfair.
The wardrobe lady grabs the badge from my hand and snaps back a smarmy "I don't think anyone can help you." I look at the audience of attentive eyes that are staring at me and throw out a quick "duh" before bowing my head. It's the ostrich complex, if I stare at my chest long enough and ignore the world, maybe the world will forget that I'm there.
I quickly grab my wardrobe bag from the lady who doesn't think I can be helped and rush to the locker room. Once again, wardrobe has made me late for work. Still, they did it in record time, the line only took me 22 minutes to get through, versus the usual 29.
I bump into Lisa who has already been through the line and is ready for work. She lets on that, once again, she watched my idiocy with attentive eyes. She swivels her hip to the right and rests her hand on the side of her butt as she comments, once again, "you just have a way of rubbing some people the wrong way." Oh? I think to myself, a second time, and what gave me away?
I quickly rush into the locker room and get ready to change. As I hang my locker bag on a hook in front of me, I notice that it feels about five pounds too heavy. I see a large lump at the bottom of my bag. After a minute of trying to figure out what five pound object I could stick in my bag and completely forget was there 16 hours later, I decide to just unzip the bag and find out.
An overpowering stench hits my nostrils as I pull the zipper down to the top of the lump. The first thing that comes to my mind is "tampons."
The only time I have ever smelled as horrid a smell was back in twelfth grade when I worked as a janitor for some rich, "we're better than you are," accounting firm. The prom-king and captain of the football team in high school worked right along with me in this janitorial hell. I forgot his name, but I'm sure it was something like "Brick."
One day, while cleaning toilets in the women's bathroom, "Brick" asked me if I thought his girlfriend was cute. Although she was Mrs. Osakis (Osakis was the hicksville in which I grew up) and I thought she was the most beautiful thing since I saw my first porno, I didn't know how Brick wanted me to respond.
If I said she was wonderful, Brick's small, underdeveloped jock brain may think I was trying to hit on her. If I said she was ugly, that same low I. Q'd, beer absorbed brain may think I was insulting her. Insulting "his" girl would be like insulting him, since he owned her and all.
After squirming uncomfortably and trying to change the subject to feminine hygiene, I realized Brick was getting impatient, and that an answer was due. "Uh, well . . ." hearing Brick's tapping foot must have created the same feelings as hearing a German Death March did to the Jews, "she's kindof cute."
As I watched Brick's upper lip curl into a snarl, I knew that I had not scored park avenue and that I was going directly to jail. "You think she is cute?" Brick's face went as red as a baboon's butt in heat.
"You think the girl who got voted 'cutest behind' in the eleventh grade year book is 'cute?'" I could feel my chin begin to tremble and I could hear that fear in my voice as I defended myself with "well, she does have a nice butt." It's moments like these that go down as "Classic Blunders in History." Even though, Brick smiled proudly at this, as though her butt was his own and, for a second, I thought I was safe.
That second ended when Brick went into the primordial rage that sports minded humans often confuse with the voice of reason. "You bet your acne filled face that she has a nice ass." Brick raised a pointed finger in the air and yelled as though his girlfriend's sexy derriere was about to change the world. "The girl's a fucking miracle!" Well, at least he's proud.
I was about to proclaim my undying devotion to Brick's wonderful woman when I was grabbed by my neck and pulled into a stall. Brick held me over the toilet and I knew that my head was about to take a dive into the porcelain whirlpool it had swam in so many times before.
I had received "swirlies" so many times, that they started to seem almost pleasant, a nice, mid-day refresher. Like the old person who encounters death so many times, he begins to embrace it.
I waited for Brick to push me down into the toilet. The time never came. Instead my head was smothered in a slimy mess of soft, spongy stuff that gave off an unbearable stench.
It took a few smears through the goop before I realized what the goop was. It was the talked about but, never seen by a male before this very day, tampon bag. I was being smothered in the after affects of either reliable contraceptives, a boyfriend that shoots blanks or a woman who hadn't gotten laid recently. I couldn't believe that I was drowning in a whole bunch of "that time of the month."
So, it's been six years since this little event and, like some rotten old hair band you think time has forgotten, the stench has came back. For a minute, I sincerely believe that there is going to be 250 used tampons drying and crusting inside my locker bag. What I find there instead turns out to be a thousand times worse . . .
Go to: Chapter 7
©1997 Alex Sandell but, if you're a book publisher and, you wanna get this puppy out, please get in touch with me, hand me a nice, big contract and, of course, a 12 pack of Grape Soda and maybe we can do lunch.
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