"No, thank you. I'm good."
I'm still in Colorado. If you'll recall, I had the best, most trouble-free flight of my entire life the the other day in my way here (for details, please see Thursday's post, titled "Safe and Secure"). It was a trip so nice I was suspicious the whole time.
"Good afternoon, sir. Can I help you find something?"
"Nope. Thank you, I'm just looking for now."
It's been mind of an ongoing thing since I got here. I ran into the most polite and helpful counter help at a Dairy Queen. I think I ran into her cousin or something at a Wendy's, because it was practically a tie as to who was the most pleasant and helpful. These are places where, back home, I usually get people who grunt rather than speak and smirk rather than smile.
"Hello there! Are you looking for anything in particular?"
"No, thanks, just looking at the moment."
"Well, you be sure to tell me if you change your mind, alright?"
"Uh... sure. Yes. I'll do that."
But this is the icing on the cake. I have been in every Home Depot within 25 miles of my home. Some of them quite a few times. For a while I was kind of hoping that the one closest to my house would give me a parking spot with my name on it, since I'm pretty sure I was spending more time there than any two employees they could name.
"Can I help you with your plumbing needs today?"
"No, thank you. My plumbing is fine, I'm very regular."
"I beg your pardon, sir?"
"Sorry. Just a joke."
"Oh! Ha-ha-ha! Well if you decide you need something in pipe or PVC, I'll be right here."
"Alrighty! I will! Thank you!"
Every Home Depot I've ever been in I got the impression that I could be walking the aisles on fire and I'd be hard-pressed to find anyone on staff who would be willing to direct me to the fire extinguishers they had in stock. Always been the same. No one wants to help you, no one wants to know you. I'd swear they use those radios they carry to spot me for each-other so they're more effective in avoiding me. And now, today, I can't walk 20 feet in this Home Depot without some smiling happy boob in an orange apron leaping out like an automaton in a fun house bent on helping people.
"Hello there! Can I help you find--"
"No! I'm fine! I'm just walking here!"
"Well, sir, I'm sorry you feel that way. If you change your mind--"
"I won't! I'm fine! Thank you for asking, but I'm okay, really!"
Oh my God it's like a Stepford Home Depot! Wait... there's two of them just came around the corner up ahead! They're heading this way and already smiling - I sense some sort of cheerful double-team in my future! I'm turning down this aisle. I think I... no, wait, there they are. They're walking faster, following me, but still smiling. My God, what am I going to do? I'm jogging now, trotting past bolts and fasteners. I can hear them running behind me! I took a right - sprinting now - then a left and I'm in ceiling fans! I can still hear them running behind me... wait... I heard some chatter from those radios they all carry... Oh no! Two guys in orange just turned into my aisle ahead, idiot grins in place! The other two are coming up behind me -- I'm trapped!
Wait... there. I climbed over the boxes of ceiling fans, found a gap. I'm in the next aisle over. The aisle is clear, but I can hear the footsteps... they're coming! I'm running now, running for the exit. I got a little turned around in here, but I think I remember where it is! I have to go, have to run faster! Damn! I hear more radio chatter! I have to get out of here! Wish me luck!
If you don't hear from me tomorrow, please, call the cops!
Talk to you later!