Usually there is a somewhat-surly man behind the counter, one who does not speak much. He may be the owner, and English may be his second language. But he stands out, because we like to joke around and this fellow never really gets into the spirit of it.
On this day when I grabbed my iced tea and sunflower seeds, I decided to ask about the price of a really cool lighter they were selling. This thing is like a little flame thrower.
As I looked up to the fellow behind the counter, I realized at once that it was Mr. Bean! (It might have been Rowan Atkinson, but I digress)
So I asked Mr. Bean how much the lighter was. He told me it was $14. Terif! I'll take the lighter, the iced tea, and the seeds. One of those things required a check of my ID. I think it was the iced tea (mind altering substance). I tried to pay by credit card, and it took long enough for a line to form behind me.
To lighten the mood, I quipped to Ryan and Sara that he was doing a background check to approve my purchase of the flame thrower. I hoped there wasn't a waiting period, because I wanted to start lighting fires right away.
When the slip finally came out of the credit card machine, Mr. Bean said, "Aha! 1989 was a very interesting year for you!" Now I knew I was in trouble. Bean was on to me. But even though he had joined us in our joke, (or perhaps because he had) he allowed the transaction to go through.
As soon as we got outside, Ryan exclaimed: "Did you notice who that guy was? Mr. Bean!"
(Postscript: The Zippo lighter is called MPL - Multi Purpose Lighter. Those purposes being of course lighting things on fire, lighting other people on fire, and lighting yourself on fire. I imagine. But "MPL" are also the initials of a good friend of mine. I wonder, should I try to collect items which match the initials of all my friends? Perhaps if I were ever really bored.)Posted by James at January 15, 2004 1:19 PM