I was in the checkout line at Shop Rite yesterday. An old lady in front of me complimented the bag boy by saying, "You're doing a great job." I thought to myself, "That's really nice of her. It does feel good to know that you're doing a great job." Then she said, "A little encouragement never hurt anyone." This was where I interjected with, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up."
"I beg your pardon," said the old lady.
"You can't just go around lying to people, especially the people that bag your groceries. A little encouragement never hurt anyone? That's bullshit and you know it lady. I knew this guy, his name was Stu. He was afraid of heights. Long story short, Stu found himself smashed like a Stretch Armstrong shaped pancake underneath a bridge, all because his friends encouraged him to get over his fear of heights," I replied.
"Oh my word. I'm so sorry he died."
"Oh he didn't die from that. He survived the fall. Later on, his family encouraged him to compete in the Paralympics. They suggested that he train for Wheelchair Basketball. As a part of his training Stu went to the ghetto and played hoops with some hard knocks. He came out of it victorious...and full of lead. Stu got shot up fifty times."
"Heavens to Betsy. I'm so sorry Stu got murdered."
"Oh he didn't die from the gun shots. He lived for a few more years. Then he died from a heroin overdose. It was a probably the result of all that encouragement though."
"Oh lord. That's something awful. Well, I'm sorry your friend died."
"Oh he wasn't my friend. He was strictly my customer and I was strictly his drug dealer. Hey lady, it looks like you're all bagged up. Why don't you get the hell out of here?"
Then I turned to the bag boy.
"By the way, she's right buddy. You really did do a great job. Now what did you learn today?"
"Say no to drugs?" said the bag boy.
"Yes...but...if you are looking for some, give me a call first. I would never encourage you to use drugs...but I will sell them to you. That's a guarantee. And call me if you ever need a second job. You're pretty good at bagging stuff."