(WARNING: absolutely no exaggerations have been implemented in the transferral of this severely real event into a fictitious tale. some material not appropriate for ages over 60. reader discretion is advised. . .)
It all began in Meijer . . .
And if you don’t know what Meijer is, allow me to enlighten you, my dearest Cyberspace.
Meijer is, in a nutshell, the alternate reality version of Wal-Mart. Think giant department store filled with food and toothpaste and groceries and strange, slightly terrifying people you mysteriously never see anywhere else.
In other words, it is a nightmare.
Grocery shopping in itself is a terrifying experience. We all know this. It is, after all, a tested and proven theory: stuff hundreds of random people into one building and have them vie for the last box of Raisin Bran and you’ve got yourself a bloody mess in aisle three.
Not to mention the rather disturbing and awful smell wafting over from the restrooms that punches you in the nostrils the minute you step through the front doors.
Basically, nothing good ever happens in your local Meijer.
But on this particularly fateful Thursday, in a place where every faith in humanity is utterly squashed by the scent of toilet corpses and Raisin Bran brawls…
StoryTime With Kenzie! – The $60 Skeleton Scandal
It’s nearly Halloween. You can smell it in the air. You can taste it in the cinnamon hot chocolate you’re currently scalding your tongue on. You can feel it in the snuggly owl sweater you’re curling up into with a good book on a drizzly day.
Basically any sense you could possibly possess is aware of the approaching holiday.
Halloween is coming, and even Meijer knows it.
It’s in the decorations.
You probably guessed it by the title of this smudge, didn’t you? Halloween decorations pasted everywhere. Grinning pumpkins, ghoulish ghosts, howling wolves with spindly spines, and yes–skeletons.
Halloween would not be complete without our gangly, gap-toothed friends, now would it? It’s just not worth celebrating without the plastic reincarnations of what we’ll all resemble in about 100 years. Sure, those funny looking pumpkins are adorable, but it’s not like our bodies are going to rot away into a bunch of pumpkin carcasses.
That would just be wrong.
These skeletons, then, are our kith and kin. They are an x-ray mirror to our very selves, and, therefore, the most valuable decorations of all.
This revelation was brought further to light in my mind’s bulging eye on the fateful Thursday of which I speak–the Thursday in which my life changed forever. . .
There were four of us: my father, my mother, my brother, and–of course–me.
For no story is complete without me.
It was whilst walking along the back wall of the Meijer building that our story begins.
There I was, idly strolling along the back-aisle endcaps, vaguely admiring the beautifully distorted drawings of humanity that were scrawled across the images of lipstick models and wondering why–when given a brand poster and a stick of lipstick–human fingers feel the need to draw squiggles and giant lips, when suddenly–it happened.
“Hey! Look at that!”
It was my mom speaking. We had just broken through the first set of back-wall aisles and had arrived in a valley of sorts, where grinning Halloween decorations lounged on the tiled savanna. At first I thought she was talking of a stout little ghost figure sitting on a shelf nearby, but then–too soon–I noticed the truth.
And my life would never be the same because of it.
Skeletons. Giant, life-sized skeletons hanging on an endcap past the savanna. They were realistic–as realistic as plastic can be, of course–with giant grins and hollowed eyes and a creepily accurate hip bone. Their limbs were long and gangly, their fingers narrow.
They were magnificent and–as my mom soon found out by bending one of their plastic arms–posable.
I was in awe. These realistic, life-sized skeletons were actually flexible. I could bend and shape them to the treacherous evils of my will, and absolutely no one could stop me.
It is discoveries like this that fills even the most mild of tempers with the tyrannical thirst for power. It was a discovery like this that changed me.
And it is now that I must pause our story to contemplate this drastic turn of events, my friends, for there are many paths of which this story could have traveled.
When faced with an awe-inspiring and posable replica of the human skeleton, one could argue that the possibilities of such a treasure are endless. The options held tantalizingly before our itching fingers know neither bound nor limit, yet I–being the delusional bean that I am–knew exactly what must be done.
I will now readily admit that perhaps I went too far, for a sane individual would never have leapt to the extent that I did. A sane individual would have created an elegant skeleton tea party, or bent their flimsy arms in a ghoulish wave towards passersby. A sane individual would have made one skeleton strangle the other with his bare fingers, or stick one of their thin legs out to trip unsuspecting customers.
A sane individual would have done a thousand normal, harmless things to this poor skeleton hanging before us, but alas–none of these ideas took shape in my mind, for they had all been diminished and blinded by the singular idea that had manifested within my brain at that precise moment.
And for any of you who have ventured to believe that I–Kenzie–am a responsible, perfected being of the highest sort, this is where all faith in my ability as a role model shall come crashing down into shattered oblivion, for these were the very words that came tumbling past my lips in an instant:
“Let’s make it look like it’s pooping!”
Ah, yes. This was the shout of excitement that rang through the middle of the grocery store that quiet night. This was the idea of the writer who prides herself in her unique individuality.
This was my master plan.
Immediately my fingers snatched at the skeleton’s leg and, taking hold of the knee-joint, began to apply a massive amount of pressure to make it bend. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my mom take another limb in her own hands, joining me in my endeavor of making this majestic plastic beast look like it was taking a dump without question.
In my euphoria and delight, however, I failed to predict what was to come, what was to happen so suddenly and unexpectedly that it would completely alter the rest of my existence.
The sound that shot out from that stiff piece of plastic in my hand was completely, utterly unbelievable.
It was loud.
It was deafening.
It was the whole SNAP! CRACKLE! POP! Rice Krispies going down in the back of the building.
My dad was three aisles away from us at the time.
And he heard the snap.
Children were screaming.
One random man was crying.
The sirens of a distant forest fire mingled with the percussionistic echo of the bending limb as it crashed against the walls and spiraled off throughout the entire store.
. . .
And then there was silence.
For one terrifyingly short spasm of time, it was as if the world had stopped spinning around us altogether. We could feel the great eyes of the giant black security cameras boring into our backs as we slowly–carefully–replaced the limbs we were holding and–looking as innocent as two people who had just witnessed the murder of a plastic skeleton leg could–wheeled our cart away from the crime scene as fast as it would possibly go, grateful that by some blessed miracle from above, the leg had magically remained attached to the rest of the limb.
To this day I know not what happened to the $60 skeleton we left hanging in the back of Meijer. I assume that eventually his leg finally fell off entirely, its tendons no longer able to keep it held together–that perhaps he has now escaped his smelly prison and is, at this very moment, searching for the ones who caused him to finally snap, preparing to exact his revenge upon us.
As for me, I shall never forget that Thursday night for as long as I live and breathe. The tale of the $60 skeleton will forever remain ingrained in my mind for eternity, having taught me a very valuable and specific lesson that I should never have learned otherwise. One that I now impart unto you:
My friends, if ever you see a life-size skeleton hanging in the back of a Meijer store, learn from my mistake and turn around. Walk as fast as you possibly can in the opposite direction. Get far, far away from it–as far away as your legs can take you. . .before it is too late.
Or at the very least, my dearest beans, do not attempt to make it look like it is pooping.
The End . . .
talk to me, peasants!
So! What did you think of this extremely random smudge, Cyberspace? Was it fun? Was it boring? Do you want to see more of StoryTime With Kenzie! in the future, or do you think it should just limp into a ditch on the side of the road and die? I do apologize for such a random post today, but I didn’t have time to put together a full-length writerly post this week because I am obviously a faiulre at this whole blogging conspiracy.
HOWEVER! Let us ignore that fact and talk about ALL OF THE THINGS instead! Have YOU ever had a life-changing experience in a department store? Do you prefer skeletons or grinning pumpkins? Do you like cinnamon hot chocolate? And, most importantly, have you seen a life-size skeleton carrying a pitchfork around here? Because if so I should probably go into hiding. . .
Until next Tuesday!
*flings cookies in the air and disappears*