Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Smoke and Toothpicks

I'm playing catch-up with this post...it was a while back when this happened:

A customer walks into the store. He's an older gentlemen, tall, bald with a long goatee, and I could have easily mistaken him for having rode up on a Harley if not for his gentle demeanor and polite, deep-voiced "Good Morning". He's also wearing a ski jacket, the hip length kind, greenish in colour, with the draw-string waist and bulky pockets. Nope, definitely not a biker dude. Turns out he's a retired accountant - HA! Go figure. So much for my stereotyping.

He circles around the back of the counter, always approaching differently than everyone else and grabs the 649 numbers along his way. I have to correct him when he calls me "Verna" as he walks up to the counter and asks for 5 packs of "Flat Touch toothpicks" in much the same manner as one might ask for a pack of "Export A lights". I check him in and he stuffs the toothpicks into his oversized coat pockets.

So I think, "Ok, guy is having a big party and his wife asked him to pick up toothpicks for millions of hors d'ouvres.". Nothing out of the ordinary.

And then a few days later Mr. Toothpick comes in again. He circles around the back of the counter again and grabs the 649 numbers again. "Good Morning, Verna" AGAIN and I correct him AGAIN. He grabs another 5 packs of toothpicks, only the "Flat Touch" brand, he doesn't like the round ones. They've gone up in price 6 cents a pack and he's wondering why and chats on about the rising costs of everything from furnace oil to cooking oil. His wife is with his this time and she has to practically beg him for permission to purchase a $2 scratch ticket. He buys them all the time. She must ask. Cheap and possessive. I wonder if dealing with money all of his days has made him like that.

(Sidenote: Tara, if that's the case about accountants, Jacques must GET OUT NOW before her turns into Mr. Toothpick! )

He leaves the store and I'm completely baffled. His toothpick buying routine continues on and on and I must finally ask, "OK, what's the deal-eo with Mr. Toothpick?"

Apparantly, Mr. Toothpick, in his younger years of accounting, sitting in his little office at his little brown desk like Ebenezer himself, smoked like a tilt. Those were the days when you could walk into a doctors office, principals office, or row 14C, and nearly die from smoke inhalation. Eventually, there came a time when smoking was prohibited in public offices and Mr. Toothpick wanted to quit. However, he found himself extremely agitated at not having something to keep the attention of his fingers (you'd think punching numbers might have occupied him enough). And he came up with the brainiac idea of cracking toothpicks all day long.

Yup, you read it right. Mr. Toothpick now sits at home in his easy chair, ashtray on the coffee table full of splinters, just crack-crack-crackin' away at tiny pieces of wood to feed his addiction. I kid you not, people!

I suppose it is healthier, albeit wildly eccentric.

I am now eagerly awaiting the day when I start selling "Mrs. Delmonte" a case of apple juice a day and indulge a recovering alcoholic.

Enlighten me with some crazy "addictions" you may have heard of...anything like this?


Heather said...

LOL ...SOOOO Funny...takes all kinds to make the world go 'round I guess..whatever turns their crank!!!

Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and the new year will bring Lots of Good Health, fame and fortune!!
Take Care and I love to read your blog...very interesting!!

Stephanie said...

My friend had a man who kept coming to the pharmacy looking for Bobby Pins-he used them to clean out ear wax!

I had a man who thought he could use as much of his Ventolin inhaler as he wanted because it was only puffs of fresh air.

All the other addictions I see are Percocet, Oxycontin, Atasol 8s (
sad but true :(