Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Nothing Says Love Like an Iron Pipe and Twine

Latigo Flint would like to know what single gift could possibly be more endearing and moving than one of those noose-tip grabby tools that snake handlers use to capture venomous snakes.

When you give such a gift, you are essentially telling the recipient: "Ma'am, I care about you. I care about you a whole heck of a lot. I care about you so much that the thought of you encountering a deadly reptile empty-handed fills me with a heart-rending dread and then tears trace trails through my man-mascara and down my stubbled jaw."

(Or something to that effect.)

But the cute Starbucks cashier was significantly less than enamored with my very romantic and thoughtful gift. She tried her best to assist the customer behind me in line.


The next patron in line was an elderly woman. I easily blocked her path to the counter with my wiry gunslinger hip. I gazed steadily at the cute Starbucks cashier.

"Lovely Starbucks Ma'am, do you know what Latigo Flint has just given you?"

She icily appraised it. "Yeah, it's an iron pipe with a twine loop sticking out one end... NEXT!!!"

"Dern it Ma'am, it's more than that, much more. Why, should you happen to encounter a rattler, or a coral snake, or a copperhead or a black mamba, you could use this to capture it and thereby prevent a potentially deadly injury."

She managed to roll her eyes and stare cruelly at me at the same time. (I'm actually not entirely sure how she pulled that off.) She spoke, and in that instant, redefined sarcasm. "Oh, of course, all those coral snakes and black mambas and rattlers that I have to fight my way through just to get to work every morning."

I glanced around, looking for deadly serpents in the off chance she was serious. She wasn't.

She had missed the point entirely. If attacks from deadly serpents were a daily occurrence, such a gift wouldn't be necessary. If they were that commonplace, everyone would own a least two noose-tip grabby tools - a primary plus a spare. Enterprise would give one away free with every car rental. No! You see, protection against unexpected danger was the very point of my gift. Safeguarding loved ones against highly implausible, yet theoretically possible demises is, and has always been the Latigo Flint way.

I tried to demonstrate the tool's effectiveness on a rolled up coffee filter but the weight distribution was all wrong and when I tightened and retracted, I ended up striking myself sharply in the adam's apple with the back end of the iron pipe.

Ten minutes later I was busy taping bags of ground coffee together. "Okay, let's say you come to work one morning and there's a deadly anaconda just sort of laying there on the floor..."

The authorities arrived (of course). They weren't terribly surprised to see me. "Hello there Latigo."

"Howdy John, Steve, the rest of you fellas. What's new guys?"

"Oh, you know Latigo - same ol' same ol'. You gonna drop the iron pipe with a twine noose poking out one end Latigo, or are we going to have to open up with the rubber pellet shotguns?"

"Um... Aw hell, you might as well hit me with the rubber pellets John, like old times, and then I'll pray for you with my last conscious breath, all martyr-like."

"Sounds good Latigo."

They opened up with their rubber pellet shotguns at that point, and then children got to see a grown man bleed from his eyes.


At 6:42 AM, Blogger Ithiel said...

Very thoughtful, Latigo. I swear the Cute Starbucks Cashiers are, as a whole, entirely too ungrateful in your neck of the woods (or prairie, as the case may be). Why I know of at least half a dozen Cute Starbucks Cashiers who would be suitably thankful for a gift of that magnitude.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger The Macek Collective said...

Public servants such as yourselves never get the recognition they deserve.

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

So, SO sad. It's apparent to me she has no idea of some of the dangers that can befall a girl going about her business. Why just the other day I had a black mamba find his way out my shower drain while I was... uh, soaping up. I'm glad I had my own grabby tool.

At 8:42 AM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Get yourself one of them iron pipe tools with the metal claw thingie. It's a lot more dangerous, and can lead the lawmen to hit you with the stun gun, which is a lot more fun than the rubber pellets.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

You've got a good heart, Latigo.

You never would think of planting a snake beforehand.

That would make you look guilty, of course. Unless you brought the gift to her while she was hospitalized for a snakebite....

At 10:13 AM, Blogger tabitha jane said...

i think this incident occurred at the starbucks where my husband works . . . they have all kinds of interesting fellas bringing interesting and rare gifts in for the ladies in that part of town. and the police are regulars too.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Blog ho said...

i wonder if she'd appreciate a snake bite kit more... not that your idea was bad. no. she just might be more passive in her snake ways.

At 7:49 PM, Blogger Kilroy Trout said...

Clearly the woman of your dreams is not cashier, but the elderly woman who so expertly perceived the value of your gift. Search your feelings Latty--you know it to be true.

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Amandarama said...

I too believe that nothing says love like an iron pipe and twine. However, that road will usually go one of two ways: A bill for $700 an hour (plus "massage") or a restraining order. Love's hard like that.

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Ari said...

Wish I'd had one of those noose-tip grabby tools the time I nearly stepped on a water moccasin while camping alone in Oklahoma.

Instead of slowly and safely backing away, I could've wrangled it or somethin'.

At 4:09 AM, Blogger Gil The Carnie said...

What no Duct Tape?

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Lance Manion said...

The Latigo Flint that I know would never stoop to planting a snake to demonstrate the value of the gift.

Kid Relish on the other hand...

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Still no luck with the Starbucks girl? She must have a heart of stone.

I know I'd sure like a snake-grabber thingy.

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Cad Grublygold said...

Not your fault Flint, girls are imposible to shop for.

At 1:14 PM, Blogger darthmoridin said...

I recommend getting her ninja repellant next time.

At 4:50 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

That's most kind of you to say Ithiel, and now I envy you your locale. I'm beginning to think perhaps it's this city of wretched angels that somehow turns Cute Starbucks Cashiers mean.

Damn straight Macek.

Isn't it though Dave. Cute Starbuck Cashiers will learn someday, but someday it'll be too late. (There are a number of ways to read that second part. Which would you prefer?)

The stun gun gives me gas Old Hoss. It's actually rather humiliating.

Thank you Steve. (And if I did, at least I didn't act on it, right?)

Wait a minute Tabitha... Is your "husband" actually a nineteen-year-old girl who works in a Burbank Starbucks?!

I don't know anymore Ho, I just don't know. Snake bite passivity could be it. (Hey, Snake Bite Passivity kinda sounds like the title of some cool, inde band's second album.)

Men, and especially gunslinging men, rarely search their feelings Kilroy. And anyway, she shot me a pretty dirty look after I hip-checked her into the edge of the pick-up counter.

Speak from experience do you Amandarama?

Ari, I strongly believe wrangling or somethin' should always be chosen over backing away slowly and safely.

Carnie: I used it all up constructing my life-sized bust of Doc Holliday.

Spot on Lance. Most impressive.

She's my windmill with tits LBB.

Oh my Grublygold, you almost didn't get a reply, for how do you respond to someone who just said it all.

DMor: If I was smart enough to actually invent a ninja repellant, wouldn't I have retired to a nice little spread in Montana by now?

At 10:30 AM, Blogger tabitha jane said...

oh latigo, i didn't say it happened TO my husband. i said it sounds like something that could happen AT my husband's starbucks. there are a lot of beautiful lady baristas that work there . . . makes for nice tips.

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