Friday, January 06, 2006

A Coin-Operated Hemorrhage

Today Latigo Flint went to the supermarket and was pleased to discover they had recently installed a coin-operated horse out front, just to the right of the sliding glass doors. But the odd thing about this particular coin-operated horse was that its eyes seemed to follow you as you moved and it would growl and snap when you inserted a quarter.

'Course, turns out it wasn't a coin-operated horse at all but was in fact a Great Dane, and a grumpy one at that. However, Latigo Flint had already deposited his two bits (come to think of it, Latigo Flint actually doesn't want to know how... or where) and damned if he wasn't going to get his thirty-second ride.


The trouble with bleeding on the produce displays is that they make you buy it all--even the okra. Now you know and they know, that there was no way in hell they were ever going to sell all that okra. It was just gonna sit there for a week, like every other shipment of okra since the dawn of supermarkets, until it blotched and moldered and had to be thrown away. Okra is on the books as a loss before it's even delivered, and so apparently it's friggin' jackpot day for management if someone happens to bleed all over it.

"Clean up in the produce department of a biological nature." Crackled the voice over the store intercom. A stubby-legged manager sprinted around an aisle, several assistants in tow.
"Did he bleed on the okra?! Did he bleed on the okra?!"

They fanned out, grunting with almost orgasmic anticipation as they raced through the displays.
"Arrugula, artichoke, kale, watercress, jicama... come on-come on-come on...... OKRA! THERE IT IS!!!" The assistant manager dropped to his knees, waving his skinny arms above his head and shrieking with hysterical joy.
"The poor fool bled on the okra boys--he motherfucking bled on the motherfucking okra!!!"

"The motherfucking okra?"

"The motherfucking okra!"

They let out a cheer, linked arms and started manically dancing around the berry island.
"Hey Phillip, okra's out of season, is it not?!!!"
"By god man, I think it is!!!"
"Premium prices, premium prices--buck ninety a pound, buck ninety a pound."
They all whooped and took up the chant:
"Premium prices, premium prices--buck ninety a pound, buck ninety a pound."

I could feel my slowing heartbeat, a groaning throb in my throat and ears. I crawled in the direction of the front door and absently wondered, as I crossed over to the chip section, why the produce department is carpeted and the rest of the store is linoleum.

That Great Dane, the one I'd minutes before mistaken for a coin-operated horse, sure had tore me up pretty bad. My femoral was external and whipping around like an unsecured fire hose. I had puncture wounds so deep that they were shallow again on the other side, and every time I drew a breath my pancreas bonked my spine.

Now I'm Latigo Flint and certainly no stranger to seemingly fatal injuries. But with an entire produce department now on my tab, including what appeared to be nearly half a ton of out-of-season okra--well, for the first time ever I actually felt financially incentivised to die.


At 2:53 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Premium prices indeed Latigo, they really bled you dry there.

At 5:57 AM, Blogger hen said...

At least you got to ride a Great Dane around for a bit which not something everyone can say.

At 7:45 AM, Blogger slarrow said...

Drat. It seems some Oz Munchkins made it back into our world and spawned creatures who have that annoying tendency to chant everything in a sing-song fashion. Another little rattlesnake nest to wipe out. Where did you say that produce department was again?

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Other Brother said...

There's lots of ways you can eat okra. You can boil, pickle, it sautee it. There's fried okra.. okra gumbo, okra kabobs...
Just wash the blood off. I mean, it's your blood.

At 4:09 PM, Blogger fourth_fret said...

yeah... clearly you should bleed in oklahoma. my family would have prevented the whole okra bleeding fiasco. there would have been none to bleed on.

but i'm with you latigo, i'd rather die from wounds of pain, than purchase okra. and despite how much you bled on it, there's no improving the stuff.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I can make a killer salsa with that bloody foodstuff.

At 6:02 PM, Blogger random said...

Some one tell Patton Oswalt to hang up his mike and go home. I think I'm ready for a Latigo Flint CD.

At 7:43 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Once again, no comment except to laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and.....

At 9:33 PM, Anonymous civilbloodshed said...

You're a brave man, Flint. May those grocers be haunted by their avaricious deeds and extortion of blood money until their days of paper or plastic have long since come to an end.

Truly, you are a testament to bravery in a seasonal product gripped world.

At 1:25 AM, Blogger Ghost Dog said...

Great Danes are far too dignified a canine to get "grumpy". Bulldogs get "grumpy". Bloodhounds get "grumpy". Great Danes give you that Eastwoodian glare when they disapprove. Then they do something most dogs never do - turn the cold shoulder.
He must have been a bullmastiff. They get cranky, though, not grumpy. Probably unusually so, if his ears were cropped up like a Dane's.

'Course, he could have been a Dane. Even the greatest of them have their bad days, and will give transgressors their just desserts. I'd say you got off lucky. Even the late Hank - gentle as he was - might have taken his pound of flesh for using that tired old 'horse' cliche.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Cindy-Lou said...

You totally stuck a quarter up a dog's butt.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Ah, Mr. Flint. This is the funniest thing I've read in the last 11 months (since I been surfing). What makes it especially funny is that I am an okra hater from way back, but I know a lot of people who actually LIKE it, if you can imagine. They might want some of your crop (they can wash off the blood, can't they?)

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Anonymous Shannon said...

That's so horrible! You lost you coins and had to buy veggies that no one else would eat! UGGGGG! That's what i call a bad day!

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Greg - Cowboy in the Jungle said...

Anonymous Shannon has been trying to get me over here for a while. "Go Read Latigo Flint!" she says with eager anticipation of my side splitting laughter. But alas, I've been too tired or preoccupied with rotating the stereo wires.

Not today! No sir! I read. And Read. And Read!!! You are one funny mother fucker! This shit is pure GOLD! Goddamn you for making me spill Wheaties on my keyboard.

Anonymous Shannon can now have her victory cigarette.

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Rasmus said...

I am fairly sure we don't have Okra over here in Denmark.

And I am surprised you had to ride a plastic horse, I was sure you had a real one.

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Amandarama said...

Okra is evil. Deep evil. Have you considered that this is, perhaps, a conspiracy from the American Okra Council?

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

It was indeed a cruel day Peter.

Thank you for that silver lining I hadn't really considered hen. ('Course it's tough to do much of anything with puncture wounds so deep they're shallow again on the other side.)

Burbank Slarrow, Burbank, CA. But check your weapons twice if you're to do battle here--mercy runs mighty thin the closer you get to the sea.

Hello Other Brother. It's been a long time. (Don't you die on me like Bubba to Forest now.)

I had no idea Oklahoma was an okra-free zone Fourth Fret. I may have to move, once my wounds heal of course.

I don't doubt it LBB, not for a minute.

That's very kind of you to say Random, but unfortunately my gunslinger drawl is so low and hard that audio equipment has difficulty recording it.

Which at the end of the day, Old Hoss, may in fact be the most cherished one of all.

Thank you very much Civilbloodshed. I am honored to receive such magnificent words.

It was an honest mistake Ghost Dog, and there's truth behind every cliché.

Cindy-Lou, I can neither confirm, nor deny.

I do my very best Old Hoss. (But you can never wash all the blood off okra.)

I have certainly had better Shannon, no doubt.

Greg, I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed--and am twice as proud to have affected another cowboy. I reckon Shannon gets to have anything she wants.

Paint dog shit green Rasmus, and toss it in a fungal stew--that'll give you a pretty good idea of what okra tastes like.

At this point Amandarama, I wouldn't put anything pass the AOC.


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