Operation: Brunswick Stew
By Katie N.
My pace picked up as I left the scene of the crime. There was only one witness. I couldn't believe what I had done. I left her limp, motionless body lying there, trying to save my own hide.
I walked in that day wearing my favorite pair of blue jeans and my red, yellow, and black required shirt. I was accompanied by my weapon of choice, the Pacific Handy box-cutter. I knew tonight was going to be eventful. The snow was falling ever so slowing and barely kissing the ground before it melted but still people were shopping and spending money at my store. I made my way past the potential enemies into headquarters. Yes, that night I meant business. The Commander In Chief briefed me on my assignment. My objective was to assist her in destroying a potential health hazard so it wouldn’t demolish our customers. To complete this task, I would have put myself through mental and physical agony. Of course, I accepted.
As we entered the dreadful enemy territory known as Aisle 13, I heard the Commander shout obscenities because nobody had zoned in 3 days.
As she positioned herself beneath me, I pulled up a ladder and started to climb. Inch by inch I made my way closer to my destiny. Beads of sweat made their way down my face. When I reached the top I could tell that the health hazard was more dangerous then I thought. The containers were stacked 5 high and would sway back and forth with every bit of air that came from the duct above. I reached to dissemble the hazard when all Hades broke loose. Three containers with the health hazard tumbled downward toward the Commander’s head.
I and my anonymous companion knocked out two out of three containers. But that third one... oh Lord that third one mutilated my Commander’s head. I had committed treason. Muhahaha!
How you may ask? Well I found the incident quite amusing. That was until I saw the extent of the damage. My heart sank. I could feel my pulse pick up, I was sweating more than ever before.
After recovering from a 5 second shock, I did what human nature has always taught me to do, I ran. I had betrayed my allegiance. The companion, now the enemy, was hot on my trail. I flew past the “Employees Only” sign and into the only place I knew safe, the empty boxes. Yes, those harmless empty boxes behind the rollers. The Commander had been saving them for Christmas pack-up but now they were my shelter. I jumped behind the roller and searched for the perfect hiding spot. Just between the 44 qt. waste can box and four Pine Sol boxes was an opening; big enough for me to fit in but small enough to where the 1188 Allegiance couldn’t find me. I made my way into the cubbie-hole sized opening. Once I got in there I realized what I had done; my foot was lodged in this hole under the roller. Both of my arms were placed behind my back. I don’t know how I had done it but I couldn’t move. I was a sitting duck.
So I sat, waiting for my destiny. Soon enough it came. I felt two of my former allies, the Companion and another that we’ll call Sunshine, reach into the hole and thump me. I woke. I had been asleep for 20 minutes. They tugged and asked if I could move. Of course, I couldn’t. So I waited some more. They pulled boxes upon boxes off of me until they could reach me. I had let myself be captured.
I was sitting on the rollers, waiting for the pink slip. I knew there was a reason I hated pink. My body was limp; every finger and toe I had was asleep. In my mind I was already explaining to my parents why I had lost my job in a mere three months. The Commander walked in with an ice pack on her head and a bottle of Ibuprofen in her hand. She told me to raise my head. I had to look her in the eyes. She gave me the most painful look I had ever seen. Then she did something totally unexpected. She laughed at me in front of my face. Just laughed. My mouth dropped open. What had that knock on the head done to her? I remember what she said to me like it was yesterday; she said “No one, I mean no one has ever knocked their boss out with a can of Brunswick Stew and lived to tell about.
Well, that is until now.”
I was shocked “So you pardon me?”
She laughed, “Yes, I will pardon you for being a complete idiot. Just this one time though. Don’t let it happen again.”
I stood up and walked out, scratching my head. Could this possibly be real or did that hit knock all the common sense out of her? So I went on to live and battle the never-ending war known as the “Night Shift” at the Downtown Department Store.