Tuesday, December 11, 2007

this blog has been brought to you by zicam: when getting a cold scares the shit out of you

Scary shit went down at CVS today. I stopped in to the one in Midtown on my way out of work in search of some Zicam (god damn it i can't believe i am getting sick AGAIN this season.)

I was browsing the back aisles immersed in my search for the magical orange box. "Is it with the cold meds? The cough drops? Vitamins?" Finally, I spy a pack of nasal swabs next to the emergen-C, but just as I reach out to grab 'em I am startled by a thunderous commotion at the front of the store. The automated doors have swooshed open and a man (black male, in his 20s) comes barreling in shouting:

"EVERYBODY FREEZE!"

My first reaction was a slow removal of my cellphone out of my purse, but I second guessed myself. He said freeze, maybe I should just comply until this is over. Does he have a gun? I tried peering up the aisle but I couldn't quite see what was going on. The lady next to me did the same. Maybe I can go out the back way? No, he'd see me there. I could dive behind the pharmacy counter if he starts firing...

A million scenarios run through my head in those 10 awkward seconds. I have to say I was more bewildered than scared. Holding up a CVS in broad daylight? When the pharmacy counter in the back had easy access to a phone?

Just as I came to grasps with the reality of the situation, the same man lets out a laugh,
"Naw, that's my girlfriend. I'm just playin'."

What kind of an ass thinks that is funny? I am pretty sure it's illegal...like yelling "fire!" in a theater or something. I can only wonder how the clerks reacted. I am still not sure who he was talking to or if he really pretended to have a gun. It was outrageously irresponsible either way.

At this point the box of Zicam is clutched precariously in my shaking hands as I make my way to register. Apparently, the man is still there waiting in line. I try to act cool, but it's not long before he starts making a scene again.

"That nigger is still working here?" He mocks a young employee that is stocking shelves next to him. "Man, that nigger sold me some mints."

I took a glance at the would-be robbers' eyes which seemed to be slightly glazed over. He's on something, obviously. The older clerk, possibly a manager, asks the man to please settle down.

"Man, I'm just tryin' to buy a lighter."

Then a woman who seems to know the man comes out from the cosmetic section. He shouts something incoherent in her direction and she says,

"Whatever, you called me a bitch in front of all Peachtree."

"GIRL I AIN'T CALLED YOU SHIT....." in a snap he has totally lost it again and starts yelling at this semi-amused semi-stunned lady. Weighing my options I decided that a cold is probably not as a bad as a knife wound, so I inconspicuously rested my Zicam on some Christmas cookies and took off for the door.

I could hear the manager demand that the man leave, and as far as I could hear I think he finally complied. What a mess! It made me see how I would react in a situation like that if it was real... and I honestly I don't think my reflexes were so great.

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