Editor’s note: This is a work of autobiographical fiction. Some of the facts have been changed to protect the dumb, foolish and outright scared.
I was taken to the craft store the other day searching for Halloween costume brick-a brack. Two other wusses, I mean men were there and they were obviously terrified.
As they were pulled along by their female captors they had anxious fearful looks on their faces which shouted silently, “Help Me!” Glancing over my shoulder, I caught them, like me, making furtive, trapped glances towards the exits hoping to catch an unwatched moment by their torturers so that they could make a last ditch dash for freedom and the life of blissful masculinity that they once knew.
Despite my protests I was dragged further into the suffocating, poisonous atmosphere of scrap booking sets and evil-looking Vanna White crocheting books and I immediately became lost trying to discover the “finding” aisle (whatever that is). Although my lady friend Catherine had explained several times, “oh it’s where the beads and bangles, clasps and pins—bracelet wires of every description and a whole lot of other neat stuff are.” All of this useless information (to me) was enough to make my head swim with strange forbidden thoughts such as, “my isn’t that pink bauble thingy pretty” and “ oh, how that color goes so well with that other color on that shiny fabric.” Needless to say she grabbed me roughly by the arm and pulled me towards my impending doom. Fortunately, just as I thought that I was going to have to call my local community college and enroll in the home decorator classes Catherine said looking at me sadly, “well, since you’re sooo hungry I guess we’d better go if we’re going to get a seat at the restaurant before it closes.”
As we were leaving the woman at the cash register took my money for the costume ‘gee gaws’ I had gotten and said “ya’ll come back now, okay?” I smiled a nervous smile at her and stuffing my change hurriedly into my pocket, rushed for the front doors flanked by the huge black cat statues hoping desperately that the electronic locks would let me through. Thankfully they malfunctioned and I broke free into the cool, masculine-redeeming night only a somewhat tainted man—for now. Happy Halloween ya’ll!
Chuck Connors, October 24, 2009