I’m terrified of the garage in our apartment complex where they keep the trash bins. It’s big and dark and scary and underneath the building. You open these giant metal doors to enter, and they always slam behind you, making the entire gate shiver and rattle. Then you walk in the dark to the trash bins, and they’re always closed, and I have this terrible fear of people hiding inside trash bins. Or wild dogs. Or rabid creatures, all waiting, feeding in there, waiting for me to open the lid and become the next victim.
I hate taking out the trash.
So, there I am, walking hesitantly towards the trash bin, convincing myself that I can just quickly open the lid and toss in the bag of trash without being seen or seeing anyone. I open the lid and quickly toss in the bag before anyone can leap out at me– and something talks.
Or rather, sings.
I screamed, jumped back and started to hop-sprint.
It was then that I realized that whatever my bag of trash hit started something else in the trash bin to turn on and play music.
Because I’m paranoid, I instantly search for cameras. I don’t want to end up on a practical joke infomercial. Who tosses out something that plays music whenever you smack it? Well, I guess lots of people would do that.
Walking to get coffee this morning I was fidgeting with my shirt and walking and I passed this shop on the street that I pass all the time. It was this morning that I realized the entire time I’ve lived here there’s been a naked female mannequin sitting in the front window. It’s never had a stitch of clothes on, and she’s sitting there with her arms open, looking in a different direction. I suppose this wouldn’t be a strange thing, except this store sells spy equipment. It’s a spy store. The only thing that this naked plastic woman could possibly mean is, “Wanna see naked girls without them knowing? We’re the store for you.”
Eric pointed out yesterday the humor in the dry cleaning place near the apartment. The store is called “Elite Cleaners.” The icon for the store is a man’s face. He’s wearing a graduation cap. His tassel says he hasn’t quite graduated yet. We giggled at the thinking there: since he’s about to graduate something, he’s instantly “elite.”
Anyway, I’m walking on my way to the coffee shop and I’m not paying attention and I’m thinking about the naked woman in the store window and I realize that something is caught on my foot. I look down.
It’s a pair of panties. They’re blue.
My initial reaction should have been to leap and kick and get the shivers. This didn’t happen because the pair of underwear matched a pair that I own. So, my initial reaction instead became, “Look around! Quickly!”
There was a man walking up behind me, laughing. Because I’m a quick thinker, and I am good at playing anything off, I instantly say, “Did I drop these?”
Now the man was in hysterics.
“I mean, did these fall out of my pant leg or sleeve or anything?”
He explained that he thinks someone walking to the cleaners must have dropped them. He started walking over there to tell someone. But since he just heard me say that sometimes my underwear just falls off my ass and out my pant leg, I can’t stop making excuses: “Because, I just got changed, and I have a pair like this, so it’s possible that these were stuck to the inside of my jeans or something. I mean, did you see where they came from?”
God help me, I started staring up at the roof of the building next to me. Like panties had fallen from heaven, or that some worker lost his lucky workrag.
The man kept laughing and darted into the cleaners. I quickly went to the coffee shop. When I got back, the panties were gone.
It’s still not as bad as what poor Eric went through the other day doing laundry. He loaded about six baskets into the car and realized that he was rushing while he did it, so he went back to make sure he hadn’t dropped anything. He was almost in the clear. Then he saw that a pair of my underwear had fallen on the sidewalk, in front of a group of people that were chatting in Russian. They probably hadn’t seen him load any clothes at all into his car. I know Eric’s thought process on this:
“Just leave them. The Russians will stare.”
“No! Those are Pam’s. She’ll be upset.”
“She’ll never know. She has hundreds of pairs of underwear. I just washed all of them.”
“You know she’ll know. She’ll be all, where is that one pair?”
“Wait a minute. I bought this pair. It was expensive. I’m getting that back.”
“How do I even know that’s Pam’s? It might be someone else’s underwear, and then Pam will tease me if I bring some other girl’s panties home. Especially if I found them in the street.”
“Just do a quick check and then pocket them.”
So Eric walks over to the group of Russians, bends down and grabs the thong, picks it up, puts it near his face to read the tag, smiles, puts the panties in his coat pocket and then walks away.
It doesn’t matter that Eric doesn’t know Russian, because at that moment and until he got to his car, there wasn’t a single word spoken between those men.