Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tropical rain shower

I am in the Health & Beauty aisle at the discount grocery puzzling over Suave versus V05. An older man in a dingy overcoat grumbles a few feet to my right. It's not quite 8:30 a.m.

His head snaps to as his eyes lock on mine. "Can I ask you a question?" he blurts, red-faced. He's clutching a crumpled bit of paper--presumably his shopping list.

I blink once, twice. My options are limited. "Of course," I say.

"What the hell does 'tropical rain shower' smell like?" he asks, jabbing the list in my direction.

My options dissolve further. "I cannot answer that question," I say.

"Tropical goddamn rain shower," he mutters, turning back to the rows of bottles. "What the hell is tropical goddamn rain shower?"

"Maybe it smells like wishful thinking in Cleveland in December," I offer, but he does not respond. Instead he scowls and grabs one of the products.

I gingerly pluck an $0.89 bottle of V05 Sun-Kissed Raspberry Balancing Shampoo from the shelf and sneak a sniff to verify that it will be an acceptable to my 13-year-old daughter. I drop it into my cart along with a bottle of the corresponding conditioner. The man continues ranting beneath his cap of wiry gray hair.

"Good luck," I say, never more sincere.

"Tropical goddamn rain shower," he says.

Three miles to the east, a woman gasps in the throes of orgasm. In the south, a gun fires. In the north, the gray water roils. A baby's cries pierce through the west.

I exhale, swallow a diamond, and push into the rest of my life.

* * *


Sausage Fingers said...

35 for a buck wtf.

swine said...

Buy buy buy!!! Or, rather, let's manufacture, manufacture, manufacture.

For all the naysayers going down w/the ship, trumpeting how awesome we are: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2010/12/06/america_collapse_2025

Bridget Callahan said...

It smells like recycled water and air deodorizer in the hotel pool area.

Bill said...

That lady 3 miles to the east has the right idea of what to be doing at 8:30AM. Her Alberto has nothing to do with Vo5.

g. said...

This is my favorite post EVER.

alphadog said...

Ahh Erin. Me thinks perhaps you're not a true liberal after all. For if you were, you would have closed your eyes, tilted your head back, transported yourself to a far away enchanted environment and been able to offer that poor bastard something a little more enlightening than "Maybe it smells like wishful thinking in Cleveland in December".

Vince said...

Every year I would go and buy about four boxes of pens and the same in pencils and I never had a pen to hand. Blasted I should have been up to my oxters in the damn things. Then two years ago I got a present of a Parker 51 and I'm still on teh same bottle of ink.

Once Known as The Badger said...

Nothing like Cleveland in December, unless you're in Erie! Tropical rain shower might smell like decaying vegetation, humidity, and well, rain, of course... BTW, Vince, the Parker 51 was the best fountain pen ever made. I love mine.

Anonymous said...

Next time an old man asks you a question just answer "Pussy."

P.S. Thanks for the link swine. I feel much better.


philbilly said...

Swine, the Salon article was fascinating, albeit pedantic, sci-fi. No surprise it was penned by an academic with pleny o' spare time from U of Wisconsin-Madison, where the weed is good and the tenure is great.

Couldn't agree more with the sorry state of our educational system, the absolute historical blunder of the Cheney- Rumsfeld administration in launching Iraq II, and our failure to address domestic energy. Saudi Arabia is America's true economic threat.

That said, here's the rub;

Immigrants still come here for two things, owning land and due process. As corrupted as those two tenets of America have become via corporitis and the poverty industry, they are still defensible and achievable.

Immigrants have been, and will continue to be, our Salvation.

Particularly women, who in staggering tracts of the rest of the world are routinely brutalized and economically co-opted without intervention. Not so here. Not legally anyway.

High tech warfare still comes down to street fighting, where the taliban excel having been practicing for centuries. This was the failure of the motherfucking war criminal Rumsfeld. In Afghanistan, where empires go to die, the XM25 now denies the taliban cover. Stay tuned.

We are watching not the fall of America, but the death throes of the Ottomans and the Crusades and soon enough, Communism. When the women of China, India, Pakistan, et al are truly liberated, the world will indeed look different.

Pelosi and Palin aside, America is strong because the strength of its best women strengthens its best men. Do not underestimate this political and social alliance.

Why, just this morning, I was shopping for tropical goddam rain shower shampoo and an Irish lookin lassie was very helpful.

Erin O'Brien said...

um ... hey phil ...

Once Known as The Badger said...

Where are the Communists when you need them?

philbilly said...

Badger, apparently there is a nest of them here in the CLE:
Gang of Six Dumbocraps

I'm convinced the Democratic Party in the CLE is mainly comprised of dorks who got pushed around on the playground.

They're startin to piss me off.

Erin O'Brien said...

Not sure how it is that I try to write an itty bit of flash nonfiction juxtaposed against a dram of magical realism* in order to mix it up and get measure of perspective around here and still have the comment section drip into politics.

*you people cannot know how hard I worked on this, drafting it, editing it and polishing it, and yes, the exchange really did happen.


Anonymous said...

Frida Kahlo: "Leon, you seen my tropical rain shower?"

Trotsky: "What the hell is tropical goddamn rainshower."


swine said...

Phil, I'm with you; these sort of doomsday scenarios go back to the 60s when the USSR was supposed to have all the oil or manufacturing, or whatever.

The dude makes some key points here and there. I like shit like that. I'd rather read that shit than complete, indecipherable Palin-type pieces.

Privately, I'm hoping the fucking Yosemite Supervolcano decides to wake the hell up (it's about that time, give or take a few thousand years) and eradicate all life on earth. Start over. If you hear any rumblings out there in the midwest, gimme a text. I'm gonna set myself up on my porch, martini in hand, and watch the destruction of the world, Slim Pickens stylee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ynY5NvYsZY

philbilly said...

Erin, in my rush to gasbaggery, I did neglect to acknowledge the beauty of this piece. All politics is local, and you illustrate our locale with aplomb.

Speaking of martinis,Swine, I decided last night I would consider dying around the age of 110. I haven''t decided how to go out, it's either
a.)Peacefully in the arms of my adoring, exotic and yet remarkably even-tempered Afro-Venusian wife,
b.) Spend the money and have Branson Interplanetary Airlines shoot me in a pod straight into the Sun, sipping a Tang and Stoli martini and listening to Sinatra's
"Summer Wind".
That is all.

Judy said...

Erin, you do wonderfully...

Senor Kaboom said...

I would've said that it does NOT smell like b.o., at least