On the way home from work, stopped in at the convenience mart to buy a couple of milkshakes. Chocolate for me. Vanilla for Young Ken Mannion who I knew would still be up and in need of a fortifying snack after another long day of being 17. Wears a body out.
Girl working the counter said, “You’re my last milkshakes of the night so I’m going to really hook you up.” Behave yourselves. She meant she was going to pack the cups full of ice cream. Which she did. But then she got worried she’d overdone it. So she was extra careful about placing the shakes on the machine and watched them closely as they spun.
“Last week,” she said as she watched, “I had one explode on me.”
“Oh no,” I said.
“It went everywhere. On the walls, on the customers, on me. It was all over me. I was covered in chocolate from my eyes down to here.” She made a chopping motion across her thighs. “I was drenched with chocolate milk shake.”
“Did the customers laugh?”
“Yes. They were real good about it.”
“How many of them whipped out their cell phones and took your picture?” I asked.
She started to say something then she froze. He smile changed to a look mixing amazement with annoyance.
“You know what? None of them! Nobody did!” She put her fists on her hips. “Nobody took my picture like that. What was wrong with those people?”