The Bag Man

nobagsSo yesterday I went shopping. I went to a clothing store that’s started doing something a little differently. That or I just haven’t been there in a long time. They offer you a tote bag to put clothes you’d like to purchase in while you walk around the store. Also, they’re pretty adamant about it. Well, at least one employee was.

I was snooping around the slim fit khaki section (since standard and relaxed make it look like I’m wearing garbage bags). Of course, the size that I needed was high above my arms reach. Picture me just looking up to the sky and up to the clouds. I put my hand up to my brow to block the sunlight as I stared into the sky. I looked around for an employee but there was no one to be found. I looked for a ladder or perhaps a bean stalk to climb to get up there. I found a stepping stool/mini-ladder and started to pick it up when an employee appeared out of nowhere. “Need a bag?” I jumped because I hadn’t seen anyone around and because he seemed to have appear out of thin air. “Um, uh, uh, uh,” I yammered. For some reason I always get tongue tied or stumble over my words when talking to people who work in the store.  Probably because I think they’re looking at me thinking this guys an idiot….and he’s small….he’s a small idiot. He looked deeply into my soul and continued, “Bag!” I told him no thanks and that I could use a little help reaching those broken-in slim fit khakis on the top shelf. Before I knew it the pants were in my hands and he continued promoting the use of bags. “You know, you’re probably going to want a bag to put these in.” As I started to say “no” he interrupted me with “you sure about that?” I awkwardly shied away murmuring, “No thanks alright cool okay bye now.” I started to walk and then turned around to see if he was following behind me but he was gone. Nowhere to be found. Vanished again. I continued shopping, grabbing a few things here and there, and then headed to the fitting room, which was empty. There were no employees or customers anywhere. In fact, I thought the place was under quarantine and the bag man and I didn’t get the memo. As I approached one of the rooms, he came out from behind the door holding a bag. “Those hands are looking mighty full…” I jumped back in terror and headed toward the escalator. Panicked, I looked behind me and he was nowhere to be found. I exhaled believing the nightmare had ended. I closed my eyes as the moving stairs carried me to the promise land. Peter Gabriel’s ‘In Your Eyes’ started playing as the credits began to roll. Starring…Ryan Nallen when suddenly, “BAGS!!!?!?” Record scratch. I opened my eyes and he was on the other side going up the escalator with two mesh bags hanging from both of his arms. I shouted and I still don’t know why, “GET GET” and sprinted down the stairs. Sweat dripping from my forehead. Piles of clothes falling out of my arms as I rushed to the register.

As I approached the register, I saw a smiling friendly faced woman. Relief. I slowed down, smiled, and walked closer to the register when OUT OF NOWHERE the bag man rose up from behind the register. The other employee, confused, walked away. It was too late to run away now. It was time to meet my maker. He just stared at me. It was a staring contest that I had no interest in competing in. He rang up the purchase but did not take his eyes off me the entire time. Two beady eyes that looked like handbags. He took off the exploding ink cartridge security thingy off each pair of pants, swiped my credit card, and tore the receipt off without ever looking away from me. Finally, he said it. The moment we’d all been waiting for. “BAG!?” While that’s all he said, I could hear by the tone in his voice he meant, “Its bag time! Here’s a goddamn bag and you’re going to put your clothes in here and you’re going to live inside of this bag for the rest of your life.” Something like that. I sheepishly nodded while looking down at the ground. A smirk appeared on his face which turned into a maniacal laugh.  He put each individual pair of pants I bought in separate bags. “MUAHAHAHAHAHA” he laughed as he slowly rose down beneath the register. I grabbed the bags and headed towards the giant front doors.  The Delfonics “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time” started playing through the store speakers. The sun shined in making it brighter.

And as  I walked towards the door., to sanctuary, the alarms went off.

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