Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just Like College All Over Again

Except not at all, really.

Today, after 5 hours of tagging details - interspersed with a few joyous minutes of designing details - I heard Pacman yell from the other end of the office, "Damn it! I need ice cream."

As anyone in my family will tell you, I am always up for ice cream.

I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream!

Scooter immediately asked, "Where could we go for ice cream?" We checked the Internet to see what was near our office - Paciugo's is now closed, so no pricey gelato for us. Eventually, we settled on walking down to the CVS after Pacman announced that he wanted an ice cream sandwich.

We locked the office door - Radio, Lola, and Oldsmobile were all out momentarily - and bolted down the fire stairs and out into the stifling heat of Downtown Dallas on an August afternoon. A five minute walk landed us in the air-conditioned environs of the downtown CVS, with its throngs of homeless buying cases of Natural Light and its white collar workers picking up Band-Aids.

We stood in the ice cream section - just past the beer, which made us wonder if we shouldn't have just headed to the bar on the first floor of the building - and debated whether to buy a 4-pack of the Nestle cones with chocolate and almonds on top, or if we should buy 3 individual ice cream sandwiches. The ice cream sandwiches were on sale, so we grabbed them and headed to the cash register.

I love Downtown because of all the people there from varying social strata that you wouldn't normally find interacting. The woman in front of us - with a gold tooth, but not the whole tooth, the kind that just sort of wraps around partially in the front - had another identifying feature: a bar code tattooed on the back of her neck. I guess it was to complement the three stars tattooed on the side.

Once back in the office, we began speculating: was the bar code there for quicker processing at the county jail? What would she ring up as if scanned? Would she be expensive or cheap?

Because of the tattoo's location, we couldn't see the SKU, but I suspect it was either some significant number (to her) or a string of curse words.

Why did the adventure remind me of college?

When I was in school, we'd be up at the architecture building all night, and occasionally, we'd make a 3 a.m. run to the local QuikTrip to get a huge soda and a hot dog or some chips (or those chocolate cream-filled cupcakes). There were always hapless drivers who'd turned the wrong way en route to I-20 while looking for gas, and their Land Rover would be parked next to a Cadillac sedan from the mid-80s with 26" chrome rims, and there'd be a female "hitch-hiker" in the parking lot, asking for money.

Of course, the QT smelled much better than the CVS. There was plenty of debate about the smell, but we finally settled on:


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