The year the Hong Kong flu swept round the world leaving the afflicted either dead or praying for death, I was a “Christmas Helper” assigned to the home goods department of a Macy’s in downtown Kansas City Missouri (Missura to the Missurans). If you’ve ever taken a seasonal job selling products that you know nothing about then you’ll understand why I hid in the stock room always looking for something for a customer and never finding it. That is until a young black salesgirl took pity on me with some customer service advice: “Girl, you gotta tell them customers what they want! Just tell ‘em we don’t got that toaster in pumpkin even if they saw it in an ad.”
And then, saving me when I attempted to get some fresh air and sunlight: “Girl, you can’t be wandering round this neighborhood. Don’t you know that smell come from the stockyards and you with your blond hair and all. Just like a red flag. Just like a red flag to some punk ass Romeo. I better wait with you for that bus. They ain’t gonna mess with me.”
Where are you living girl?
Greenwood. It’s a town about fifteen minutes south of Kansas City.
Mercy. Ain’t there a coven of witches down there?
There’s a welcome sign outside of the town that reads “Welcome to Greenwood. Have you been saved?”
Lawd a Mercy. Here’s your bus. You have a good one.