My Favorite Christmas Story, Part One

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.

5 thoughts on “My Favorite Christmas Story, Part One

  1. A. is correct. There is nothing more depressing than being a temp in a department store during the holidays. Everything becomes a stultifying enemy–from the polished floor to the funky lighting. Being fucking weird, when I took those jobs, the mass of merchandise reminding me of being in a buffalo herd. Piles of clothing were the hides, the broken down boxes in receiving were the bones, the customers were the hunters, and I was like all the Indian tribes rolled into one. I’d go into the bathroom with a far off stare and cry. I never lasted long in those kind of jobs and I took them only because people told me to do it. I was young, but highly impressionable, an affliction which continues to this day. Thanks. Duke

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can see that analogy. So many years have passed that I can’t imagine the girl who took that job and what was going on her mind – she’s like a ghost who speaks to me on cold icy and dark nights when everything merry seems grotesque

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.