So, yesterday I went to the Super Wal-mart. I was in a skirt and some really uncomfortable dress flat shoes that I was trying to break in (because women are crazy masochists). I was about half way across the parking lot when I realized my underwear was too big and was falling down. I tried to stop their downward progression by pinching them through my skirt. I was trying to camouflage my attempts at panty control by clutching my purse with the same hand. I doubted that I was very successful, especially since I was walking extremely awkwardly because of my torture shoes.
When I entered the store I decided just to pop into the bathroom and throw away the ill-fitting panties in the little trash can in the stalls. I was not about to walk through the store with droopy underwear and uncomfortable shoes. I start to make a bee-line for the bathroom but I got behind this woman who would take two steps and the stop to look at her receipt and grumble for a few seconds. It took everything I had not to scream, “look here woman, my unnerbritches are trying to escape and I need to get to the bathroom so I can take them off, oh, and my shoes are ripping at my flesh. Could you kindly pull over to the side?”
I made it into the bathroom without losing undergarments or yelling at grouchy old ladies and swooped into the first stall. I drop my underwear and then notice that there is no trash can in the stall. I know there is a big trashcan by the door but there is a woman changing a baby right beside it. I considered putting my cellphone or something in my hands with my wadded up panties to try and cover them, but I decided that I would just accidentally throw those away and I would have to dig in the trash. I know the limits of my smooth abilities. I also considered waiting for her to get done but I know that with my luck more people would come in. I decided just to rush by the woman toss the panties in the trashcan and walk out.
I know she thought “Gross, she didn’t wash her hands.” I thought that was more acceptable than “The fuck?!? Did she just throw away her panties?” I also knew I had hand sanitizer in my purse.
And that wasn’t even the weird part of my Wal-mart trip.
I limped through the store and got everything I needed and went to check out. Three registers were open. Two had lines stretching past the lane, but one only had two people. I looked to make sure the light was on and that there wasn’t a “lane closed” sign and after I was sure the cashier wasn’t trying to close I start to put my stuff on the belt. At first glance I thought the guy in front of me had on a body brace and I didn’t think much of it until after I got half of my groceries on to the belt and realized it wasn’t a brace.
The dude was wearing homemade body armor.
No shit. Homemade motherfucking body armor.
It looked like he had taken heavy metal plates and cut them into a rough approximation of his chest and back and riveted it to something. He had decorated it by making designs on the back with electrical tape. I don’t really know how it was constructed. The man was obviously mentally ill and homeless and I didn’t want to stare or take pictures because it felt mean. I feel mean writing about it. I have a real hippie soft spot for rights for people with mental health issues and I don’t think he would deserve to be treated poorly just because he had something wrong with his brain chemistry. On the other hand, he was wearing motherfucking homemade body armor.
I really wanted to know how it was made but I couldn’t just say, “Hey, bro, that is some sweet body armor, how did you make it?”
I think my favorite part was either the matching headband (a one inch by three inch rectangle of metal attached to some sort of fabric) or that the body armor was tucked into his sweat pants. He looked like a strange extra from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
The really amazing part was how the cashier handled him. Most people would have shied away from too much interaction from someone like this man. The cashier smiled at him and engaged him in conversation. I heard her ask him how he was doing, he mumbled a response, and she told him that he did look tired. When he left, she told him to have a good day and told him she hoped he got some rest. She is an incredible person and I am a total asshole.
Seriously, though, homemade body armor.