Friday, July 12, 2019

Tank N Tummy #17

Ryan opened up his sandwich and took a bite. While he was chewing, a customer came into the store. Ryan covered his mouth and greeted him. “Good afternoon.”

The customer grabbed a sandwich out of the refrigerators and got a drink. He then walked up to the counter. Ryan slid his sandwich over by the register. “That looks good,” the customer said.

“My sandwich? It is good. Turkey and pastrami with Colby Jack cheese, Miracle Whip, and a pickle slice.”

“Mm, that does sound good. How much do you want for it?” the customer asked.


“How much do you want?”

“You want to buy my sandwich?”

“I’m paying $3.50 for this. I’ll give you $3 for yours since there’s a bite taken out of it.”

“Am I being pranked? Is this a bit?”

“Fine. $3.50.”

“I don’t care if I am on one of your stupid hidden camera shows. I’m still not watching it.”

“$4. $4 for a sandwich you can remake easily at home and have taken a bite out of.”

“Did Dominic send you in here?”


“This is my lunch. This and some potato salad.”

“$5!” the customer exclaimed. “Wait. What kind of potato salad?”

“My mom makes it. It’s an old family recipe we got from a housekeeper my family had back in the 1800s.”

“I’m going back down to $4.25.”

“I’m not giving you my lunch.”

“Your loss.”

“How is it my…? Never mind. $4.57.”

The customer handed Ryan five dollars. “You just made a huge mistake, mi friendo.”

“Par for the course then. Have a good rest of your day.”

The customer left the store with his store-bought chicken salad sandwich and drink. Ryan leaned back over the counter, slid his sandwich over to him and took another bite.

“My parents assumed I’d say yes because Jason and I had been together so long. Three years,” Ethel said. She had stayed at Dominic’s apartment but they slept separately.

“So you turned down his proposal and broke up with him,” Dominic began. “Cold-blooded.”

“It’s not my proudest moment. I still need to confront my parents as well. They wanted me to get married to Jason, start having babies, probably quit my job and just stay home with the kids like some weird 2019 June Cleaver.”

“They wanted me to contract a fatal disease.”

“Yes. They did not like you.”

“I have an idea,” Dominic beamed. “We should have sex and tell your parents that you’re pregnant with my baby.”

“That’s a terrible idea,” Ethel shook her head.

“I didn’t say it was a good idea. I said it was was an idea.”

“Besides, I’m not going to have sex with you 36 hours after I break up with my boyfriend of three years,” Ethel explained. “I need to have a mourning period.”

“Yeah, yeah. I get that,” Dominic nodded. “So, what? 48? 52 hours?”

Ethel laughed. “I’ll let you know.”

“All right. Per your suggestion, Lauren, we now have a small selection of Japanese snacks,” Ned said as he, Lauren, and Aaron stood by a small endcap display.

“Cheese drink?” Aaron asked. He picked up a bottle of a bright yellow, almost orange, liquid. “It’s tea?” he exclaimed. He put the bottle back down and saw something else. “What’s an Anus Bar?”

“It’s the future. Get used to it,” Lauren said.

Aaron looked at Lauren.

A kid came into the store wearing a red shirt and yellow shorts. He immediately ran over to the display of Japanese snacks. “Oh, boy. Action Bastard Bastard Meat,” he turned to Aaron and Lauren. He posed like a superhero holding the tube of sausage in the air. “Put your mouth on some sausage!”

The kid took the sausage to the counter. “Is that all?” Lauren asked.

“Yeah. I’m trying to get my very own Action Bastard Bastard Belt. I need to send in ten Action Bastard foil stickers from this sausage.”

“Is the sausage any good?”

“It’s smells like sweaty ass, tastes like someone puked on a pile of shit, and the green peppers are like boogers scraped off a wall,” the kid explained. “But I’d do anything for that Action Bastard Bastard Belt.”

Lauren gave the kid his change and he bounded off out the door.

“Bastard sausage?” Aaron picked up a tube. “What the hell is going on in Japan?”

“So she’s telling her parents right now that she’s choosing you?” Ryan asked.

“Yep. Breaking the bad news to them,” Dominic smiled. “I’m going over to their house at five to pick Ethel up for a date.”

“Dominic, I’m happy for you. I know how much Ethel meant to you and that you’ve always been...chasing Ethel, as it were but I hope you know that it’s not going to be the same as before,” Ryan began. “You’re both older, more experienced, and have grown since you were 18.”

“I know it won’t be the same. I’m not throwing everything in my life away though. She is. She’s going to be much more hurt if this doesn’t work out.”

“I guess I should be glad that you thought this through.”

“That’s the thing. Ethel initiated this and she would never do something like this unless she thought it through,” Dominic explained. “It’s fine. No one is going to get hurt."

Two girls came into the store. “Do you still have Mama’s list?” the one in a white cat hoodie and yellow bow asked.

The other girl, also in a white cat hoodie but with a red bow, took a piece of paper out of her pocket. “Right here,” she giggled. “Do you still have the money?”

The girl took some money out of her pocket and giggled. “Mama’s going to be so proud of us when…” she gasped and ran to the display of Japanese snacks. “It’s my favorite candy. Do you think we can get some?”

“We should stick to the list that Mama gave us, Mimmy,” red bow girl said.

“Aw, Kitty.”

“Can I help you girls with something?” Lauren asked.

“We’re buying a couple things for Mama,” Kitty said. “She forgot to get them at the store.”

“Well, what are you looking for?”

“We have a list!” Mimmy exclaimed. She then nudged her sister. “Kitty, show her the list.”

Kitty handed the list to Lauren. The read: cream, Hot Tamales, potato chips. “I think we can help you find these items.” Lauren helped Kitty and Mimmy find the cream, Hot Tamales candies, and potato chips and brought them up to the counter. “That’ll be $8.77,” Lauren said.

Mimmy handed Lauren a ten. They got their change and left the store giggling. They stopped at the door, turned and waved. “Thank you,” they said in unison and continued giggling.

“You’re welcome,” Lauren smiled.

Dominic pulled up in front of Ethel’s parent’s house. She was waiting out front and stood when he got out of the car. He had a bouquet of flowers and was dressed better than he normally dressed.

“Are you ready? Why are you out here? Did you get in a fight with with your mom and dad?”

“No. I wanted to talk to you,” Ethel began. “When I got here, Jason was here. He flew out here. He re-proposed to me and we talked for a bit and he explained how much he loves me but just wants me to be happy and I realized how happy I”


“Then we made love…”

“Why are you telling me that?”

“...And I know it’s not something you want to hear but Jason and I are back together. I’m sorry that I put you through this. I should’ve just been happy with what I had. I know that now. I’m sorry, Dominic,” Ethel gently kissed his cheek.

“What? Nah. I’m cool. Here,” he thrusted the flowers into Ethel’s chest. “You can keep these. What else am I going to do with the sexual organs of plants?”

“Thank you. Again, I’m so sorry, Dominic,” Ethel was starting to cry.

“It’s fine. Forget it. No problem.”

Lauren and Aaron stood behind the counter. She was reading a book while he was reading a magazine. The bell from the door rang and pink-haired girl stepped in. “Prepare for trouble,” she said.

Aaron and Lauren looked up.

“Make it double,” a purple-haired boy came in the other door. They looked like twins.

“What the hell?” Aaron asked.

“To protect the world from devastation,” the girl continued.

“To unite all peoples within our nation.”

“To denounce the evils of truth and love.”

“To extend our reach to the stars above.”

“Do they do this every time they enter a building?” Lauren asked.



“Team Rocket blasts off at the speed of light.”

“Surrender now or prepare to fight.”

A gray and brown cat ran into the store, meowing.

“I’m gonna tell Ned to get rid of the Japanese snacks,” Aaron said. “I’ll kick Jessie and James out of here, you grab the cat.”