Thursday, November 19, 2015

No butts about it

I know I’ve mentioned that public radio used to introduce my commentaries by saying, “Barbara Brown, whose daily collisions with life leave her with great stories and a grateful heart.” Boy, did I collide Wednesday!

It started with a doctor’s appointment. After 1½ hours in the waiting room, I walked out. I’d missed a Literacy Program training so you could say I was a tinderbox, alive with fuel. I was bristling and pissed. Then, I remembered I had to go to Costco so that would set me behind even more.

I needed plastic wrap, way back in the corner I barely ever go to. I was just noticing hey, they have school supplies back here, when there was a loud human roar. The two guys next to me were suddenly grappling, wrestling, throwing each other around. It was a major fight. It’s the one you heard about on the news, the one where the shoplifter pistol-whipped the undercover security guy.

Now, if you’re friends of mine, you will tell me that my fuel could have sparked the negativity that exploded. That I had so much fury in me that it spontaneously combusted and blew up the guy in Costco. You’ll laugh uproariously over the image of people exploding as I walked the aisles of Costco.
I’d laugh, too, except that the only image stuck in my brain is of the guy’s butt.

The two guys fighting it out next to me were HUGE. I had a mental thought of Sumo wrestlers. And they were FURIOUS. One guy’s face was pure rage. But then his sweat pants started falling down. At first, it was just a plumber’s butt crack, but then it was his WHOLE BUTT. If you’re my friend Linda, you’ll ask, “Wasn’t he wearing underpants?” and I’d say no. I remember thinking he wouldn’t be able to run away with his pants down around his knees, but I decided it was time to depart before he turned around and I was exposed to frontal nudity. Not to mention all this thrashing was happening about a foot away and it was just me and them.
So I raced to move north, looking for a Costco employee. A red-vested woman was already in the aisle on a walkie-talkie, and she said he’d pulled out a pistol. Costco employees were racing to the corner, and I thought, Look at that, they’re all going towards the danger. I kept moving away, gathering others to get them out of the area. We ended up at the food ladies, who already knew what was happening and were passing out food samples and saying “stay here.”

This was only about four minutes into the action. So I’m supposing that even the food ladies are on some sort of walkie-talkie thing. And then, when it was all clear, the food ladies told us we could go back. Other customers started streaming in from the frozen food area and the outside; I guess employees had mustered them there.

All in all, Costco had done a superlative job of handling the situation. Obviously they had a plan, were well trained, and remained calm. When I went back over to get my plastic wrap, it was cordoned off with yellow tape. Costco employees were at the perimeter, asking what we wanted and then fetching it for us. Kudos to all of them.

They asked if I should talk to the police, and I thought of all the police shows I watch and what an unreliable eye witness I’d be. What would I say, that the only thing I could really pick out of a line-up was the guy’s butt?
At this point, I still thought it was two customers with anger-management issues. It wasn’t till I heard the news that I discovered one of them was the undercover security guy who’d spotted the guy (allegedly) shoplifting. They both looked pretty rasty to me so I have no idea which was which. That’s what undercover is all about, I guess.

And now, if you’re my friend Connie, you’ll say, “The one without the underpants is not the Costco employee. They have to wear underpants.”

I’m going to leave you with that bit of wisdom.


  1. I'm so honored to be mentioned! But mostly honored to be in your company most Thursdays. Laughing feels SO good.

    Connie Q

  2. Your artistic rendering of a police line up of bare butts made my day.

  3. Great job on the visuals! Just does your friend know Costco employees wear underwear?


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