Do I have great stories from my vacation? You betcha! I will be sure to regale you with tales of Greece, but for now...I have more pressing issues of which to speak.
I really think it's time to fire my agent. To remedy what she is calling my lack of respect for the “real world” and the “common man,” this weekend, she required me to get a job.
A job as a Wal-Mart Greeter.
I won’t talk about how I had to take the city bus to my new job and how it took two whole days to get the stench of the “common man” out of my every pore. Nor will I talk about how horrifying it was to hear the deafening clicks of the paparazzi cameras as I descended the bus stairs.
Instead, I’ll start with the disgust I felt when I arrived at my job post and my trainer, Roy, handed me a blue vest with a “Kooka-Marie” nametag. To say the smock clashed with my designer duds is an understatement! Plus, and I mean this in the nicest way, Roy practically melted my fur with his fierce coffee breath!
“Kukka, I really need you to wear your vest. I understand you find it unattractive and you are upset it has a smiley face on the back and not a photo of you, but it is your required uniform, and needs to be worn during your entire eight hour shift.”
“Wait! What do you mean…eight hours?!”
“Let’s get you to the door, Kukka.”
Leaving me at the door, Roy explained that it would take only a little while for me to acclimate to my new surroundings.
“The stank of the bottle return won’t bother you in a few minutes,” Roy said, while gagging violently. “Do you remember your line?”
“Yes. Welcome to Wal-Mart, dirty loser, have a nice day!”
“Fine. Welcome to Wal-Mart. Have a nice day!”
I must have greeted eleventy-three people, when I noticed a little, gray-haired man standing on the opposite side of the entrance way. His crisp, blue vest gleamed in contrast to his black, polyester pants. Along with his nametag, he sported several photo buttons of his grandchildren and a pin that proclaimed him the “Best Grandpa in the World!” The real marvel was that his arthritic knees didn't crumble under the weight of the countless smiley face pins and star-spangled necktie! As customers entered the store, I noticed he would rush up to them and exclaim, “Welcome to Wal-Mart! Watch out for falling prices! Is there something I can help you find?” They seemed impressed with his enthusiasm and I heard more than one, "What an adorable old geezer!"
Customer after customer, he would scurry and greet. Scurry and greet. He was like a blur, only coming to a brief rest against the “DVD’s RELEASING THIS WEEK” display as the sliding doors closed behind the guests.
He was totally greet-blocking me! I shot him a glare and confronted him.
“What is your damage, gramps? You want a piece of me?”
He smiled sweetly and said, “Welcome to Wal-Mart! Have a nice day, bitch!”
Taking my cue from the Britney/Justin dance battle of 2000, I knew what had to be done. “Bring it, old-timer! It’s a full-on greet-off!”
Barely taking the time to read his name-tag, I began my quest to make Bernie the sorriest Wal-Mart Greeter in the entire history of the company.
I greeted the next customer with an exaggerated version of the standard Wal-Mart smile.
Bernie made the next customer feel welcome with the standard smile and a friendly wave.
My next customer received a hearty dose of a gleaming smile, an exuberant wave and a bouquet of helium balloons I had cleverly nabbed from the photo center.
Bernie upped his game by adding a wink and some air-sucking sound effect he made as his lips curled into a side-winding grin.
I rebutted with a firm, yet warm and welcoming pat on the ass for the next customer.
“I believe you are in violation of the Wal-Mart code of conduct, Kukka-Maria. I am going to call Roy and ask that we refer to the handbook on what type of customer touch is appropriate and inappro…”
Bernie stopped quickly as he drank in the sight of my middle claw that was, by this time, waving violently in his general direction. That’s right. I flipped him the state bird of Arkansas…the middle finger.
“If you mess with the bull, you'll get the horn, old man!”
I would have continued flipping him off, even adding my other three paws to the mix, but I needed all my digits to help undo my vest and expose my many nipples. Once customers entered the store and saw my multiple nips, I would beat Bernie—paws down. That would have been the ultimate strategy, but Roy, our trainer, quickly approached and addressed me.
“Kukka! Please put on your vest and come with me.”
I followed Roy into the employee break area, where he asked me to have a seat. Offering me a soda to lessen the sting of what was to come, Roy laid it on the line for me.
“Kukka…I know how passionate you are about this job and how excited you were to join the Wal-Mart Family. I know you wanted to do a great job and that when you took the Sam Walton blood-oath during your corporate orientation and swore on your mother’s life you would be loyal to the company as long as you lived, well…the desire to be a stellar Wal-Martian was strong within you. Having said that, exposing your nipples at the front door of our store is not conducive to the image we at Wal-Mart force down the public's collective throat. I am afraid I am going to have to fire you.”
“Fire me? Are you freakin' serious? So I flashed a few nipples at the front door! Big deal! Would it have been better if I had exposed my nips amidst the severely wilted produce or next to the sweat-soaked clothing hanging by the dressing rooms?”
"I don’t appreciate your attitude, Miss Maria. I’m sorry, but you are fired.”
Roy swooped me up with one hand and held me to his chest as he “escorted” me to the front door. I don’t know what was more awkward: The weight of the silence between us, the potential of a sexual harassment suit for where his hand was supporting my body, or the fact I had just urinated on his clip-on tie.
As I turned to leave, Roy called my name. It was clear to me he was already having regrets about my dismissal.
“Um…Kukka? You can not take the vest with you. It is Wal-Mart property and must be returned.” Noticing I was still nude under the vest, he continued, “You know…just have your mom send it back to us—freshly laundered, please.”
Behind Roy, I could see Bernie. He was parking one of those “Little Rascal” scooters—complete with the metal basket on the front. To ensure it would maintain a depleted battery life of no more than 3 minutes, Bernie left the vehicle unplugged. A bead of sweat trickled across his temple from the untidy heap of gray hair on his head as he glanced over at me, swiftly grabbed his crotch, and mouthed the words, “BITE ME.”
Bite me, indeed, old man.
I should have known that working at Wal-Mart would be a miserable experience! After all, due to their “family atmosphere” and “moral code,” they refuse to stock any of my books, DVDs, clothing, and CDs. Come on, Sam Walton! What is the problem with a little nudity, trashy talk, and raunchy debauchery among friends? Maybe, if I launched a line of Kukka Firearms, they would be more open to peddling my wares!
I guess I can respect your commitment to your "moral code." I mean, I admire the fact you can sleep so soundly knowing the very next day, you’ll bully thousands of mom and pop stores, forcing them from their communities because they know they can not compete with you! You’ll build and open a brand new mega-store each day, yet 390 of your empty stores sit on the market because you build them so close together, once you become your own biggest competitor, you close one down! And, I suppose priding yourself on being one of the largest employers in the United States is enough to off-set the fact that even your full-time "associates" are paid wages that place them below the poverty level. I am sure the John Q. Taxpayer thanks you for your employee commitment as he helps subsidize the wages of your crew.
Yes, profane books, CDs and DVDs are truly your biggest moral challenges.
If you continue working to devour our country with your Super-Stores, plan on seeing me flashing my multiple nipples in protest. Despite what you’ve heard, my exhibition will be in anger, not in pleasure.
Oh, who am I kidding? I love to publicly expose my many nipples!
And, by the way, I think you'll like to know that I've lined my litterbox with your precious blue vest. Now, every time I take a crap, I say, "Welcome to Wal-Mart! Take a shit and have a nice day!"
I think I have my paw on the pulse of the common man, my dear agent. Can I please go back to loafing in the sunshine while I watch you polish my tiara?