123Valerie Strikes Again

Unprecedented Self-Indulgence.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nice Rack

Nothing ruins the mood like being locked out of your own bedroom.

The Boy, A.J., was over the other day. We might have been making out. I might have led him upstairs all sultry like. But one thing is certain: My bedroom door, mysteriously closed, did not yield when I pushed on it. Still trying to remain the sexy hot pants I am, I threw my weight against the door with a subtle, carnal grunt.

It budged enough for me to squeeze in, my face pressed against the door jam, the epitome of sensuality.

The culprit:

My over-the-door shoe rack broke, sending every stiletto, every flip flop, every ballerina flat plummeting to a fortified position strategically in front of the threshold.

The very next day, I went searching high and low for a replacement shoe rack at K-Mart, Big Lots, Sears, J.C. Penney and the Montgomery County Liquor Store, all to no avail. Not a shoe rack to be had.

Then, Home Depot beckoned me. The rustic concrete floors, the orange glow of the signage and the raw hormones from the 19-year-old sales boys always draw me in. I thought surely Home Depot would be my salvation.

In the Home Organization aisle, like a beacon, I saw my name:

Surely! The Wall Cabinet Armoire Murale Gabinete de Pared was what I needed. Why else would my name be mysteriously scotch taped to the shelf?

Wait! Here it is:

It's the Estante De Acero Pra Almacenamiento Con 4 Repisas that I need!

No, no. Nevermind. Home Depot was clearly trying to steer me toward this thing:

This "thing" is the answer to my shoe problem. Look--my name is right next to it.

No, false alarm. No shoe racks at Home Depot, just my name oddly taped to every available surface for no discernible reason. In the end, I left the Depot, disappointed and smelling of sawdust. A modern day Shoe Rackless Joe Jackson.

On the way home, I stopped by Target. I needed some cute summer basics at affordable prices. As I was strolling through the store, dodging snot-nosed kids, I walked past the Home Fashions section. Could it be? Yes! Yes, it was! A shoe rack!

All was right with the world. Until I got in line. The cashier and I exchanged pleasantries, and she began to ring up my items, her "I'm in Training!" tag shining in the fluorescent light. She was pleasant and expedient enough.

Out of no where, a God-awful tarantula woman clamored up and heaved her goods on the conveyor. After 10 seconds, she boomed, "Gah, could you move any slower?" to poor Bieng May, whose training videos clearly never covered this topic, as evidenced by her quivering lip and spastic nodding.

I whipped my head around so quickly some of my hair got stuck in my teeth. My pretties, I am polite to the Nth degree, but I don't deal well with other people who are not. You know the saying, "Red sky at night, sailors' delight. Red head overhears a rude bitch in Target and she's going to regulate."

"There's really no need for that, " I said. "You can see she's still in training. Perhaps you'd be happier in another line."

"Oh, I know I would, " our behemoth huffed, her buck teeth punctuating her displeasure.

"You know, your rudeness isn't going to make her go faster," I logically offered.

"No, nothing probably will," she snorted and shot me a look.

We only have a precious few moments in our lives when we have precisely the right words for the situation. Suffice to say, I have one less coming to me:

I pursed my lips and delivered, "It's amazing what you can do on the Internet now. People like you don't even have to leave their homes."

I bid Bieng May a good evening, picked up my shoe rack and glided off, while the Human Ham Sandwich glared at me with her mouth agape.

It's all in a day's work.

In the Comments section, tell me about your best comeback.



  • At 12:26 AM , Anonymous Karmyn R said...

    THAT was awesome! I'm very proud of you.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any - because I always think of them AFTER the fact.

  • At 5:47 AM , Blogger Akelamalu said...

    Well done, I must remember that one!

    I can't remember mine, but if in doubt I usually resort to "F OFF"

  • At 5:48 AM , Blogger Akelamalu said...

    PS it looks like you've got more shoes than me and that's no mean fete!

  • At 6:55 AM , Blogger EsLocura said...

    I was trying to rent a video when a pregnant lady kept stepping in front of me, and blocking my view. When I said "excuse me, will you please stop stepping in front of me" she said " I'm pregnant" to which I said " pregnancy isn't an excuse for rudeness, besides stupid people shouldn't bred!". Then I kept stepping in front of her, eventually the cops were called, but that's another story.

  • At 7:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    You are all kinds of tough. I would have eaten my fingers and stood there.

    I'm not a great sticker-upper for people. I'm learning.

    Nice rack, indeed... (I would insert a winking face here if I was not such a hardcore emoticon assassin...)


  • At 8:43 AM , Blogger Lee said...

    Now I'm in lurve with you. Standing up for the underdog AND quickwitted. All this in one lovely human being!? It's too much to ask.

    And I love Target.

  • At 9:38 AM , Blogger mist1 said...

    Are all those shoes pictured in the shoe orgy of legal age?

  • At 10:42 AM , Blogger Hey Pretty said...

    The problem with good combacks is that I can never think of one in the moment. It is for this reason, that I have cultivated the extended middle finger comback. It requires no words yet speaks volumes.

    Of course, there is also the classic "i know you are but what am i?" which resonates as an adult due to its absurdity and vintage kitch.

  • At 11:21 AM , Anonymous Slick said...

    You are my new idol Valerie...

    Check this out...

    Once, my (now ex) wife and I were going to her parents. I didn't want to stay all day because I had just gotten off work. I told her "We're not staying all day now"

    She replied "You can't put a time limit on how long I can see my parents"

    I thought for a second, nodded my head, and said "True, pack your bags. You can stay as long as you want!"

  • At 11:56 AM , Blogger Matt said...

    One time on the subway, this black guy insulted me and I was all like, "Yeah? Your mama so fat, she gotta wear a tent as a dress!"

    (Everyone was then like, "Oh, no he didn't!")

  • At 12:31 PM , Anonymous hellohahanarf said...

    working with the public tends to be interesting and can lead to some cranky people. one especially rainy day i had had enough of prople griping about the weather. an older gentleman walked up to me and without so much as a simple "hello" started screaming at me about the miserable weather. finally i interrupted him to say, "sir, there is no such thing as miserable weather, just miserable people." old bastard tried to get me fired, but my boss couldn't quit smiling.

  • At 3:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    oooh, you are brilliant! A true shining beacon in the dark waters of comebacks.

  • At 5:07 PM , Blogger Erica AP said...

    Usually I think of my great comebacks about 5 mins after I leave the person... But I've gotten into a habit of when I hold the door for someone and they don't say "thank you", I say "Your welcome!!" as sweet as pie. That's kinda like a comeback, right?

  • At 6:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I live in the land of rude people. Everyone here sucks for the most part. Recently, I was at the grocery store and went to the self checkout lane. Well, I'm standing there and a woman in all her tweaker glory slinks up and cuts in front of me. All of the lanes are full and as soon as one popped open, I shot over and cut her off. Then, there was another day where a woman banged into my heel with her cart because CLEARLY she needed ALL OF THE LANE TO HERSELF. so, I kindly grabbed the front of her cart and shoved it into her telling her to back up. I'm surprised I haven't been in a fight yet.

  • At 8:56 PM , Blogger Legaleagle said...

    "You know the saying, Red sky at night, sailors' delight. Red head overhears a rude bitch in Target and she's going to regulate."

    Love it. Gonna steal it and use it sometime.

    Best comeback:

    A young attorney was once defending his stupid motion while I was trying to set my Motion to Dismiss it and he said to me "...but in law school--" I promptly cut him off and said "This isn't law school, sparky, this is real life and welcome to my classroom."

    It's been my standard comeback for a while now. (Cheesy, yes, but effective.)

  • At 11:38 PM , Blogger Attention Whore said...

    uhhh....SCUSE ME...can we get back to the whole you and AJ thing MAYBE making out???? wtf? Did I miss something here?

  • At 11:07 AM , Blogger MelO said...

    "Red sky at night, sailors' delight. Red head overhears a rude bitch in Target and she's going to regulate."

    LMAO!!! You and I would get along WAAAY too well! I love love love Target but I can't STAND a rude bitch!

    Thanks for the laugh, Val. You rock!

  • At 11:11 AM , Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

    Hope the downed shoes didn't crush the mood.

    My over-the-door rack at the old place used to fall rather regularly. Always a bummer. I just moved, though, and now the doors don't shut with the rack on top.

    Bummer. My shoes are still in boxes. No idea where to put them, without compromising an entire closet.

  • At 2:25 PM , Blogger WanderingGirl said...

    I second Attentionwhore. I love how you glossed over the whole AJ pressing you up against your bedroom door and got everyone distracted by thinking of comebacks, but we'd like the real story please.

  • At 6:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    OH I liked this post...I love it when Val gets out & about in the real world and makes friends with the peeps. Way to go with the bitch in Target. Oh did you end up making out in your room???

  • At 8:47 PM , Blogger Uncivil said...

    Great post Val.

    I tend to get impatient in line,but I bite my tongue!

    Unless I'm at Walmart! Cause it's usually not the cashiers fault.

    You see they have twenty some cashier isles,and there will be only about four of them open. So you have about 16 cash registers sitting there collecting dust.

    I will get a cashiers attention, and tell them politely. " Hey shug tell your manager ,since Walmart is too cheap to hire someone to run all these empty registers.........maybe they can hire someone to restock all this crap in my buggie. Have a nice day!"

    I have dreams of just going down the aisles and filling up buggies,and leaving them there!

    I try to stay away from Walmart at all cost! I long for the days of the mom and pop stores!

    Anyway......I like the way you work/word it girl!

  • At 8:49 PM , Blogger Uncivil said...

    Whoops, forgot.....I came here from Mist's mudane thingy.


  • At 11:52 AM , Blogger Senor Caiman said...


    Happy Mother's Day.

  • At 2:42 PM , Blogger Winter said...

    Best post I've read in a long time.

  • At 2:47 PM , Anonymous slinger said...

    Damn, I was really hoping for a story about your other rack!

  • At 4:05 PM , Blogger mysterygirl! said...

    This is unrelated to your post, but I clicked over here from Mist1 and listened to a couple of your songs-- just wanted you to know that a stranger thinks that you have an amazing folk voice. :) Right on!

  • At 6:07 PM , Blogger Spellbound said...

    My best comeback is always the one I think of 5 minutes too late. I have OCD when it comes to politeness. It's embarassing actually.

  • At 10:55 AM , Anonymous 123V said...

    Karmyn, I still say comebacks even when I come up with them after the fact--it just happens to be in my car alone, while I bang the steering wheel.

    Akelamalu, "F Off" is such a good all purpose comeback--it's like the Arm & Hammer baking soda of comebacks.

    Es L, she had to be rude for two, I guess.

    Minty, I didn't know you were a cannibal. That's pretty tough, I think.

    Lee Baby, not so fast--I have rank B.O. No one's perfect.

    Mist, the blue pair of tenny boppers are at least 30, so they had a chaparone.

    Kate, honey, who cares about comebacks--comeons are more important.

    Slick, your so romantic. Do you fart in your sleep, too?

    Matty, oh yes you did. I believe it.

    HelloHannah, I think I'm going to be cranky when I'm old. Hell, I'm cranky now.

    Pool, back atya baby! Your letter to that stupid board was the best comeback yet.

    Erica, anything can be a comeback when said with enough sass. You go, girl.

    Pookie Pants, I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to fist fight after the second trimester.

    LegalEagle, you have inspired me to start calling everyone "sparky." Brilliant.

    WG, I hope there's more to come ...

    FC&F, occassionally they let me out on a weekend pass.

    Uncivil, welcome! Remind me to look you up if I ever get on Shop Till You Drop.

    Senor, Happy Tuesday to you, sir.

    Winter, thanks, sweetie pie. Nothing like a little pressure.

    AW, I can neither confirm nor deny those reports.

    Melo, let's hang out, and you can tell me how awesome I am. Then we can go to Target and scour the dollar bins. I love those.

    Poet, I have a box full of empty boxes. I'd say you're alright comparitively speaking.

    Slinger, check the archives, mon friar.

    MysteryGirl, thanks so very much! I put together a little CD and webby site: send me an e-mail if you'd like 123Valerie at gmail.com

    Spell, I can dig it. I even say "thank you" after sex. It seems appropriate.

  • At 7:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I was in the state of VA for a part-ay. I was invited out to smoke a little with some very short, toothless horse jockies. My friend looked at me and asked, "You are going to trust two men without teeth?" I simply retorted, "Why not? You sure did." For my friend, you see, lost her virginity to a boy missing a front tooth. Love ya, V. ~ G

  • At 2:02 PM , Blogger 123Valerie said...

    Glynnie, that is so good! I love it when you can make people question their own irrational judgments. I mean, I need someone to challenge me all the time.

  • At 9:40 PM , Blogger Leese said...

    That is the best comment ever! I hope she had a clue as to the point you were trying to get across. She's probably still trying to figure it out.

    You get an A!

  • At 2:17 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

    I am usually a fantastic after the fact come backer too but one day my husband said to me as he was washing the dishes, "okay, so this pan full of grease has been sitting here for 3 days now so I am guessing you just don't know what to do with it." He was calling this out to me as I was cleaning the darned terlet. (I don't really talk like that but it's funny sometimes)
    "Come here, I'll show you how to clean it out" he said.

    I came into the kitchen, comet in hand and said, "Hey, why don't you come and let me show you how to clean the terlet"
    We both got a good laugh out of that one


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