Sunday, February 17, 2013


Fernando is enjoying himself one evening. He'd dug out his DVDs of The It Crowd earlier in the day and had spent it in a cozy bubble of proper nerdish mirth and awkwardness. That program (or perhaps “programme”) has a great many important life lessons to impart upon the ignorant who seek enlightenment.
A lady enters the store with three kids in tow, between the ages of three and six. Fernando pauses the DVD and greets her. She reciprocates and then turns to her children. “You kids stay right here by me, okay?” She leads them into the Dominion's main aisle and begins to browse the new releases.
Valiant effort, Mom. All for naught, but props are given when deserved. She did her damndest to adhere to Fernando's sign, and for this he cannot fault her.
For her children do the exact opposite of obeying her commands. They promptly evade her grasp and split up into three unbridled mini-cyclones of destruction determined to rearrange the shelves. They giggle and cavort and sow despair within the Dominion's walls. The mother tries reigning in the loin-beasts, but she only possesses two arms and so one member of the fell triumvirate is always able to roam freely.
When at last she herds the trio of children into the Dominion's foyer, she commands them to remain there. “Don't touch anything!” she says. She gives Fernando a sheepish look. “I'm so sorry.”
Fernando shrugs. “Kids happen.”
The lady returns to her browsing. The kids stay in place for a blissful fifteen seconds before one of them has come across a new toy.
Fernando has a very nice, ergonomic, bright orange plastic snow shovel which he inherited along with the rest of the Dominion when he became Keeper. In winter, he leans it on wall separating the office from the entry foyer, between his New Releases whiteboard and the switch controlling the Dominion's interior lighting.
Whunngg goes the shovel's plastic scoop against the wood of Fernando's sales rack. One of the kids squeals and shortly thereafter a second fff-whunngg fills the store. The sound is not one which has much power behind it, but it portended foul misdeeds.
Fernando rises from his seat and walks over to the counter. At the same time, the mother has dropped the case she was reading directly to the floor and bolts into the foyer. She snatches the shovel away from two of her three offspring and leans it against the wall. “Okay, we're leaving now!” she says, gathering her brood and forcing them into the chilly outdoors, whereupon she packs them into her minivan and drives away.
Fernando walks out into the main aisle and replaces Taken 2 in its rightful place. He wanders the rest of the store and rights the wrongs he encounters. He then inspects his foyer. His bag of salt had been tipped over and a small dusting of crystals were mounded around the opening at the bag's top. He rights the bag, sweeps up the spilled salt, and nods.
Then he reenters his office and resumes his journey to a more mirthful place.

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