I was at Borders on Monday and this is what happened
I'm taking my book at Borders to the checkout area. Behind the counter are three twentysomethings. Let's call them, for simplicity's sake, Abatha, Beu, and Carl. I'm Dhingra, since that's my last name. Abatha and Beu are both girls, and Carl is a pencilly boy. So A. B. C. are standing there in a row, behind the counter, and D, that's me, walks in. The checkout area is shaped such that I have to pass C before I get to B, and I have to pass B, before I get to A. All three of the characters are available to handle my check out.
Who do I go to?
Well, Since Carl is a male, if I bypass him and go to Abatha or Beu, then I've done something "natural" for a twentysomething male like myself. Plus, it looks like he's binding something, so perhaps Carl is not available. Good bye Carl, you can continue being pencilly, with your short black pencil hair and your sweater hugging your pencil of a body together. pencil.
So now it's down to two.
Well if I go straight to Beu, it's logical. Logical because I've skipped the boy in favor of the girls, and she just so happens to be the first girl in my path. She is also standing in the middle of the ABC, so I have a middle-ground heuristic on my side.
But then the gauntlet's thrown down: Abatha mumbles to audience, "letz see, who he is gon' go to first."
So here's the gameplan. Abatha needs some love. But Beu is in the middle, the first girl after the skipped Carl, and ding ding ding, wait, Beu is also slightly hotter than Abatha. And even though both are not really pretty in the scheme of things, Beu does have a slight advantage. Naturally, I think of going to Beu. Besides, what of the alternative? Let's say I skip Beu and go to Abatha. Since Abatha threw down the gauntlet, I've just assisted Abatha in scoring over Beu. The score is a double because I had to bypass the logical middle-choice, and bypass Beu herself. So I had to skip Carl and Beu, basically run the whole counter length to make Abatha's day. Sorry Abatha, I'm picking Beu.
Abatha snakes her head around like exorcism, except she doesn't actually turn her head 360 degrees, she more just jiggles, like a car engine that won't start. She then brings the base of her palms an inch apart from each other and fans her fingers out like bird wings and says, "See, Beu, yu juss exuuude radyance and. warmpth." She said "warmpth" in a way that made her nasty curly hair wiggle, as if her body movements were the grammatical punctuation for her sentences.
And it's as if Beu doesn't even hear the—what would you callit—compliment?
I try to disturb the flow of things by answering Abatha's—what would you callit—rhetorical? I impishly cutely say "Sure." My tone is such that I either mean "sure, Beu's puppy face and chic dyed hair and probable piercings, is, nice" or "sure, you dropped the gauntlet, now you shall be punished." So in essence, I dropped two messages: a flirt for Beu and a "move, get out the way" to Abatha. To Carl, I sent him a, "hey, I'm just some innocent guy caught between two girls' interaction. So commiserate with me buddy."
Carl just rotates parts of his body enough to observe whatever it is he wants to see through his glasses while his hands stay focused on binding whatever it is he's binding. whatever.
Nobody responds. Beu doesn't register my flirt. Abatha folds her arms on her chest, gazing forward. Carl has finished binding whatever. And I pick up my book and rush out of there as fast as I can, hoping to leave this micro-disaster behind.