COLUMN FORTY-EIGHT, AUGUST 1, 1999
(Copyright © 1999 Al Aronowitz)
THE CANDYMAN CAN
was 13 and decided I needed a job. Always
broke and already a two time loser in the shoplifting biz, I got a job bagging
groceries and stamping prices at a supermarket in our crappy little hick town in
Iowa. After a couple of weeks of
this I was summoned to the manager's office one day and asked if I wanted to be
the 7 & 8 guy. As in aisles
seven and eight. The frozen food
and refrigerated section. I said
more bagging the groceries of semi-retarded shit-kickers. No more of these dumb asses constantly telling me to put the
eggs and fruit on "top of the cans!”
Now I would have the sanctuary of huge walk-in fridges and locker room
sized freezers. I would prowl about
in the half dark of my frozen goth caves, running grim errands with numb fingers
clutching juice concentrate, frozen waffles and TV dinners.
I pictured myself bursting through the large metal doors in a puff of
cold smoke like the guy with the stupid hair in that Flock of Seagulls video.
No more working shoulder to pimply shoulder with my moron colleagues,
dorks all, with their corny wide ties, fat chick and fag jokes; I was an
independent teenage punk shouting my three chord neck snapping anthems in the
privacy of high cholesterol dairy products and microwaveable nutrition-free
was only one catch. Alas, I would
have to suffer the company of a co-worker; my aisle 7 & 8
"supervisor," notorious freak, alleged pervert and rumored child
molester, Bob Skelly. Skelly was
the prototypical small town Sherwood Anderson loser mixed with some aberrant Ed
Gein jailbait lusting DNA sprinkled with a Bernie Goetz hair trigger persecution
complex---mix well and let stew for about forty years with a no doubt unpleasant
childhood, et fucking cetera and presto! Right.
had certainly seen him lurking about the store here and there but he was the
type of guy who wouldn't say shit if he had a mouthful, so he didn't seem to bad
to me, and besides not being a popular guy myself nor having an exactly sunny
disposition, I figured he couldn't be all bad.
first week of so was uneventful; he told me what to do, I usually did it and
that was that. I did notice though
that my boy definitely had some problems. At
least a few times every shift that we were both there I would catch him doing
some serious ogling at the female teenyboppers who happened in.
He would stare at them and push his lower lip out with his tongue so it
looked like he had a wad of chaw in his mouth.
Then he would begin scratching the outside of his brown polyester slacks
like an attack of eczema was crawling up from his knees.
Soon after he would go into the freezer locker and emerge a few minutes
later and engage himself energetically at the job for the rest of the shift. During my trips to the fridge or the freezer I now began to
look for any sign to see what Herr Skelly was up to?
figured he had some porno mags or girlie pin-ups at least stashed in there and
was arctically wacking his doodle at a paltry $7.50 an hour.
But no evidence. I couldn't find anything incriminating, but what did semen
look like when it's frozen, I wondered? Uh,
ice cream? Ice milk?
Frozen yogurt? I thought about it enough to even consider a home experiment,
but I could picture my mom's face distastefully holding a frosty petrie dish
swiped from the science lab at school, standing in front of the kitchen freezer
saying in a clipped accusatory tone:
I didn't fancy myself the Louis Pasteur of frozen jissom and instead decided to
pop in on the boy after one of his unsubtle displays of lip-licking
wait was short lived. A few days
later I spotted him commencing with the routine while staring at none other than
my home room dolly Dawn Beverage. This
prick is moving in on my territory, I thought, and even though I had yet to say
anything to her, nor she to me, I was fired by the righteous pain of the
cuckold---Dawn Beverage. . .you motherfucker!. . .
waited an agonizing sixty five seconds before I opened the door and entered the
walk-in. In the dim light of the
naked bulbs and sub-zero foodstuffs, Bob Skelly was standing and furiously
fucking a half-gallon of top shelf cocolate marshmallow ice cream.
His left hand held the cardboard container, his right hand with the
middle finger extended was jabbing the vanilla ice cream between the dark chewy
cookies of an ice cream sandwich and from out of the corner of his mouth came a
James Cagney/carny barker sounding staccato chant of lust:
"Chocolate vanilla chocolate marshmallow neopolitan orange sherbet lime sherbet chocolate chololate fuckin strawber. . .I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream!" #
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