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..: stories

Little Guy poses with one of the brothers.

..: Something For Nothing

Yesterday kj and I were at SAV-ONs. It was your normal convenience store excursion, really. We went and picked up some sort of salt in a box, and some milk. At the register, I put our items on the counter. The cashier reached down behind the counter, and emerged with a small, plush creature. It was white, with a big nose and a smile that went ear to ear. His eyes were permanantly looking to his right, and he wore a strange little t-shirt with a Kodak logo on the back. The cashier handed the creature to me and said "this is for you." A little startled, it took about 1.4 seconds for me to realize that this man was giving me something for free. Right here in Palms, I was getting something for nothing. I began to give this little white creature to kj when the cashier emerged with another one identical to the first. "And this one is for your girlfriend" he said. Now I was even more startled. Clearly they had no shortage of these little things.

I gave both to Karen, and she held them close to her, turning them over for examination. The cashier began to ring up our purchase. I couldn't help but to think about these two twin creatures, and their maniacal smiles. If we took these two home with us tonight, we would have to keep them, take care of them, and I would have to learn their personalities. I would have to nurture their characters, protect them, keep them from getting into trouble and from getting lonely. I would have to endure countless drives to Irvine talking to them. There would be rules about where they could be, where they couldn't be. I thought about Little Bird, and how he was already a handful, and about the time Little Bird jumped from the Xterra into the water, and how we had to ground him. And Peanut, who couldn't be left on the ground, and needed lots of attention and help for his simple life. I couldn't yet fathom what kind of future our family would have with these two new twins, and so I had a bit of panic. Would they have to go everywhere together? Would they suffer from anxiety when separated? How would I tell them apart when only kj could? Would one be evil, making it that much more important to learn which was which? God help me, when I walked into SAV-ONs tonight I was not ready for this burden!

It was then that I didn't hear the cashier ask me if I wanted cash back with my ATM purchase. "Uh, yes," I said. And then I took one of the twins from Karen's hands. She was still looking them over, probably already assigning them similar yet distinct personalities. I placed one of the twins on the counter.

"Um, we're going to give this one back to you" I stated.

"Really? Are you sure?" the cashier asked.

"Yes, I'm sure" I said.

Kj gave me a look, and we picked up our bag. By now the cashier was giving away more of these creatures to the small family behind us in line. Everyone got one. Mom, daughters, baby, Dad. Everyone was thrilled. Clearly, they were amateurs.

It's been a day now, and already I'm finding out who this creature is. Turns out, his name is Little Guy, which is short for Little White Guy. He likes to pick his nose, and clean the dash of the Xterra. We already took him home and introduced him to Kwame, who takes special pleasure in showing all the new animals the ropes, telling them the rules of the apartment and introducing them to the rest of the family.
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