On Friday night I stopped by Jolyn's place because it's been too quiet recently and that always makes me nervous. When I got there she coughed at my face and told me she was dying. As you know, I can't stand it when people overreact or exaggerate, so it was difficult for me to be there.

I ventured off to the store to pick up some supplies, including, per her request, NyQuil.

I don't do NyQuil myself because I believe that the main ingredient to that stuff is POISON. I drank it once about five years ago and I still feel like my spirit hasn't quite returned to my body. I think they need to edit the bottle to say, "to help you fall into a half-sleep FOR TWO WEEKS."

But when Jolyn Metro wants something, I just make sure she gets it. Especially since Jolyn drops anything to help me any time I ask. That is, after hiding a severed head in my gym bag first.

I got to the store, located the NyQuil, and proceeded to the self checkout. I just realized right now how poetic this story actually is. I met Jolyn at the self checkout at this store almost two and a half years ago. I was foolishly attempting to purchase what looked like a year's supply of yogurt through the self checkout and I was dropping things all over the floor in the process. Jolyn was just behind me in line, waiting for me to finish. She began harassing me for thinking the self checkout was an appropriate way to go when purchasing that many items. We immediately became best friends and she hasn't stopped harassing me since.

Anyway, when I scanned the NyQuil on Friday night a message popped up on the screen, telling me to see a cashier.

The cashier approached. He looked to be about 20 years old and seemed to have had it with work that night.

Cashier: I'm going to need to see your driver's license.

Eli: Uh . . . why? Was I speeding?

Cashier: No. You're trying to purchase NyQuil so I need to see your i.d.

Eli: Does this have alcohol in it? Oh my gosh! AM I TRYING TO PURCHASE ALCOHOL AT 11:00 PM ON A FRIDAY?! Please don't tell Cathie!

Cashier: Do you have any I.D.?

Eli: Actually I do but it's in the car. Do I have to go out there and get it?

Cashier: I'm afraid so.

Eli: Do you have to record it or something? Can't you just take my word for it that I am who I say I am? It's just that it's raining and I'm already halfway through the self checkout process.

Cashier: I need to verify that you're at least 18.

Eli: SHUT. UP. Are you serious!??! You think I might not be 18!!!??

Cashier: No offense or anything--

Eli: ARE YOU KIDDING?! This is the best moment of my entire life!!! If you didn't seem so annoyed with me right now I would tackle you to the ground and lick your face!

Cashier: Uh . . .

Eli: Because I'm so flattered. Not for any other weird reason.

Cashier: Uh . . .

Eli: Actually, scratch that licking face part. My mouth filter malfunctioned.

Cashier: So you are older than 18?

Eli: Son. You were probably still breast-feeding when I turned 18. Well, actually, only if you come from one of those weird families where the kids still breast-feed until they're old enough to articulately ask for it. I'm guessing you're about 20 which means you were 6 or 7 when I turned 18. Please don't tell me you were still breast-feeding when you were 6 or 7. BUT IF YOU WERE THAT'S TOTALLY FINE.

He let me go after that, probably because he hated everything about my being there. And I believe there is probably a picture of me up somewhere at that grocery store now.

When I got back to Jolyn's place I told her what had happened, with a huge grin on my face the whole time like some scout had tried to recruit me to be a male model.

Jolyn: Eli, I think you don't really understand what happened. He wanted you to show your i.d. because he thought you might be 16 or 17 years old. That is absolutely not a compliment to you.

Eli: He thought that BECAUSE I LOOK SO YOUTHFUL!

Jolyn: Because you look like you might be going through puberty. When they think you're 21, that might be a compliment. But not when they think you're barely old enough to drive a car.


~It Just Gets Stranger