Best Behavior

by Carol Lynn Grellas


If I was a man, I would say things like
WTF, WTF, you asshole! I would twist
the lips of that jerk who rolled his eyes
at me in the checkout line, when I had
thirteen items instead of twelve. I mean,
he actually counted and said I was one over.
Okay, I said, and put the bread carefully
on the metal rack with all the Hallmark cards.
I served the kids bologna for lunch
that week, said I was placing a moratorium
on bread, that it was just too fattening,
poor little sandwich-deprived things.
Well if I was a guy, I would have told that
cocksucker where to get off and the kids
would've had thin slices of wheat on either
side of their breadless bologna; cold
cuts with mayonnaise, and I would've
had the nuts to jam that loaf of Kilpatrick’s
right back in the shopping cart and he could
have kissed my sweet ass till the cows
came home. I might have even flipped
him off, and yelled,
goddammit why are 
you such an idiot?!?
Just like my dad
used to do, in his most formidable voice,
because I’ve always wanted to say that to
someone, even if it was a total stranger. But
the truth is, I was one item over and the kids
were getting pudgy anyway, sporting
little muffin-tops over their incy waistbands,
so I donated my bread money to the Jerry Lewis
fund, which happened to be displayed
right there in a tiny plastic box begging
one item over cash, and I told that son

of a bitch that he'd better do the same

thing, which he did after I winked

twice and smiled politely in his direction.

past simple home