Still, the stale smell of the store when we walked in was almost enough to make me urp. Even my brownie intake has suffered. It’s amazing how little you want something you love when you’re constantly bombarded with it every day.
Once again, Mr. S’Naus Ages was there to greet us. “Hurry now, hurry. The doors will be opening up any minute.”
“Why….what’s happening today?” I asked wearily.
“Don’t you know what day it is? It’s clone trooper appreciation day! It’s kinda like Labor Day but for just clone troopers. They’re all off today so I set up another promotion. All clone troopers get a free brownie. Ain’t that great? Didn’t you see the line of them outside?”
“Sorry, must have missed it when I had to park my speeder in Bom’Fok Egypt!”
“Never mind. Where’s my apron. Let’s get this over with.” What a tool…
Surprisingly there were few instances with the Clone Troopers. But I think they were trying to get extra samples.
“I’ll take my free brownie, please.”
“Eh sure…hey, weren’t you here just an hour ago?”
“Hmmm….are you sure?”
“Oh, absolutely.” Some more snickering. “Must have been someone else. We do look a lot alike.”
“Then what’s that dark stuff on your helmet?”
I gave him his brownie as other troopers in line started to laugh. ….Clones!!!
Other than that there wasn’t any problem with the clones…with us anyway.
There was that one skirmish when a family of Wookies waited in line for a dozen Fluky Fudge Ripple brownies and the clone right in front of them took the last ones.
Yup…the mall clones had to be called in for this one.
Later, a gran walked up to the counter and took out a sack and dumped its contents out. Inside were old candy bars of various stages of decay. I looked up at him perplexed. “What’s this?”
“um….do you guys except trade?”
“Uh….yeah. there’s some nice chocolate here. Wookiee Ways, Twi’lek Twix, even a Three Mustafarian.”
“no. We don’t do trades!”
“But they’re still good…”
“We don’t do trades. But I hear there’s a video game shop on the next level that will take almost anything. You can try them. Ask for Becks.”
“Oh cool. Thanks!”
“I knew it….damn gamers….”
Only three hours into the day and the line is once again huge. “Okay….next,” I announced wearily.
Some mall kids walked up dressed in oversized clothes dully tie-dyed. Their long hair and lazy eyes pegged them for slackers. “We’d like a fudgy brownie, Mr. J.J.”
“Sure thing, kid.”
“And could we like get your autograph too?”
“You’re like…our hero man. Before your brownies…we were like…lost, man. Then those brownies, like, showed us the way. We’re Brown-ites, man. We heard your plight on the radio. This new song is playing all the time. So we thought we’d come down here and see you in person-like. I even got, like, posters on my wall man.”
“No, of your brownies man. Cool posters with day glow colors and stuff. They glow with my black light. Wow. I can’t believe we’re actually talking to you. Where’s Mr. Jinn?”
“He’s in the back making a new batch.”
“Oh…bummer. Tell him Tony said hi.”
“Eh…sure thing kid. Here’s your brownie.”
“Wow…a brownie given to me by J.J.’s own hand. Righteous! Oh…and can we have your autograph man?”
“Well I don’t have a pen. …but here. Take this napkin.”
“Cool. Can you first wipe your face with it?”
A smartly dressed Aqualish stepped up. Suddenly a strange chiming-bubbling sound came from his pocket. He took out his cell phone. “Hello? Oh hey No’otsa. How ya doing?”
“Um…What would you like, sir?”
He held up his finger at me to wait. “No, no, I’m not doing anything…”
“Sir, you’re holding up the line…”
“Hey….I’m on the phone here, buddy. One moment…”He then returned to his call without skipping a beat. “No, it’s nothing. Just some rude guy. So…how’s the kids? …uh huh……and the misses? …..uh huh…..and your plants? ….uh huh….”
“Next.” I yelled out. A Bith tentatively stepped forward.
“Hey! What are you trying to do, buddy?” The Aqualish threatened the poor Bith. “Don’t try to cut in front of me.” He certainly was cantankerous for having so many ‘buddies’.
“Sir, if you are not going to order, I need to take the next person in line.”
”What do you mean? I’ve been waiting in line for an hour.”
“Then what would you like?”
“Just one moment. Can’t you see I’m on the phone? Now you can wait for a moment…”
“I’m sorry sir, I’ll need to help the next person if you…”
“Hey, I’ll call you back. I’ve got some teenage Muppet giving me lip.” He then closed the phone and looked right at me. “I want to see your manager.”
Sigh. Here we go again. Bif walked up. “What seems to be the trouble?”
“You’re little helper here doesn’t want to serve me.”
“But…he was on the phone…the other customers…” I tried to explain before the inevitable…
“J.J., don’t you know by now, the customer is always right. Give him a free brownie of his choice.”
“But you are rewarding his behavior!!!” I threw down my paper hat and jumped up on the counter so my voice could be heard. “If you tell people who go to these kind of places that they have a right to do and say anything they want… that they can be as rude or obnoxious or as obtuse as they want to be and get away with it…that no matter what they do or say they are always right then you are just perpetuating the problem and creating a type of customer who is spoiled, indulgent, and unfeeling. We’re here to help the public but not at the expense of being someone’s doormat. We may serve you but we are people too and it’s high time we got a little respect!!!!”
…okay….I didn’t really jump up and say all that. …but I thought it…as I handed the smirking Aqualish his freakin’ brownie.
I also thought about taking my gun and blowing a hole through Mr. S’Naus Ages head. …that was kinda nice too.
“Evening, J.J. A green riddle chunky monkey I would like.”
“Master Yoda. What a nice surprise. It’s good to see a friendly face here. You can’t believe what kind of week this has been”
“Almost over, it is. Then rest you may. Very busy you are, so your time I will not waste. For me, just a brownie.”
I wrapped up his brownie and gave it to him.
“Oh, also need twelve dozen more to go, I will. Late Jedi meeting tonight. To bring the snacks, my turn is.”
I suddenly heard the crash of dishes hitting the floor in the kitchen.
“Fresh and warm I hope they will be, too.”
Followed by Qui-Gon’s loud screams.
Two hours after we were suppose to be closed; Bif walked in and locked up the doors. “You guys did well today. This week has been great, don’t you think?”
”eh….yeah. Sure.” I replied without the will to live. “At least the week is finally over and we can get our spice permit.”
Bif looked at us surprised? “Over? You still got the weekend.
“The…what…?” Qui asked. His eyes twitching something fierce.
“Why, the weekend. That’s part of the week too, you know. Oh, and you better get all pumped up. Weekends are busy. Really busy. Not like the weekdays.”
“But…..but……but……but….” I now understood I-SUC’s determination to end it all.
(Read the exciting weekend conclusion at the Lost in Spice blog this Sunday.Hoo-Boy! It’s a doozy!!!)