My friend Somegirl has a big credit she has to spend at Best Buy by the end of the month, and she insists on me coming along in case I need anything. Plus, South Philly has the best pho restaurants and she wants to go to lunch.
So we meet at the new store on Delaware Avenue (or, as you carpetbaggers call it, Columbus Boulevard). I don’t see anything, and she keeps bugging me. “Do you want a CD?” she says. I say no, but I tell her I wouldn’t mind a new telephone – either a speakerphone or something with a headset.
“Yeah, but I have one you can have when I leave,” she says. (She’s leaving right after Thanksgiving for Venezuela, which makes me sad.)
“Oh. Then never mind,” I said.
She starts looking at a portable speaker system for her iPod. “This would be good. It’s small, it’ll be easy to travel with,” she says. She squats down and starts pulling the packaging apart so she can get a better look. In less than a minute, she has the box open and all the styrofoam pieces and plastic bags all over the bottom shelf. She’s methodically taking the thing apart when one of the employees comes over.
“Excuse me, miss, do you need some help with that?”
“No,” Somegirl says, not looking up. She’s still squatting, still intent on getting this thing out of a hundred layers of packaging so she can look at it. “I just want to see what it looks like before I buy it.”
“You’ve removed the security device,” the clerk says. “And you can’t be opening the packages, you’re not allowed to do that.”
“I have to look at it first.”
“Now, you know you’re not supposed to be doing that, or you wouldn’t be down there on the floor like that,” the woman says.
Somegirl looks up at her, dark eyes flashing dangerously. (I know that look.) “Where am I supposed to look at it?” she says with a tone dripping with utter disdain. She then proceeds to ignore the clerk, who finally walks away.
She decides on a different one, and pulls that one apart, too. This time, she hijacks an employee to help her.
Finally, she pays for her purchase and we go to a Washington Avenue pho place.
She calls me tonight and says, “I suppose you think I was a terrible person for the way I was with that woman today.”
“Hell, no. It was funny as shit,” I said.