Monday, May 30, 2005
And the Wind Cried..."Beth."
I've already written a little about Beth, the woman who used to work at the liquor store with me; the same Beth whose mom traded to an uncle for a TV set. That story, sad and depraved though it may be, is but one dimension of this truly original American character. Allow me to fully introduce you to Beth. Be prepared to be taken to a world you would never visit voluntarily.

When I knew Beth she was in her mid-to-late forties, stood about 4'10", and weighed in the neighborhood of two-hundred fifty pounds. She looked like the runaway boulder from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" had grown arms and legs. You'd think these factors would eliminate spandex from her fashion equation, but god damn mother fucking tragically you'd be wrong. In the summer Beth would wear spandex shorts I'm surprised didn't turn to pillars of salt all who gazed upon them. Seeing Beth in those shorts I had to question the motives of a God who would allow my eyes to witness such an atrocity. My very faith was tested far too many times for me to remember until store management posted a new dress code that 86'd all fat-hugging garments. We called it the Beth rule. That's the day we took our GM out and paid for his drinks. Hell, if I'd had the money I would have bought him a house.

Despite suffering from asthma, Beth was a heavy smoker. Her inhaler would never be too far away from her pack of Camel filterless. Yes, filterless; Beth wanted nothing to stand between her lungs and pure smokin' sassisfaction. I'm surprised she didn't just mix tar and cigarette butts in a blender and spread the resulting goo on burnt toast.

In order to smoke as many cigarettes as humanly possible during lunch, Beth would SMOKE AND EAT AT THE SAME TIME. A bite of low-rent luncheonmeat sandwich, a draw off a cigarette. A spoonful of off-brand chocolate-flavored pudding, a draw off a cigarette. It made me want to sit in the dumpster out back and fight rats for my food.

Every payday Beth would buy two 1.75 litre bottles of the cheapest vodka on earth. This shit was made in a flophouse in Newark and strained through old socks. The label featured an artist's rendering of a diseased liver wearing a hat.

Weight Loss
In a noble attempt to lose weight in a fashion that in no way involved diet or exercise, Beth began taking weight loss pills. Unfortunately, a pesky little side effect of the pills was anal leakage. If my road to weight loss passed through the sleepy New England town known as Anal Leakage, I'd have to get off in Fat City. I'd rather be so fat Oprah would put me on her show and pay for the airlift to a weight loss clinic than have a drippy derriere. After a few horrific incidents, Beth made the same decision.


Of course, Beth reproduced. Twice. She was a widow and I can only guess her husband's best day was the day he passed on. He probably willed the heart attack to be fatal. "Oh God," he most likely exclaimed, "if I survive she'll take care of me morning and night. Take me now!"
Her son was a squinty-eyed little pixie with a tiny body and giant oversized novelty head. He looked like a lollipop. We used to call him "All-Day Sucker."
Her daughter was somehow someway attractive, but stump-ass stupid as aquarium gravel. She was, as we liked to say in the liquor industry, a few bottles shy of a full case. She got married the same day she graduated high school to a guy who either spatula'd road kill off of Kentucky's highways or tore tickets at underground cock fights...I don't recall which.

One day several of us were in the break room when someone started reading horoscopes out loud. Normally this would annoy the piss out of me but this time it led to the funniest moment of my life. As everyone was having their horoscope read to them, Beth said, in her patented four-packs-a-day rock quarry voice, "Read mine. I'm Cancer." The room exploded with laughter.
I almost died. Whatever I was drinking at the time shot out of every orifice on my head. I finally composed myself to say, "You certainly are cancer, Beth. You're cancer on the cusp of tuberculosis, with emphysema risings."

In Closing
I'd like to say I miss Beth, but I don't. At least she wasn't twins; that's all I can say in her defense.


Blogger n.v. said...

YNH, let me fly you out here and I'll wear spandex for you. I'll even tumble 4 ya.

Blogger yournamehere said...

If I ever acrue enough vacation time I'll fly out there. I'll even learn to say "Aboot."

I'm really hoping "tumble 4 ya" is some sort of naughty metaphor and not just a Culture Club reference.

Blogger MsHellion said...

I learned to read soully to prevent you from feeling free to write such a story about me, too.

Blogger Evil Petting Zoo said...

beth might be a distant cousin to the West Virginians next door to me.

Blogger n.v. said...

No, just Culture Club :)
It's all aboot the 80's, eh!

Blogger Cincysundevil said...

For some demented reason, images of anal leakage in spandex keep haunting me

Blogger n.v. said...

I have anal leakage. That herbal drink is killing me.

Blogger PusBoy said...

Goddamn, that is some really good shit. I haven't laughed quite that way in a while. Beth reminds me of so many people I'm forced to deal with here in the Bluegrass (and on the Sunny Side of Louisville).

Now, every time I see an overweight woman in biker shorts, I am going to explode in laughter and anal leakage. Family reunions are going to be tough.

Anonymous Chef Lil said...

Yes, I can still remember the first time I heard the "read mine, I'm Cancer" story. It still made me chuckle as those words replayed in a Patty and Selma type voice. I'm convinced funny things happen to funny people. Write on.

Blogger Steve Caratzas said...

I thought this was a hilarious post, as per usual. But I needed a couple of days before responding in order to get the taste of tar spread on toast (and, subsequently, puke) out of my mouth.

Blogger jkldiu said...

I have NEVER EVER laughed aloud in a room alone while reading a blog...until now. I'm crying, stale mascara is now stinging my eyes, and I'm in danger of blowing a snot bubble. Damn you...Thanks

Anonymous Tigerlily and BBStirrd said...

what's weirder...that I worked next to Beth or that I knew all of these stories before I worked at the Likka Sto (thanks to you!)?

Blogger poet1b said...

Fuuuuuckkkk, that was funny.

Blogger katie schwartz said...

mullet-boy, I laughed so hard, I cried. I am in pain from laughing so much. you are SO FUNNY!

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