Sunday, August 15, 2010

No Pajamas

They call Ho Sook the pit bull. She works the check-out counter at the local library and eyes every customer with a squint of suspicion. She's been waiting to get the goods on me for quite some time, scrutinizing my record every time I check out, searching for some past overdue fine or something equally incriminating. Her dreams were fulfilled the other day when I wore a new pair of shorts to the library. The shorts are black and decorated with red, yellow, orange, and green peppers, and already they've garnered their share of compliments from a variety of merchants. Marita Vega, the captivating, yet down-to-earth waitress at Wholly Frijoles, gave me a big smile and called them "salsa shorts" when I stopped in for some enchiladas.

But not Ho Sook. Right away, she shouts at me, "No pajamas in library!" (I think her English breaks down during her interrogation process).
--Me (pointing at my shorts): These are shorts, not pajamas.
--Ho Sook: Look like pajamas to me. No pockets.
--Me: There's two side pockets.
--Ho Sook: No back pockets. Pajamas.
--Me: What about the two side pockets.
--Ho Sook: Those are cookie pockets. You bring cookies to bed.
--Me: These are brand new shorts.
--Ho Sook: Where you buy, at pajama store?
--Me: Target.
--Ho Sook: In pajama department.
--Me: I'd like to check out some books.
--Ho Sook: Not in pajamas; too dangerous.
--Me: Dangerous?
--Ho Sook: Nothing holding up pajamas. Could fall down any
minute; upset everybody. Little children cry.
--Me: The world is safe. I'm wearing underpants.
--Ho Sook: I don't want to see underpants; enough to see
--Me: I don't want to show you my underpants.
--Ho Sook: Better not. I call police. They come get you with siren.
--Me: How 'bout I hold my much-feared "pajama-shorts" with one hand to insure they don't somehow slip to the floor?
--Ho Sook: Good idea. Make sure don't let go. Get good grip.
--Me: Where is the sign that says "no pajamas?"
--Ho Sook: No sign. Sign is in my head.
--Me: You need a "no pajama" sign.
--Ho Sook: Maybe I make one just for you.
--Me: I'd like to check out some books.
--Ho Sook: OK, pajama man, I let you go this time, but I write
lotta bad stuff about you on computer; let everyone know about you, pajama man.

Just when I thought my permanent record was clean.