It’s Saturday and I’m at Walmart picking up my groceries. I get a cart with a busted wheel so things are already bad when I get to the deli.
Behind the counter is a young brother with big ears that stick out underneath his tight blue hair net. I think those ears are supposed to go inside but that must hurt him too bad. I never seen him before but his badge says “Avery” which I like cause it’s where I keep my pigeons at home.
The deli has powerful lights that make all of the food real bright. The ham and salami blaze like fire, and the turkey breast slices are like white spotlights that make my eyes hurt. I can still taste the joint I smoked this morning. I wanna get my meat and get out of here.
There are people everywhere waiting for their tickets to be called. I twist my bad cart up to the ticket machine and tear off a ticket but I get three instead of one, so I smash the machine with my fist. I say sorry to the people standing around but the motherfuckers are all staring at the floor like I’m a stone cold killer. It makes me furious because I ain’t that guy anymore. But I drop my head and count to ten like my therapist told me.
When I finish counting I see a blonde lady with a bob haircut and a snotty toddler standing in front of the sausages being all herky jerky. She’s angry about there being no hot dogs and wants to speak to the manager. Avery says the manager is out sick. She pounds her little white fist against the bright glass and I step in and say she should be respectful to the young man with the big ears because it ain’t his fault there’s no hot dogs. She tells me to mind my business which she shouldn’t do because the last person who told me to mind my business was that limey Julius Francis who I knocked out in under four minutes. I bare my teeth at her and take a bite out of a nearby basket and spit it onto her feet. Then I tell the bitch I will eat her child if she doesn’t start being nice. I regret this right away. She shrieks and runs away so I back up, squeeze my eyes shut and count to ten again.
When I open my eyes people are staring at me so I know I better get out quickly before somebody calls the cops. There’s nobody at the counter so I ask Avery for 2 pounds of pink jumbo shrimp and he snatches a handful and dumps them on the scale which shows 2.7 pounds. He asks if that’s ok even though he knows it ain’t ok and I tell him I will gut him like a fish unless he puts 0.7 pounds of shrimp back. I say sorry and he nods his head like a robot. I ask for a pound of the olive tapenade and when he’s done he puts the spoon back into the herbed walnut potato salad even though three millions Americans got nut allergies. I say “listen brother, three million Americans got nut allergies and you’re gonna give some motherfucker a big swollen face like I did to motherfuckers in the 90s.” He says sorry and I say it’s ok and that he should be more careful.
Then I bend my bad cart towards the meat area and ask for a pound of the sticky honey-glazed ham that is sparkling under the bright lights. That’s when I see a new meat between the chicken and turkey, like a little brown chicken but with longer legs all tied up. The label says “pigeon.”
My mouth drops open and my hands turn into fists. I glare at that dirty motherfucker Avery and beads of sweat appear on his forehead. I tell him those pigeons ain’t done nothing to nobody and he says he loves pigeons and it wasn’t up to him to sell them at the deli. I close my eyes and count to ten and can feel my fists uncurling. Avery seems like a good kid so I tell him about Cus, Kevin, and Frank — my three favourite pigeons at home. They’re the best pigeons in the neighbourhood and he says he’d love to meet them. I say that’s ok but I’m still disgusted about the pigeons for sale and wanna talk to his manager next week, and if I ever find a Walmart pigeon-catcher near my property I will put that motherfucker in a body bag.
I tell him to come by my place tomorrow to see my pigeons and smoke some weed if that’s his thing. I grow the best weed in America. He grins and tells me he will see me tomorrow. I bump the kid’s fist and say sorry for my temper again and he says it’s ok because it must be hard being Mike Tyson. He’s a smart kid and I tell him it’s real hard being Mike Tyson but I try my best. I grab my honey-glazed ham and bump fists with the kid again. I can’t wait to show him my pigeons tomorrow.