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Miss Bette
A Time-Traveling Pioneer Woman Visits Harm City, U.S.A., Disguised as a Cashier
This afternoon I was checking out at a Harm City grocer behind a white couple in their late fifties. The cashier, appearing to be in her 70s, "Miss Bette" as she was called by the oppressed individuals of color working with her, was ringing out their order when she said, to the woman, "Would you like your milk in a bag?"
The woman then turned meekly to her slightly older looking husband, and inquired, "Dear, should we have our milk in a bag?"
Before the man could speak up, Bette, almost through ringing the order and impatient to deal with the milk, snarled, "Don't ask him! What's the matter with you? What will you do when he dies?"
The man and woman looked at her in stunned disbelief, mouths open, while the black lady running the next lane just grinned and whispered, "That's my Miss Bette!"
Seemingly not pleased that her point had been made, or would be heeded, Miss Bette snarked, "Oh, don't think it can't happen to you! It happened to me! Look at him, he's getting pretty long in the tooth by my estimation—it could be any time now!"
The woman, and the man, appeared to be shell-shocked, unable to speak, so Miss Bette continued the transaction, and her lecture, "In the bag it goes then. Now listen girly, you need to learn how to do for yourself. My old man up and died on me when I was your age. Now I've got a husband younger than yours. I'm going to die on him just like my first one died on me—so I tell him to do for himself. That'll be forty-eight nineteen, and don't even tell me you're letting him hold the money!"
The woman stepped up and swiped a card, and Miss Bette approved, "That's my girl. Have a nice day."
Miss Bette completely ignored the husband and locked eyes on my, "Step on up, handsome. Do you want your drink in a bag?"
"Whatever you think is best, Miss Bette."
"There you go, Fella, in the bag."
Then, with a glance over her shoulder at the couple walking stiff-legged out the door, she stabbed a thumb in their direction and said, "Can you believe that stupid whore? Jesus, Mary and Joseph! If her old man didn't bolt her head on in the morning she wouldn't be able to find it! Have a nice day now, Fella—come back and see me some time."
And off I walked, with my Bolthouse Farms, 16 ounce mocha protein a five-gallon bag.
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