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Big Trouble When Spontaneity Invaded Barnes & Noble

Kenneth is a rural citizen of Hamilton, Ala., and has begun to observe life and certain things and people helping him to write about them.

Keeping books kept in the right place is a task that  is never-ending for a bookstore manager.

Keeping books kept in the right place is a task that is never-ending for a bookstore manager.

I personally do not have anything against any Barnes & Nobles Bookstore(s). Not one iota. In fact, you could say that I am pretty laid back, sometimes jovial, and even able to perform playful spontaneity when the need affords itself.

And on the night of Dec.9, at approximately 6 pm., CST., that need arose. I heard the call and went immediately into battle. Every good soldier and American should always be prepared as with the American standard: Boy Scouts. What I did in conjunction with a nice amount of caffeine and hot sauce that was baked on my hot-wings was actually rib-tickling now that I look on those few light moments.

My wife and I had taken our middle grandchild, Gabriel, 14, and our baby grandchild, Annabeth, 11, for a good old-fashioned Christmas Shopping outing. Every American should be involved with keeping this American icon tradition alive. Take the grand-kids Christmas shopping, I yell. Soon, our grand-kids will grow into American adults and with us behind them with tons of encouragement, the Christmas trip to buy things will be safe.

After a quick morning meal of sausage and biscuits, (name of national restaurant chain withheld), we set off for Tupelo, Miss., famous for two things: Elvis Presley’s birthplace as well as being the apex for my hometown, Hamilton, Al., and other small towns in the vicinity for Christmas shopping and just shopping at any given day in the week. This town’s motto should read: “Tupelo is Shopping.” I could have taken the family and grand-kids to Memphis, Tn., Elvis’real hometown and do our Christmas shopping, but when you live on a fixed income, you learn to compromise.

My wife and the two grand-kids headed for the very center of “Shopping is Us,” Tupelo: The Mall at Barnes Crossing—a hefty size mall with lots of stores most of them open and small packs of shoppers with grim faces (I’d call their faces determined) running wild like hungry rats seeking forage. I found my usual safe haven admidst the shoppers whose faces were glazed over with stress and sat my butt down on a comfortable bench. I thank God for creating wooden benches in shopping malls. That was His notion from the beginning.

My legs and feet were beginning to throb due to my Fibromyalgia acting up so when I tried to walk around to meet my wife and baby granddaughter, I found it necessary to find yet another good, comfy wooden seat to sit down and secretly hope that our Christmas shopping trek would soon draw to an end and after a hefty dinner, we could set sail for home. Every time we visit Tupelo, for any reason, and head home, that three and a half minute solo performance by Judy “Dorothy Gale” Garland when she finally awakes in her bedroom with friends and the kindly country doctor sticking his head in to check on her and says, “home, Toto. We’re home. And I will never look for my treasure anymore because my treasure is right here at home.”

Bravo, Judy! Bravo, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion! You couldn’t have pulled off a trip of that proportion by yourselves. Bravo, I yell.

But before I got to feel great at home again, we drove by a Barnes & Noble Bookstore and I took an urge to visit the selections of new books and take Gabriel with me for he loves to read and I think right now that I should give a hearty encouragement to all 14-year-old’s in or out of America, to keep on reading. You will thank me one day if you can find me.

Pam dropped Gabriel, Annabeth and me to get inside the Barnes & Noble store for some quick shopping and then get home. And it was just at that moment, maybe the planets were aligned just to the right, I felt such a surge of spontaneity that was too big for me tangle with—so I just went with it. I felt much like a reborn Ebeneezer Scrooge handing out shekels and coins to strangers—a young man opened the door to this store and out of nowhere, I just gushed, “Merry Christmas, son!” and he smiled as only a person encouraged could smile.

Things got better as the seconds rolled by. Annabeth looked for a certain Bible for her older sister, Alexis while Gabriel and I were talking to a clerk, Kim, a cute college graduate studying to be in Medical Management. Still being spontaneous, I had to compliment her on her perfect teeth. I can tell you that her teeth were prime examples of perfect Eye Teeth, Molars, and Incisors. I spotted a quick twinkle on the top set of teeth just like those old Colgate toothpaste ads.

I made some business deal with Kim about a book that I wanted to buy and whoop, there it is, spontaneity hit me again. There was a mild-crowd gathered around the Service Desk and things were rolling along smoothly . . .that was until Kim, being good at her job, ran out my receipt for my book and spontaneity charged me again and I put on a 10-second theatrical performance that would rival that of George M. Cohan. Love that James Cagney.

“ . . .ohhh, nooooo! Hellp! This toner on this sheet of---paper, ohhh, I am getting faint! Helllp me! Ohhhh!,” I said causing the Customer Service Desk manager along with Kim, to have the look of terror on their faces. They looked at each other and did not know (for a quick moment) what to do and or how? And let me tell you . . .that felt far better than finding a black leather brief case that some jerk thew along side of some road and it was full of hundred’s, fifties and thousand dollar bills. If a moment could be equated with being “legal high” then that moment of spontaneity was well worth it.

The Customer Service Desk manager, (forgot her name), asked, “Sir, do you need someone to get to help you?”

I couldn’t pass that up. “Everyone for years have offered to help me and couldn’t do it.”

So with the adventure at Barnes & Noble coming to a conclusion, we said farewell to Tupelo and set our sights on home . . .home, Toto . . .

I’ve already covered the Garland “Dorothy Gale” bit.


  Service desk fun inside a bookstore.

Service desk fun inside a bookstore.

© 2017 Kenneth Avery

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