Date:         Wed, 10 Feb 1993 21:46:33 -0600
From: Bandwidth Pig 
Subject:      WHTM-Tonight

NOTE Linguists: Lots of *real Texas lingo* included!

I got a wild hair up my ass to get a second hole pierced in an ear.
Thought better of it and went out for a haircut instead. Maybe some  too. Wal-Mart, bien sur.

Wal-Mart in Edinburg is *big*. I'm not talking big by small-town Texas
standards. It's bigger than the courthouse. Open 24 hours. There's a
grocery store in it--a friggin' big grocery store. A small cafe, an
optician's, a jewelry store, an auto center, a "hair salon," everything.
You could go in there and never ever come out again, as long as your money
lasted, because they never close.

So I flowed in with the huddled masses, determined to get my hair cut or
get an ear pierced, or both, depending on how bad the hair cutters pissed
me off. Well, an hour later, I was still waiting with the rug rats in the
 area, watching the tail end of Beauty and The Beast, or more
properly, watching a three-year-old named Fabian attempt to dismantle the
video cabinet while his brother Damian punched the back of his head. It
was time to .

Out into the store. I was really pissed now, because I had wasted an hour
and gotten no hair cut, and Damian and Fabian had moved their reign of
terror from the videocassettes to the couch I was sitting on, or rather,
sitting amongst Fabian and Damian as they wrestled with each other. It was
time for action. It was time for the pierce.

The jewelry counter was staffed by two pimply faced girls, one of whom was
sucking on a Slurpee and chatting with her colleague. The other one
appeared to be paging through some sort of confidential Wal-Mart document
on jewelry pricing, so I didn't dare bother her. Slurpee looked up,
started at my unexpected appearance at the counter, and hurried over. Her
mouth was stained red.

"Think I got enough lobe here to whang off another pierce?" I gently inquired.

She reached out and pinched my lobe between thumb and index finger. I
noticed the nails were painted shimmery seashell pink. A few chips, and the
nails were all shaped differently. This, I thought, is the real thing.

See, I have this theory that the only people who should pierce ears are
high-school juniors. Maybe some other time I'll tell you about it. Suffice
it to say they just seem to know what they're doing.

"Yeah," she cracked between snaps of BubbleYum, "you do...Mary? Come over
here and see if you think you can get another hole in here."

Mary, the one with the classified documents, agreed. "Yeah, I could get
one in there. You want it above or below the other."

"Whatever. Doesn't matter. Just poke a hole through it."

Slurpee got serious. "What are you going for? You want two holes in each ear?"

"Naw," I replied, "just the one."

"Ooooh, a ," she agreed. And I swear, when she said it, I
heard wackas.

"How much? Five bucks?"

"That'll be $6.95."

This seemed pretty good, since the last time I had this done, in a
shopping mall in San Antonio, it was $16.00. I was fishing out money when
a question occurred to me."

"Hey, you guys pretty clean about this stuff? I mean, like, you don't
re-use the needles or anything?"

"Oh, yes, ma'am, we use these kits," whereupon she fished out a sealed
plastic container and was about to break its seal to show me the contents
when she narrowed her eyes and asked cagily, "You really gonna do this?"

Well, gentle reader, I confess that although I planned full well to go
through with it, when she brought out that silly little kit, I drawed up.
Talking very fast, I made excuses about how I didn't think I had enough
courage to go through with it, but after the next faculty senate meeting
I'd probably be mad enough to do it, and I'd see them then. I hurried off,
shamed, lowered, exposed for the coward I am.

So I went in to the electronics store and bought two cases of videotape, a
new set of headphones, and a couple of CDs (CD's?). Displacement action.
Then I moseyed over to clothing and picked up a silk shirt.

The hair people began to page me, because they knew that I was ready to go
home, and about 500 Edinburgers got to hear my name repeated over and over
and over again on the PA system.

And then in the parking lot I found a little male kitty. He was friendly
so I named him Sam and brought him home and he's already fought with
Queenie and Rabbit and eaten a huge bowl of food.

Maybe tomorrow I'll get that ear pierced.

-abh