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_POSTEDON 2003-02-18 19:44:36 by jimmyd

FYI jimmyd _writes "

I went up to the 7-11 tonight to get some smokes. Yeah, I know, bad habit... but I've had worse--habits, that is.

Anyway, the 7-11 guy is watching me while I'm looking at all the cigarette prices hoping for a special sale price. Suddenly, the 7-11 guy crosses and waves his hands down by his knees, like he's an umpire calling someone safe at home, and he, that is the 7-11 guy, tells me not to pay any attention to the prices on the signs because he has better prices. Ok, I'll bite-- I ask how much for a pack of Marlboro Ultra-Lights (yeah, I know, pussy cigarettes--so my lungs are pussies, ok?).

"Thirty-two dollars a carton tax included," the 7-11 guy says.

You know, I think to make this story easier to tell, I'll just make up a name for the 7-11 guy. Not to be funny, but for the purpose of this story, I'll call him Sabu, which is the only name for guys who come from where 7-11 guys come from I know.

I say to Sabu, "I don't want a carton, I just want a pack. So is that $3.20 a pack?"

Sabu shakes his head, grins, and makes a little chuckling noise. "Oh no, sir. You're making fun with me. Ha ha! $4.60 for a pack."

I love cigarette math. It's so creative. Check this out--here's how regular math works: Let's say you go to the supermarket to buy peas, and cans of peas are on sale for 2 for $1, and you buy one can. They charge you fifty-cents, right? But that ain't the way it works with cigarette math. Using cigarette math it goes like this: Even though there's ten packs in that $32 carton, one pack is not $3.20. One pack is $4.60---that's how cigarette math works. If they used cigarette math for peas, when peas are 2 for a buck, one can would cost you something like two-and-a-half dollars.

I decide to go for the carton. Sabu rushes to the back room, and comes back clutching a carton of Marlboro Ultra-Lights. I'm paying with an ATM card and as I slide my card, Sabu says to me in a very serious voice, "Did you hear the news today?"

"No I didn't," I say as I enter my PIN number. "What happened in the news?" I ask.

Sabu says, "They're building a K-Mart in Iraq."

"What?" I ask with marked skepticism in my voice.

Now before I go on, let me advise a possible few of my readers, and probably any and all of Mike South's readers (who might be reading this) that guys who work 7-11 stores are not from Iraq. They're not Arabs, or Iranians, or Afghans, and they're probably not Al Qaeda either. They're usually Indians. Not the Indians your ancestors butchered, but from India Indians. These are guys who often wrap those towels around their heads and grow those big, bushy beards. I'm only telling you this in case this war starts with Iraq and you suddenly feel compelled to go out and shoot an Iraqi (which you probably couldn't pick out in a room filled with them). So don't go shooting any of the 7-11 guys! They're not the guys we're after. They don't fly jetliners into skyscrapers. They tend the Slurpy machines, they get your Lotto ticket for you, and they give you special prices on cartons of Marlboro Ultra-Lights. So just leave them alone, ok?

Back to the story.

I look up at Sabu. He's grinning. "Do you want to know why they're building a K-Market in Iraq?" he asks hoping-- to Kali or Krishna or whoever 7-11 guys hope to--that I'll take the bait.

I'm thinking this is a joke, but I'm not 100% sure. Why? Because I can't ever remember coming across any 7-11 guys doing stand-up behind the counter. I decide to go for it. "Why are they building a K-Mart in Iraq?" I ask.

Sabu smiles this huge smile baring about twenty gold and silver crowns, "Because there's so many Targets," he blurts out, suddenly moved to fits of laughter at his own joke.

I smile politely, take my cigarettes, turn, and head for the door.

"Come back soon!" Sabu shouts after me. "I've got many more!"


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