Thursday, October 22, 2009

The SEC in the bookstore

This is one of the first times I took Tokie out in his role as the Seeing Eye Cat.

Many of you guys have read of our earlier adventures, but not this one.

I’ve kept two stories hidden, and I’m in the process of trying to find out if the other one can be posted. The other one has only been heard by two Arfcommers, Sgt Hoskins and Offctr.

I’m not worried about the criminal liability of this one because it’s water under the bridge. I very seriously doubt the police are interested in this as of now.

I also never posted it because I sort of lost the fight and the victors write history. I didn’t get away with this one cleanly.

Far away and long ago, Tokie and I wandered into a bookstore. On a short leash, I could make it look like the kitty was leading me around. When we got in the door, I stopped for a moment and said in a clear, loud voice “Is there a service desk nearby?”
A teenager answered, “I’ll come and get you.”

“I heard you. Don’t bother.” I replied. And Tokie and I went over to the service desk.

I took my cane and gently felt around for feet and asked whomever if I was in line. “One step to your right,” someone answered.

I stepped to the right. “One step forward.” I stepped forward. “You got it. I’m the guy in front of you, I’ll get you there,” said the voice.

“Thanks, Pal,”

“Nice looking cat you got there. He ain’t no guide animal, is he?”

“Managed Health Care,” I said. “Bastards wouldn’t get me a dog.”

“Oh, my Gawd!” he exclaimed.

“Hey, half a loaf’s better’n none,” I answered. We made small talk, as we were third and fourth in line. Finally, I worked myself to the head of the line. The teenager asked me what I wanted.

“Do you have a basic book that teaches Braille?” I asked. She proved herself to be an imbecile.

“Down that row,” she started.

“He can’t see. Directions are worthless to him. Take him there,” Said the woman behind me. “Let him take your arm. Damned kids.”

“Either that, or she could tell my cat,” I chuckled. “Thank you.” A few people laughed.

She came around the desk and gave me her arm and carefully led me to the bookshelf.

“Hand me a basic book on learning Braille, please.”

She did, and led me over to the top of a low shelf and opened it.

“I’ll be OK,” I told her. “Just need to show the little guy a few things. Someone will be here to pick me up.”

She went back to the desk. I opened the book to the ABCs part and touched the raised letters as if I were reading them.

Then I picked up Tokie. I touched his paw to the raised letters.

“This is ‘A’”, I said. “This is ‘B’…this is ‘C’…” A few people passed me with a confused look on their face. A couple of the smarter ones snickered. They knew what I was up to.

It wasn’t long before the manager came charging up. She looked like a horrible old harridan with no sense of humor whatsoever.

“What are you doing,” she demanded.

“Seeing if I can teach my Seeing Eye Cat Braille,” I said.

“You gonna buy that book, or what?” she demanded.

“If it works, I’ll buy it. If not, I’m not.” I said simply.

“Baloney. Take your cat and get out of here.”

A big, beefy Irishman interrupted. “The guy’s blind, give him a break.” Then the big fellow tipped his hand. He smirked at me and then winked. I almost lost it then and there, but somehow managed to hold it together.

“He’s not blind!” said the old bag.

“Then why does he have a Seeing Eye Cat?” the Irishman shot back. His breath smelled like he’d had a couple Jameson’s under his belt, sort of like I’ve had as I write this.

“Take your cat and leave,” she said to me. I put the little guy back down on the deck and decided then and there that unless the police were called, I was damned well going to brass this one out. Deny it, even if they have pictures.

“Tokie, we’re out of here.” I said to kitty. Wickedly, I gave the little guy a lot of leash. On a short leash, I could act like he really was a trained guide animal. On a long leash, I was at his mercy, so to speak. “Keep a soft, civil tongue,” I said to the manager. “My animal doesn’t like fast movements or loud noises.”

“Just leave,” she said, sounding like a real shrew.

The cat, being a cat, took a short cut under a bench. I ran into it, almost went ass over teakettle and followed the leash. I crawled under the bench to follow. I got up on the other side and the little guy cut a corner and I plowed into a bookshelf and almost knocked it over. The old bag was not amused.

The big Irishman almost wet his pants.

“Lady, quit scaring my animal.” I almost shouted.

Another ally appeared. A Birkenstock hoofed, braided armpit, liberal do-good Humboldt honey jumped in. Unlike the big Irishman who was feasting on the uproar, this idiot actually thought she had a liberal cause to support. She looked like the kind that got pissed off if you held the door for her. A real mouthy idiot.

There’s one good thing about these idiots, they’ll fight to the death for you if they think that they’re defending something idiotic.

“That’s a guide animal,” the Humboldt honey protested. “You’re scaring him.”

Tokie went under one of those chrome inverted U things with a metal base they put in aisles to advertise specials in. I plowed into it and knocked it down. It got tangled in the leash and I fumbled around with it, set it back up and felt under the crosspiece and followed the leash. I crawled through the hole.

“Lady, you’re scaring the animal,” protested the big Irisher. A glance told me that he was trying not to wet his pants. He was positively amused. On the other hand, out little Humboldt Honey was ready to go to defend the rights of the blind and their Seeing Eye Cats.

“You’re scaring the poor man’s guide animal,” she shrieked.

That started to draw a crowd. A couple more people showed up. The old harridan started to freak.

“Margaret, call the police,” she shouted.

“Yeah! Call the police,” shouted the Humboldt Honey.

“Call the fuzz,” laughed the Irisher. “This old bag is assaulting a blind man.”

A voice from the desk: “What should I tell them?”

“The man’s not blind,” shouted the old bag.

“Then why does he have a Seeing Eye Cat!” shouted the laughing Irisher and the serious minded Humboldt Honey in unison.

“Tell the police the man’s not blind?” asked the teenager behind the desk.

By this time, the cat was the only one in the whole place that knew the right thing to do. He made a beeline and led me to the east wall where there was a door and he started scratching it. It was a fire door, alarmed with a panic bar. I mimed feeling the perimeter of the door.

“That’s a fire door,” shouted the old bag.

“Push it! It’ll get you outside!” shouted the Irishman. I pushed the panic bar, the door opened and as the alarm went off,

I shuffled out the door. The Irishman followed, laughing himself silly.

“I have to buy you a drink,” he said.

The old bag freaked. She ran to reset the alarm and call the fire department to cancel the call. AND call the police. But when she went for the phone, she gave me the instant I was looking for. I scooped up kitty and started off.

“This way, I got a van,” said the Irishman. “And I got a bottle!”

We wove through the lot and the three of us ducked into his van. He had a jug of Irish there, but thank God it wasn’t too full. I took a snort.

He fired up the van and parked it in a ringside seat where we could see through the storefront window. We spent the next 45 minutes in the van peeping out the windows watching the police go into the bookstore, interview people and leave.

The Humboldt Honey took the longest. We both knew that she was trying to hang the store manager for abusing a poor blind man. Finally the poor police officer left. The look on his face was priceless. He looked like he was going to close one eye and fart because he knew he didn’t know whether to shit or go blind! I never pulled a Seeing Eye Cay foray in that township again.

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