I stopped into Walton’s General Store today for coffee, and the little girl at the cash register asked “how are you doing today?”

I said “Horrible.”

I always say it to mix things up a bit because the standard answer seems to be “fine.” Their grandma and dog died just this morning, their spouse is cheating with the mailperson, and still they’re on autopilot to say “fine.”

The cashier recovered and asked “would you like your coffee in a bag?”

I said “Nope, just leave it in the can.”

She laughed but still watched me warily from the corner of her eye.

On the way home, I bought smokes at the gas station.

Cashier: “would you like a lighter to go with that?”

Me: “No thanks, I’m trying to cut down.”

Cashier: “Cut down on smoking? That’s great!”

Me: “No, cut down on buying lighters.”

She also laughed but also watched me warily from the corner of her eye. People aren’t sure how to deal with answers that don’t fit a standard pattern.

I miss the Good Olde Days when you had a choice of paper or plastic bags. When asked which one I wanted, I always said “It doesn’t matter. I’m bisacksual.” Most of my victims laughed, and that’s what makes me the happiest.

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