Miles Longworth and Alejandro Heckinbury just started at the overall-clad customer in front of them.
"You're suggesting we lug four hundred pounds of rock for you to Hilda test our picnic tables?" Miles asked.
"What?" Miles said.
"Just thinkin'," Alejandro replied.
"Of?" Miles asked.
"Monty Python," Alejandro whispered.
"Seriously?" Miles asked.
"The mind of Alejandro works in mysterious ways," Alejandro said.
"Let us have it," Miles mumbled. There was no stopping Alejandro. If he had something to say, he said it, and allowing him to do so was the only way to move the day onward.
"Are you suggesting that coconuts migrate?" Alejandro squealed.
"Where did that come from?" Miles asked. The customer waited patiently.
"You said, 'are you suggesting, blah, blah, blah,' and that just came to me," Alejandro explained.
"Is that that Monty Python fella who did all those crazy movies? I saw this one with my grand boy, fella was whacking this poor knight almost to death, one limb at a time. Crazy shit, that was." the customer said.
"That's the same movie," Alejandro said, jumping up and down.
"Hello?" Miles said, sounding disgusted. "Remember me? The skinny-ass guy you want to lug four-hundred pounds of rock."
"Most apologetic," Alejandro said. "Just gettin' to know my customers a bit better, and having a chat about the beloved quest for the Holy Grail, Monty Python style."
"Perhaps we could focus on something Tommy's Tool Town style," Miles said through gritted teeth.
"I s'pose," Alejandro said, and the customer chuckled.
"Was that Monty Python I heard you quoting?" Wilton Scott said, as he passed by on the way to begin his shift.
"It was, indeed," Alejandro said.
Miles Longworth shook his head, and sat on the edge of the picnic table. "This is just what I need," Miles mumbled. "Two knuckleheads quoting Monty Python and absolutely no work being done."
"Gots me an idea," the customer said, ignoring Wilton and Alejandro, a feat Miles couldn't seem to conquer.
"What's that?" Miles asked, trying to tune out the antics of the two young men to his left.
"What'd you go for?" the customer said.
"I beg your pardon?" Miles asked.
"What'd you go for?" the customer repeated.
"I'm not for sale," Miles replied.
The customer laughed, slapped his thigh. "I ain't lookin' to buy ya. I's wondering how much you weigh."
"Oh. About one-nighty. Could be a few pounds more. The wife made lasagna last night," Miles said.
"And this crazy red-headed kid. What's he going for?"
Alejandro and Wilton stood ten feet away, acting out a scene from Monty Python.
"Alejandro!" Miles barked.
"I am not Alejandro! I am Roger the Shrubber."
"You can be 'Roger the Shrubber' later when the Outside Lawn and Garden truck gets here. For now, you're Alejandro, and I'd like you to come here, please," Miles said, losing his patience.
"My apologies. How may I be of service, sir?" Alejandro asked, looking sheepish.
"What do you weigh, Alejandro?" Miles asked.
"A lady never answers that question," Alejandro said, sounding like Marie Antoinnette.
"Dear God give me strength," Miles said, as the customer stood slack jawed.
"My oh my. I ain't never been to any store like this. I caint get a straight answer outta anyone, but I don't imagine I ever had so much fun in a shopping establishment," the customer exclaimed.
"We aim to please," Wilton Scott said, and Miles shot him a look that shut him up immediately.
"Alejandro?" Miles said.
"About two-twenty, but I'm trying to lay off the Twinkies," Alejandro said.
"Ever had 'em fried?" the customer asked.
Miles rolled his eyes. Here we go again!
"Fried Twinkies?" Alejandro said, resuming the jumping.
"Hilda done turned me onto them. No wonder that gal had to upgrade to a Doublewide. She gots herself one of them scooter things. We all went up to the state fair last year, had ourselves some deep fried Twinkies. Uncle Hank, he ended up with a pacemaker, but they didn't think it was Twinkie related," the customer said, as Alejandro remained riveted.
"Fried Twinkies?" Alejandro repeated.
"That's what I's saying, kid," the customer confirmed.
"Sir, I don't mean to be rude in any way or fashion, but you mentioned you had an idea before you asked us what we weighed, and got off on the fair/Twinkie/Hilda's scooter tangent," Miles said, trying to get everyone's mind back on the task at hand.
"Oh, right. I almost forgot," the customer said. "I go for about two-sixty. How about if I sits on this thing, and this red-haired fella here, he sits on my lap. That'd put almost five hundred pounds on the bench. Hold us, ought to hold Hilda, right?" the customer asked.
"Seems reasonable," Miles said.
"This way if the Jenny Craig backfires and that old gal gets even bigger, we should still be able to get through a family Barby-Q and not have to call 911."
"Mind if I stick?" Wilton Scott asked.
"May as well," Alejandro said, sounding southern again. "Ought to have witnesses, and perhaps you and Miles could create a shield of sorts, so no one sees me sitting on the lap of a fella who obviously isn't Santa Claus."
"Played him once for the kids at the VFW," the customer said.
"Oh? You don't say," Alejandro remarked, and Miles made a hand gesture that was universally accepted as the sign to "zip it."
"Wilton? Would you stand beside me please?" Miles asked.
"I'd be happy to assist," Wilton replied.
"I never did get my pony, Santa," Alejandro mumbled.
"Zip it," Miles said, and Alejandro sulked.
The customer sat on the corner of the picnic table, and patted his lap. Alejandro cringed a bit, but obliged the customer. Miles and Wilton held their breath, and the picnic table moaned a bit, but otherwise did well throughout the experiment.
"How about that!" the customer exclaimed. "You folks just sold a pickynick table!"
And it only took an hour, Miles thought.
"Now let's get 'er loaded," the customer requested, pointing to a pickup truck that had seen better days. The back was packed with every imaginable piece of crap discard.
"Where we gonna put it?" Miles asked.
"We'll just load her on top. She won't go anywhere!" the customer assured.
"I don't know about that," Wilton commented. "She seems to be sagging and tipping toward the right."
"Hilda rides shotgun," the customer said.
"Gotcha," Miles replied.
The four men, customer included, loaded the picnic table on top of the assorted junk in the back of the pickup. "Let's tie her in," Miles suggested.
"No need," the customer said. "I'm only going a mile or two."
"If you say so," Alejandro remarked.
The customer heaved himself into the pickup, jammed it into gear, and hit the gas pedal. The truck lurched back, and the table slid off in slow motion.
Wilton ducked, Miles covered his eyes, and Alejandro grabbed his cell phone, and hit the app for video.
The customer pulled the truck back into the spot where the disaster had begun, revealing the carnage behind him. A little gray sports car peeked out from beneath a picnic table on its roof. Only the rear of the car and the license plate were visible. The plate was custom, and bore only four letters.