What you’re about to read is the written version of a weird dream I had a couple of nights ago while my wife held our TV hostage with a binge session of “Dharma & Greg.”—CLS
[We open on the exterior of a big box grocery store. At the store’s entrance are Glen the Greeter and Travis from Atlas Security.]
[Glenn is a white middle-aged man wearing the traditional store attire: a blue smock with his name emblazoned on the lapel, khaki pants and a white polo shirt. Travis wears a black and gray Atlas Security uniform that looks very similar to a cop’s, complete with badge and gun. He’s also wearing black sunglasses, surgical gloves and a face mask.]
[Glen, busy sanitizing carts with disinfectant, goes to greet a couple in their thirties.]
GLEN: Good morning shoppers! I’m Glen the Greeter, and this is Travis, our head of security!
MAN: (suspiciously) Our grocery store never had greeters before.
GLEN: And we didn’t use to need armed security, but times are different! We want our shoppers to feel safe, not like that filthy Costco!
WOMAN: Well, honey, they’re at least keeping us safe while we shop.
GLEN: Are you ready to answer the secret trivia question giving you access to our freshly stocked paper product aisles?
MAN: What? What trivia question?
GLEN: New store policy. You have one chance to answer our randomly determined trivia question in order to enter the store. It’s super easy!
WOMAN: We can go somewhere else, sweetie.
MAN: No, Jennifer, the man said they had freshly stocked paper product aisles and we need toilet paper. Alright, I’m game. What’s the question?
GLEN: Fabulous! You get one chance to answer, no Googling, and no help from third parties. How many years was Joe Exotic sentenced to Federal Prison?
MAN: Joe who??
GLEN: Surely you’ve watched the most bingeable true-crime docuseries of the hour on Netflix, sir! “Tiger King!” Now once more, how many years was the series’ protagonist, Joe Exotic, sentenced to Federal Prison?
MAN: I dunno, twenty-three?
GLEN: Oh I’m so sorry! You were so close! It was actually twenty-two years. I’m afraid you’ll have to shop elsewhere.
MAN: You’ve got to be fucking with me. I missed it by one year and now I have to drive somewhere else?
GLEN: Store policy. Have a nice day!
MAN: Asshole (angrily mutters as he stomps off).
JENNIFER: I told you we should’ve watched that over the weekend!
[moments later, Glen greets his next customer, a millennial texting someone on his phone, by physically inserting himself in the frail youth’s path. The guy comes screeching to a halt.]
GUY: You’re in my way.
GLEN: Hi! I’m Glen the Greeter, and this is Travis, our head of security. I see you have an iPhone X! Very cool. Do you have the latest version of our store app downloaded?
GUY: Um, no, and I just came in to get beer.
GLEN: I’m sorry, we can’t let you in unless you’ve downloaded our app. It shows you where all the hot zones are in the store and alerts you via push notification when you’re not practicing proper social distancing techniques with other customers. It’s meant to keep you healthy!
GUY: I think I’ll be fine without.
GLEN: Well if you won’t take a few seconds to download the app, I’m going to need to take your temperature just as a precaution.
[Travis hands Glen a rectal thermometer.]
I’m afraid we haven’t had much time to disinfect this since our last customer, but we can fix that right away. Now drop your trousers and bend over!
GUY: Fuck this place! (runs off)
[Hours later, Glen pounces upon a woman who appears to be in her mid-twenties.]
GLEN: Excuse me, ma’am, how old are you?
WOMAN: And what business is that of yours?
GLEN: New store policies, ma’am. We’ve staggered hours by age bracket. Right now the store’s only open for people aged 18-24. How old are you?
WOMAN: I’m twenty-six…
GLEN: Well, You’re kind of attractive, so for $50 and a blowjob for both me and Travis and I’ll let you in anyway.
WOMAN: You son of a bitch, I’ll see you arrested!
GLEN: Have a nice day, hag!
[minutes later RON, the store manager, confronts Glen]
RON: Glen, I just got a call from some woman who said you told her she needed to give you head to enter our store? What the hell are you even doing here? You don’t work for us! Travis, why are you even allowing Glen on the premises? Please escort him off our property!
[Travis removes his mask and sunglasses]
TRAVIS: Blow it out your ass, Ron. Glen’s funny and he’s got incredible weed.
RON: You’re doing drugs with the lunatic going through a mid-life crisis during a pandemic?
TRAVIS: I ain’t doing shit WITH him. He gives me weed, I smoke it in my off hours, and he gets to play “Greeter.”
RON: You’re both fired. AGAIN! The shit I have to deal with these days!
[RON storms off]
GLEN: Well, it was fun while it lasted. Thanks Travis!
TRAVIS: No problem. I’ve got enough hand sanitizer to sell on Ebay at a $5 markup now where I won’t need to work for a few months. Cheers to self-quarantining!
[The pair bump elbows and part ways]