“You want your receipt?” asked the fat cashier in a blue vest. The vested woman did not make eye contact. She did, however, continue to dance with her hips to the loud hip hop music pumping through the drugstore.
“Sure,” said Ellen. She didn’t know why she said this. It’s not like you could write off a candy bar.
“Hang on,” said the lady. “Ooo child things are gonna get easier,” she sang, to the throbbing dance mix of this song that everybody knew but nobody knew exactly who sang it or why. Meanwhile the receipt kept printing out.
“Huh. Yeah. Do it. Unh.” sang the receipt woman, thrusting her hips at the cash register. Did she know that she was at work? wondered Ellen. Is this a drugstore or a dance party?
“Hey girl! You hear that Jalinda got sent home yesterday?” shouted another cashier who was checking out a lady who was furtively buying tampons. The lady looked spooked by the heads turning in her direction. Now everybody was going to know that she used OB tampons, the kind that came without the applicator, for environmental reasons, but when a tampon has no applicator, everybody knows what that means.
“Oh yeah I heard girl,” shouted Ellen’s fat dancing lady. “That girl got caught stealing lipstick. And the hot pink ones. That shit is tacky. Ooo child things will get brighter—”
“I don’t need my receipt,” said Ellen, “It’s okay.”
“Just hang on girl, why you in such a big rush?”
“I gotta get back to work,” said Ellen.
“Oh yeah, work. We know what that’s about, don’t we Hibisicus?”
“Sure do, yo. Next in line step down!” shouted Hibiscus as the lady with the OB tampons scurried out of the store with her head down. Hibiscus let out a Maria Carey-esque shrieking high note as a man with a bag of cat food approached the counter.
The receipt continued to print out.
“How long does this receipt need to be?” asked Ellen.
“Oh no, you’re not gettting impatient. Don’t tell me you’re getting impatient,” said the woman in the blue vest. Ellen looked at her nametag. Faniqua.
“No, it’s just that–”
“…walk in the rays of a beautiful sun….” sang Faniqua. “Here.” And she ripped off the receipt and handed it to Ellen. “Have a nice day.”
Later that evening Ellen unfolded the receipt and measured it. It was 14 feet long. She read it. There were 53 ads on the receipt, 12 medical warnings, and 24 coupons for dental floss, baby food, fiber supplements, and rubber gloves, among other things.
Right in the middle was the bill for her candy bar. Twix. $1.00.