A Story So True Only One Name Was Changed

Dear Diary-

Today was one of the more “interesting” days at the shop. Just when you think things can’t get any weirder, weird goes to a whole new level.

Remember, Francesca the mean old lady I wrote about a few years ago? Yeah the one who’s pretty much the female version of Monty Burns, except more much more frail and meaner? She was the one I said I wouldn’t think twice about punching in the face if I didn’t have to touch her. Yeah, somehow she’s STILL alive and she paid us a visit today.

She came into get a new pair of spinning shoes, again. How she even has the strength to pedal a spin bike is beyond me. Anyway, as you might recall ol’ Francesca has an extra bone in her foot. She’s never actually showed any of us this “bone” but we all assume that when she says bone she really means left over hoof from her earlier career of bossing around Satan down in the land of H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks.

The last time Francesca needed shoes I’m not kidding when I say she purchased and returned no fewer than 14 pairs until she found one that was just right for her old lady devil feet and acted like it was our fault that she was a mutant.

This time around, Francesca simply wanted the same pair of shoes. Sounds easy enough but of course it wasn’t. Seems her hoof had become more cloven since we last saw her and even though she was trying on a pair of the exact same shoes (thank you Sidi for being never changing) none of the three we had in her size felt like her old shoes and when I suggested that her current shoes were still in perfect shape, she snapped back with a response that since Medicare is paying for the shoes she WILL be getting a new pair of $280 shoes that will never see the light of day. And oh, by the way Francesca drives a Land Rover. Way to do your part to help ruin the country, Franny.

Since I still hadn’t devised an appropriate way to commit suicide using only my keys and pocket lint, I suggested to Francesca that since all three pairs were the same why not try mixing them and see if she could make a pair that met her stringent standards.

She thought that was a wonderful idea and was so pleased she nearly said thank you.

I was just glad I bought some time to plot my own death. And that’s when my phone started buzzing.

I peeked and saw that Emma was calling. Yeah, of course you remember her. She was the rad mountain biking wildcat I met last summer and somehow managed to roll a Yahtzee with.

It’s definitely not every day she calls and I definitely wasn’t going to let it go to voicemail. Francesca was locked into finding the perfect pair of shoes. Couple that with her being half deaf and I was all set.

“Hello,” I say.

What followed was something a million typewriter proficient monkeys would never guess.

“I need some help. I’m sooooo close to finishing but I can’t get there.”

This plea for help was punctuated by a few moans and other noises I have no idea how to spell but by the sound of things Emma had worked herself into quite a lather.

“Sure” I say. “I can do that no problem.”

And of course at this exact moment, Francesca hit the jackpot with a pair of shoes and was now staring me down with her evil, beady little eyes.

“Just a sec,” I tell Emma.

“Francesca, I’m so sorry but a friend is stranded with a bike problem and I need to help her out. I promise it will be really quick.”

With Francesca now standing at arm’s length and locked into my every word like a Vampire Bat in hot pursuit of a snack, I proceed to talk Emma through her problem in my most casual Barry White voice.

“Based on the creaking, it sounds like you need to tweak your nipples a bit. Try giving them a few turns and see if that helps straighten things out.”

“It’s working! I’m almost there!”

“Good. Now focus on the barrel adjuster. It’s that tiny little piece right down near the bottom. Sometimes moving that around can help. Just move it around gently and that should help get things unstuck.”

That did the trick. With a huge moan of relief Emma said thanks and hung up. No other pleasantries were exchanged during that 56 second phone call.

Just as a smile could begin to cross my face, Francesca had to ruin the moment with her shrill little voice “Can you focus on me now? You need to make sure my shoes fit.”

Yep. One minute I’m talking a girl into the Promised Land and the next I’m rubbing an old lady’s feet. Just another Tuesday down at the shop.

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