It was an otherwise quiet morning at Albeitsuns when a masked gunman hoisting a machine gun stormed into the store and screamed, “EVERYBODY DOWN OR EVERYBODY DIE!”
Mr. Yoger, the store manager was standing nearby supervising the front checkouts when he suddenly recognized the gunman’s voice.
“Hector?” Mr. Yoger asked calmly.
“‘Sup Mr. Yoger,” Hector pointed his gun at Mr. Yoger’s face.
“So there isn’t any other way to settle this?” Mr. Yoger asked calmly. He was not in the least alarmed or concerned about this potentially deadly situation. His two tours in Vietnam certainly taught him well.
“What do you think?” Hector snapped. “You store managers with your 150 million dollar salaries taking away our pay so you can live it up while the rest of us go down!”
“150 million dollar salary for being a store manager?” Mr. Yoger chuckled. “Where’d you hear that?”
“Where else?” Hector replied. “Through the grapevine.”
“Are you sure it wasn’t poison ivy?”
“Look man,” Hector snapped as he shook his gun, “you had no call to fire me last week.”
“You forget why I fired you,” Mr. Yoger explained, “I caught you and the other stock clerks gambling in the stairwell.”
“We was helping each other out, man!” Hector shouted. “None of us can afford to pay the bills no more! I lost my car and I’m fallin’ behind on my rent! I’m broke, man!”
“Yet you were somehow able to afford a machine gun,” Mr. Yoger observed.
“You really gettin’ on my nerves, man!” Hector yelled as he pointed the gun at Mr. Yoger’s nose.
“Um, Hector, can I show you something? It’s at the service desk.” Mr. Yoger motioned towards the service desk in the background. “Give me a minute and I’ll get it for you.”
“45 seconds!” Hector cried.
“Fine, make it 30 if you’re that impatient.”
Mr. Yoger nonchalantly strolled to the service desk and had the clerk retrieve something from under the counter before he returned with what appeared to be a thick stack of envelopes.
“Do you know what these are, Hector?” Mr. Yoger asked. “These are your paychecks which you never picked up. They’ve been at the service desk all this time. But did you ever bother to pick them up? No, you found it easier to go without your pay so you could resort to gambling in the stairwell!”
Hector was trembling with rage and made one last futile effort to calm down.
“AAAAAARRGGGGHHHHH!” Hector screamed while raising his gun and pulling the trigger.
An eerie silence followed. Both Hector and Mr. Yoger stared at each other in what felt like an eternity.
“You got that gun from the toy aisle, didn’t you.” observed Mr. Yoger.
“Awww, spill the ketchup and play dead already! I’m outta here!” Hector screamed before running out of the store, where the police were waiting to take him into custody. Everyone was left standing still in an awkward silence, not sure how to make of the bizarre scene just concluded.
“Well, that was interesting,” Mr. Yoger sighed before eyeing the checkouts. Customers and cashiers alike were standing there with their mouths open. “All right, let’s look alive! Back to work!”
And the checkouts slowly churned back to life under Mr. Yoger’s watchful eye.