Other Weird Stuff About Iowa

2010 January 6
by mockers

After the boiled peanut thing, I started to wonder what other strange rituals seemed to only occur in Iowa.  For example, did you know that Iowans are the only people I know of that ask people to tell a joke in exchange for candy on Halloween?  I’ve written about this before and someone commented that they would annually encounter an old man that would demand that they provide a “trick” in exchange for the “treat”.  They would dance around a little bit or something and the guy would give them an apple.  They would make sure to go back and egg the shit out of his house later that night.  Other than that, everyone else just seems to say, “Trick or Treat!” and they get the candy.  Kinda lame if you ask me.

Something else that stuck in my mind was the drive-thru grocery.  Once the toofless lady is done running your weekly sundries over the scanner, she would hand you a card with a number on it.  You would walk out empty-handed while some acne-riddled, angry and apathetic teenager would wheel your groceries down a long hallway to the covered  “pickup area.”  You would then go out to your car, drive into the “pickup area” and the pimply kid fills your car with groceries.

Everywhere else I’ve lived, the pimply kid walks out with you, loads your car in the parking lot and sticks out their hand for a tip. There are costs and benefits associated with both methods.

Personally, as a parent of small children, I prefer the Iowa method.  One can make sure that little Johnny is secure and you get a second to arrange the car before you drive to get your groceries.  Your bags never get rained on and they don’t allow tipping.  It’s the better deal all the way around.

On the other hand, it probably makes the groceries more expensive because the company has to build a big goddamned canopy.  Also, on busy days the drive-thru gets congested and it takes forever to get your groceries – I am also pretty sure the bag-loading teenagers get more than their share of carbon monoxide poisoning and eventual retardation of mental processing speed and storage capacity after being subjected to fumes for eight hours a day…I know this because I was once one of them (Hy-Vee #2 baby).  That might explain some things for you guys.

So anyway, I told you that story so I could tell you this one.  It was during my time at the grocery drive-thru that I met my first nemesis.  She was the Gremlin lady.  Her car wasn’t actually a Gremlin…but it had a big heavy hatch like the Gremlin used to have.  She would always come to the drive-thru when we were busy as shit and doing everything we could to keep the traffic moving.  It was like sand-bagging before the impending flood came (I’ve done that too) – you didn’t look at anything, you didn’t think about anything – you just lifted the trunk/hatch/tailgate,  grabbed the bag and thrust it in the vehicle – a million times.  I never, ever saw her coming.

The Gremlin lady had no hydraulic cylinder to hold the hatch open – so I would always grab the hatch, lift it with speed and force and then turn to grab her groceries.  Once I took my hand off the hatch, it would slam down into my skull with all the force that 1970’s Detroit could muster.  I would stumble backwards to remove myself from the jaws of the Carter-era death trap and then will myself to remain conscious through the pain and dizziness that invariably comes with the sharp blow to the head.  After a couple of seconds I could remember who I was, where I was and most of why I was there.  I walked back to the Gremlin and silently filled the trunk with my left hand while I held the hatch with my right.  All the while the Gremlin lady cackled at the top of her lungs at my misfortune.  She sounded like what Gargamel from the Smurfs would’ve sounded like if he had smoked filterless Pall Malls all day. She was clearly an insane masochist that hated teenage boys.

This happen to me about a half-dozen times before I saw her coming.  I careful held up the hatch and loaded her groceries without incident.  I smiled and said, “Thanks.”  She responded, “Yeah thanks a lot you stupid fucking spic!”  Which is most strange as I am not Hispanic.

So anyway, maybe it’s not mockable.  Maybe it’s not even funny.  I’m not sure I know anymore.  I do know that when my wife yells, “What the hell is wrong with you?!” I can point her to a URL that provides an honest account of the carbon monoxide poisoning and blunt force trauma that I endured as a teenage employee of Hy-Vee.  Maybe I should call that guy on the back of the phone book?  He’s a doctor and a lawyer.

7 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 January 6

    Priceless! I don’t care if they aren’t technically mocking, they are still f’ing funny! Keep ’em coming, guys!

  2. 2010 January 6
    Zazu permalink

    Yeh! What she said.

  3. 2010 January 6
    Big Bear In OH permalink

    Hilarious in my opinion, for whatever it’s worth. (Which ain’t much, according to the boss.)

  4. 2010 January 7
    Amy permalink

    Too funny — I was a Hy-Vee kid too. I used to hate it when someone came thru the line, paid in food stamps and then drove their Cadillac up to the drive thru to collect their groceries.

  5. 2010 January 8
    tilly permalink

    indiana has drive thru service too. in case you give one tiny sea horse shaped shitlet about that.

  6. 2012 August 10

    I’m an Iowan and we don’t eat boiled peanuts. That’s an Alabama thing.

  7. 2013 February 26
    I.O.W.A. permalink

    MJ, dumbass, his previous article referred to how they eat boiled peanuts in GEORGIA. No shit Iowans don’t eat boiled peanuts. Derp.

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