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Hardware, Hardcore

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Yesterday I ventured out into the world of Home Depot to find some poinsettias for my home. I discovered quickly that the best way to obtain quality customer service is to go to Home Depot wearing tight black pants and high-heeled shoes. (But, for a man, this strategy would most likely get you punched.) For me, however, this method proved to be efficient at getting plants and plant pots placed into my cart by eager-to-please or eager-to-score employees.

Once all the desired plants had been chosen, I sashayed my way through the hardware department (as it was the only route to the cashier from the greenhouse) and I noticed something quite peculiar. It was two men and, although seeing two men together at Home Depot is not very peculiar, it was what they were doing that seemed out of the ordinary … and not out of the ordinary for two men, but out of the ordinary to be occurring in a Home Depot store. They were having a fist fight. A fist fight had ensued right there between the screwdrivers and the electrical plates.

A small crowd of plaid-shirt-clad men had gathered to witness the action, so I slowed down to get a better look as well. The testosterone was so thick, I was almost clothes-lined by it. One of the fighting men had a look of extreme and painful constipation on his face, and the other fellow had his hands around the constipated man’s neck and was shaking him with what appeared to be murderous rage. I hoped neither of them had the wherewithal to reach for a screwdriver to be used as a weapon—although watching two grown men duke it out at a hardware store with their bare fists is somewhat amusing, seeing it become potentially bloody or dangerous was not something I was interested in staying for.

At last, some of the employees who had earlier been ogling me intervened to save the day. It took four Home Depot workers to break up the scene, and then a lot of walkie-talkie talking and yelling to people named Jim and Gary, “Call the police!” What are the police going to do? Two guys were fighting … big deal. Besides, that was probably the best thing to happen to the customers all day—being able to shop for cord splitters, wrenches, and wooden boards while watching a fight. For a man, I’m guessing it doesn’t get any better than that … except maybe if he also had a can of beer.

While I was loading my plants into my car in the parking lot, I wondered what the men had been fighting about, and I came up with a dozen reasons—none of them good enough to justify hitting someone. Right then, I realized just how much I dislike violence, and I noticed my heart pounding in an irregular fashion. I felt the need to hug someone right then—anyone. But, of course, I was alone with my poinsettias, so I touched a soft red leaf for a few seconds and drove home.


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