Working overnight sucks. It’s not too bad on the weekends, but Tuesdays are slow as hell and Tara’s alone until Robbie comes in at 5am. Spinning around on the squeaky stool, she pulls out her phone and glares at the surveillance camera trained on her register. She could always waste some time on ao3 but last time Joe caught her she had to sit through a ten minute lecture about professionalism. Even that sounds better than just sitting here straightening candy bars and gum, though.
She's positioning her phone in what she hopes is a blind spot when the front bell rings. She looks up and hello. Two guys that are kinda old but still way too hot for Hat Creek are looking around by the front door. Tara puts on her most dazzling smile, but lets it dim to normal levels as the one dressed like a lumberjack spends forever smoothing non-existent wrinkles out of the other man's trench coat. Oh well. “Hi, can I help you find anything?”
“Do you have a butcher counter?” Trench Coat asks as he picks up a handbasket.
“Uh, no. We have some ground hamburger in the cold section though.”
“No thank you. Can you point me to the condom aisle instead?”
“Jesus.” Lumberjack frowns at Trench Coat before turning to her. “We don't need you to—”
“It's no trouble,” Tara interrupts. There's no way she's missing out on this. It's the best entertainment she's had all night.
Trench Coat gives her an earnest smile as she steps around him and leads them to the correct aisle. Once there, she moves a few feet away, but keeps herself within listening distance.
“Naturalamb. Gross. So these are made out of lambskin?” Lumberjack asks.
“They’re actually made from a membrane found in sheep intestines.”
“Even grosser. Who the fuck wants to put intestines on their dick?”
Tara can’t help but agree with Lumberjack. She doesn’t even know why they sell them. This is the first time she’s ever seen anyone even look at them.
Trench Coat sighs as if he’s personally offended and Tara has to hide a smile because they are so married. “Sheep and pig membrane condoms have been used by humans worldwide for hundreds of years.” Trench Coat side eyes Lumberjack and somehow drops his voice even lower. “They conduct body heat much better than latex condoms and are thinner, resulting in greater sensitivity and stimulation.”
“Huh.” Lumberjack's voice is a bit strangled and Tara doesn’t blame him. Nobody should be able to make weird animal skin — membrane — condoms sound so hot.
He looks at the box. “Do you really think these are gonna work? I'm not even sure if they're gonna fit.”
Tara bites back a sigh. Of course he's hung.
“It’s an unusual solution to be sure, but they’re technically the correct material.” Trench Coat pulls out his phone. “The dimensions are listed on the website. How large is your iron blade?”
A snort escapes Tara that she quickly tries to hide with a cough. She's dated some guys with weird names for their dicks, but Iron Blade is an entirely new level of freaky.
Lumberjack snaps his attention to her so Tara shuffles farther down the aisle. She focuses on straightening the boxes of tampons, trying to act like she’s completely absorbed in the task.
“Shit, I don’t know. Whatever.” He takes the box back from Trench Coat and throws it in the basket. “I guess all we can do is try and hope for the best.”
Poor guy must have a latex allergy or something.
They leave the aisle and Tara tries to follow along discreetly, staying on the other side of the displays. It looks like the fun part of the shopping trip is over though as they head towards the grocery section. Tara is about to leave when she hears Lumberjack raise his voice again.
“You've gotta be shitting me.”
Tara peeks around the aisle. They're standing in front of the ancient Soothing Soundscapes display. Trench Coat is holding one of the CDs, but she can’t see which one from this far away.
“The harmonization of the chanter and the drone creates a —”
“Fine, throw it in the cart. Christ, this is gonna be one for the books. Why can’t this shit ever happen in Chicago. Instead we're stuck trying to make do in Bumfuck, Michigan.”
“While the close quarters of urban centers work well for —”
“Rhetorical question, buddy. Come on, let’s finish up so we can get this over with.” Lumberjack steers Trench Coat towards the front with a hand on his lower back.
Tara hurries back to her register before they catch her snooping.
A few minutes later they make their way up to her. Trench Coat unloads their purchases onto the conveyor belt and she blinks. The gross condoms, an instrumental Bagpipe CD (Lumberjack must really love him), a day old cherry pie, and ding ding, three of their largest containers of salt. Holy shit.
She struggles to keep her composure as she rings up the items, but she feels like she’s about to vibrate right out of her skin.
Lumberjack winks at her, “Thanks sweetheart. Hey, do me a favor and spend your break inside? It’s nasty out there tonight.”
Tara swallows and nods at him dumbly. Trench Coat picks up the bag and smiles at her and they walk out the front door, bell jingling merrily. She shoots over to the window and sure enough, they’re getting into a big black beast of a car.
She squeals and pulls out her phone, snapping a quick picture through the smudged glass. She skips back to the register as they roar out of the parking lot, pulling up reddit on her phone and quickly navigating to TalesFromRetail.
She sits down and immediately starts a new post. The Salt and Pie Guys are real! Two of them just came into my store!