Johnny America


Oliv­er Buys Film (Par­tial Scene)


The Po­laroid film is on the end­cap of the third isle in the sec­tion, flanked on the left by a rain­bow col­ored dis­play for a hand-held video game, on the right by a fu­tur­is­tic dis­play for the lat­est elec­tric ra­zor. A flat pan­el mon­i­tor shows an an­i­mat­ed graph­ic il­lus­trat­ing the ex­cit­ing new “triple ac­tion” of the ra­zor, and this draws Oliv­er’s at­ten­tion from the film. He turns his head back to the rack of film, scans up to down, look­ing for a pack­age la­beled ‘600,’ and feels the words, “Look, it’s the el­e­va­tor man,” smack­ing him in the ear.

Oliv­er turns to­ward the small brunette in the yel­low dress, still suck­ing a lol­lipop. He looks from her to the rolls of her moth­er’s neck, to her moth­er’s bulging face, then back at the girl. He forces a smile. “Hel­lo,” he says, and then turns back to­ward the film. He grasps a pack­age, not 600, and care­ful­ly reads the syl­la­bles of each word print­ed on the back of the blue box. As he reads of the “ex­cel­lent re­sults, from birth­day par­ties to foot­ball games,” she tugs on his jacket.

Hold­ing up two video game car­tridges, the girl asks, “Which should I get, Mario Kart or Poke­mon?”

“I think you’d be bet­ter off buy­ing a stick of dy­na­mite,” says Oliv­er, adding, “but if you must choose be­tween those two, go with this one with the pret­ty box,” while tap­ping one of the car­tridges be­fore a word of protest can leave her mouth.

The child makes an ex­ag­ger­at­ed nod and says, “Thanks. I want both but mom­my says I can’t.”

“She looks like a sage, your mother.”

“She’s mean.”

“You’ll man­age.”

Filed under Fiction on July 3rd, 2003

Care to Share?

Consider posting a note of comment on this item:


Previous Post

Next Post


Join our Irregular Mailing List

For very occasional ramblings, word about new print ephemera, and of course exciting investment opportunities.