Psycho, aisle 5
Throw together all your stereotypes of a crazed ex and multiply by 100, and that's my friend's ex-husband. We'll call him Norman, after the movie Psycho, because that's what he is. Anyway, I'm in the grocery store the other day, totally minding my business, and literally bump into Norman and a couple of his kids.
"Hi, Swishy!" the kids say.
"Hi, kids!" I say, then look up. "Hi, Norman."
Norman's face gets all red and smoke starts coming out of his ears and his eyes do that crazy swirly thing they do in cartoons. "DON'T YOU DARE TALK TO ME!" he bellows. The lady over in dairy perks up, because holy crap, what a story this is going to be for her book club tomorrow. Crazy man at the grocery store! "YOU TRIED TO GET MY KIDS TAKEN AWAY FROM ME!"
Me, normal voice, basket swinging on my arm: "Uh, no, I didn't."
"YOU TESTIFIED IN COURT AGAINST ME!"
"It wasn't for or against anyone, Norman."
"I KNOW WHAT'S BEST FOR MY KIDS!"
"Oh, yeah? Then why don't you stop embarrassing them by causing a scene."
(Starts sputtering) "WELL, YOU ... YOU JUST GET OUT OF HERE."
(Stifling laughter) "Um, it's a grocery store, Norman."
"I'M SERIOUS! GET OUT OF HERE NOW!!!!"
"GET OUT OF HERE NOW!"
"Oh, so you're a grocery store manager now, Norman?"
(Steps toward me and points his finger in my face) "GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!
(There was a little more to it, but that was the gist.) I did walk away, not because I care about the crazy little man throwing a tantrum between hair products and the frozen food case, but because I do care about the effect it has on a couple kids to see their dad screaming at someone they like while everyone stares in the middle of a grocery store.
The upshot is that I ended up filing an incident report at the police station, which led to this exchange, easily the highlight of the evening:
Officer: Can I see some ID, please?
Me: Sure. (Pulls out driver's license.)
Officer (looking at license): Wow. Wow. I've never seen anyone take a good driver's license picture before. This is really good.
Officer: Oh, yeah.
Me: That's so nice of you, because seriously, I was totally frazzled that day. I finally got all my stuff together, you know, the birth certificate and everything, and then I wait in line and finally get to the front and realize, oh crap, I don't have my wallet. I'd totally left it where I'd had lunch! So then I had to go back and get it, and then wait in line again, and by the time I finally got the picture taken, I was like, I don't even care anymore.
Officer (not even remotely fazed by this barrage of totally useless, unnecessary information): Well, it's great. I really didn't think it was possible for someone to look good in a driver's license photo, but you do.
Me (all of a sudden pretending to be shy and demure, all while crossing my legs and eyeing the officer's handcuffs): Well, thank you.
This is not some random person commenting on my driver's license picture. This is someone who looks at them for a LIVING! So thank you, Norman. If it weren't for your status as conductor of the Crazy Express, I might never know I look hot in my driver's license picture. And with that knowledge, ladies and gentlemen, comes power.