Close Encounters of the Crazy Kind


Mavis has always had a particular affinity for gardening, planting everything from vegetables in her garden to flowers around anything that would stand still long enough for her to dig a hole in the ground and place a plant there.  She had recently finished planting her vegetable garden this particular spring, so her attention turned to planting a few flowers around the front door of her house to give it a little more color.  She had an idea in her mind to plant petunia’s on each side of the steps, but the immediate problem facing her was the fact that she didn’t have any petunia seeds available.  Mavis, however, knew where she could get her flowers already in bloom.  All she needed to do was dig them up and replant them, giving her instant color around her door.

Her friend Tiffany was also an avid gardener, and Mavis knew that Tiffany would be the perfect side-kick to go with her to help gather her flowers.  She decided to call Tiffany to ask her if she would be interested in accompanying her.  When Mavis called, Tiffany said she needed to ride into town that morning to get new tires on her car and asked Mavis to go with her, and then they would go collect the plants.  Never being one to turn down a trip anywhere, Mavis readily agreed to go.  Before you could click your heels together three times and say “horticulture,” Mavis and Tiffany were off on their little excursion.

As they were traveling to Sam’s Club, Tiffany told Mavis about how she had called earlier that morning and talked with a salesman who told her she could get “brand spanking new tires” at a mere thirty nine dollars.  Tiffany jumped at the chance to get such a deal, so off the two went to get what was sure to be the best deal in town on tires.  In the process of talking about their plans for that day, Tiffany’s car started to choke and cut off.  As she pulled off onto the side of the road and looked at her dashboard, she saw the tell-tale sign that she had run out of gas.  “Well my God, Mavis,” Tiffany said, “I can’t believe I’ve gone and run out of gas right here.  Can you believe this?”  Mavis, rolling her eyes and then looking at Tiffany, said, “Well didn’t you know were getting low?  How long’s that light been on anyway?”  Tiffany responded, “I have you know I wasn’t the last one driving this car, thank you very much.  Roy had it out gallivanting all over the place yesterday.  It’s a wonder there was any gas left in it at all.  Now I guess we’ll just have to sit here until somebody comes along and helps us out.”  Roy, Tiffany’s husband, did indeed have the car out the day before, but had told Tiffany they needed gas before she went anywhere.  Tiffany, however, chose to keep that little tidbit of information to herself.

The two didn’t have long to wait on the side of the road.  After about five minutes, a state trooper pulled up behind them and casually walked over to the driver’s side of the car.  “What seems to be the problem ma’am?” asked the trooper.  Not being one to ever admit fault was a trait both these women shared, which is most likely why they were such good friends.  Tiffany responded to the trooper, “Well, my friend here let her car run right out of gas and has got us stuck sitting here like bumps on a log.  You wouldn’t by chance be able to help us out, would you?”  The trooper looked at the two women and immediately said, “Yes ma’am, I just so happen to have a small tank of gas in the trunk that should get you to the next station.  Sit tight and I’ll go get it.”  The officer went back to his car.  Mavis looked at Tiffany and said, “Why on earth did you tell that man that I was the one that ran out of gas?  I ain’t drove this car; heck, it ain’t even mine!”  “Hush up,” Tiffany retorted, “I didn’t want to be the one to look stupid.”  Mavis huffed, “So… you’d rather it be me to be the one to look stupid, huh?”  Tiffany answered, “Well, he don’t know us from Adam’s housecat, so what does it matter?”  Before Mavis was able to begin to tell Tiffany exactly why it did matter, the state trooper was back and pouring the gas into the tank.  Thanking the officer, Tiffany drove off and stopped at the next gas station and filled the cars tank.

Now that they were back on track for their scheduled outing, neither one mentioned the encounter with the state trooper.  Both Mavis and Tiffany returned to the usual chit-chat about what was happening with people in the neighborhood, who was sick, who was getting better, who recently had their hair colored, etc.  The next thing they knew, they were in the Sam’s Club parking lot and were going inside to get Tiffany’s tires.

When they arrived at the counter in the automotive department, Tiffany relayed the message about the tires to the salesman at the counter.  The salesman listened to Tiffany’s story, but when it came to the price she quoted, the salesman had to stop her.  “I’m sorry ma’am,” he said.  “The particular tires you’re talking about are eighty nine dollars, not thirty nine.  You must have misunderstood.”  Tiffany was taken aback that anyone would contradict what she had just told them.  “I most certainly did not misunderstand a single thing!  The man I talked to said they’d be thirty nine dollars.  I suggest you go talk to him and get it straight,” she said matter-of-factly.  The salesman responded in the best way he knew how, “I’m afraid I’m the one that talked to you on the phone, ma’am, and those particular tires are eighty nine.”  Tiffany, being the short-tempered lady that she was, had completely lost all patience by this time.  “Then you either don’t know what you’re talking about, or you’re simply retarded!  I know what was said in that conversation and I darn well expect you to put these tires on my car for thirty nine dollars!  Now hop to it!”  “Ma’am,” the salesman replied, quite perturbed but trying to be calm, “These tires are eighty nine.  I did tell you, however, that we did have some thirty nine dollar tires.  They won’t last as long as these, but they’re still good tires.  I can put those on, but the ones you’re referring to are eighty nine dollars.”  Tiffany huffed, but went to take a look at the tires the salesman was talking to her about.  She returned and said to the salesman, “I guess they’ll do, go ahead and put them on the car.”

While Mavis and Tiffany sat in the waiting area, Tiffany began to mull over the conversation from earlier.  Still unsatisfied, Tiffany looked at Mavis and said, “You know, I’m going to ask again about those tires.  I think that little Jack-leg was trying to pull the wool over my eyes.”  Mavis, being a bit on the embarrassed side having to endure the scene with Tiffany from earlier, said, “Well you go do what you want to do.  I’m gonna sit right here.”  Tiffany looked at her and said, “You do that.  I’ll be back in a jiffy.”  As she looked around the automotive section, she found another salesperson to ask about her tires.  She explained to him what had transpired over the phone and in person, and inquired as to whether the tires she originally wanted might have been on sale and the other salesperson simply wasn’t aware of such a thing.  This salesperson, however, agreed with the first one and told Tiffany that the tires she really wanted were not on sale and that she must have misunderstood.  Not satisfied that he knew what he was talking about either, Tiffany found yet another salesperson who happened to walk into the waiting area to ask, but got the same story.

As Tiffany was arguing with the third salesperson about these tires, the original salesperson walked up and informed Tiffany that her tires were on the car and she was ready to go.  Tiffany, who was by this time livid that she wasn’t getting her way, told the salesperson “You can have your sorry-behind, good-for-nothing tires!  Get ‘em off my car put mine back on!”  Everyone, including Mavis, was astonished.  “Yes ma’am,” the salesperson said, “I’ll change them back out right now.”  When he came back, Tiffany looked at him before he could get a word out of his mouth and said, “Now give me my card back!”  Then, looking at Mavis, said, “C’mon Mavis, we’re getting out of here.”  Mavis jumped up and almost ran over everyone in her way trying to get out of the store before Tiffany was able to embarrass her even more.  Cussing and screaming all the way out the door, Tiffany simply couldn’t believe that she was lied to and had the salespeople try to scam her.  “We’re going across the street,” she said to Mavis.  Mavis looked at her and sternly said, “I don’t care where we go, but you better not act a fool like that with me in there again!”  Tiffany was so angry about the entire experience, Mavis wasn’t sure whether Tiffany heard her or not.  In any case, Tiffany didn’t respond.

When they got to the other store, Tiffany found tires that fit at a reasonable price and had the salesperson put them on.  After they were installed Tiffany rolled out of the store, finally happy she had got what she wanted.  Now, Mavis and Tiffany could go home to gather the flowers that Mavis had wanted to pick up.

“Where are these flowers?” Tiffany asked.  Mavis responded, “They’re at Lorena’s house, right off the shoulder of the road.  Lorena said I could get all I wanted.”  Tiffany looked at Mavis with a puzzled look on her face.  “Are you sure they’re Lorena’s flowers, and not those flowers the state planted?” Tiffany asked.  “Well, Lorena said I could get some,” Mavis replied, “and I don’t reckon she’d be giving me permission to take somebody else’s flowers.”  Tiffany thought about it for a moment and then said, “Well, I guess you’re right about that.  You don’t think she’d mind if I got any, do you?”  “I seriously doubt it,” Mavis said, “After all, she’s got plenty.”

As Tiffany slowed down in front of Lorena’s house, she saw the Petunia’s planted along the side of the road.  The general vicinity of the plants made Tiffany think they were actually planted by the state as part of its beautification project, but knew better than to point it out since Mavis had her mind made up that she was getting those flowers.  Mavis went to Lorena’s door and knocked to let her know she was there to get the flowers.  When Lorena never answered, Mavis assumed Lorena’s son, Alton, had taken her somewhere, and probably wouldn’t be home until later.  In any case, Mavis decided that since she was here, she’d go ahead and get the flowers she wanted.

Mavis and Tiffany opened the trunk of the car and retrieved the shovel and buckets they had brought with them in order to dig up these plants, and off they went to get their flowers.  Both women started digging, paying no attention whatsoever to the traffic going by or the random horn honking at them.  When Mavis and Tiffany were almost finished, they took the flowers they had dug up back to the car and placed them in the trunk.  Doing a second count, they both decided that Tiffany needed just a few more for her flowerbeds, so they began digging up about a dozen more petunias.  As they started, they saw a white car slow down as it passed, pull off the road, turn around, and come back towards them.  As the car positioned itself in front of them, it came to a complete stop.

Mavis and Tiffany both looked up at the same time as the cars window was rolling down.  As they looked into the car, they saw a woman who looked as if she was in her mid forties, although Mavis thought she looked a little worn for wear to be that age.  The woman said to Mavis and Tiffany, “What are you two ladies doing over there?”  Mavis, never being one to deny anything she was doing, or thinking for that matter, simply said to the woman, “Were getting some flowers.”  The woman replied to Mavis in a sharp tone which Mavis didn’t exactly care for, “Well, who told you that you could have those flowers in the first place?”  Mavis, not liking where this conversation sounded like it might be heading, said, “Lorena, the lady that lives in this house here,” as she pointed behind her to Lorena’s house, “said I could get all I want.  You got a problem with that?”  The woman in the car snapped back, “You’re darn right I got a problem with that!  Those are my flowers and I paid my taxes for them to be there!  The state planted those, and I think you’ve got more than your share of ‘em.  Now don’t touch another flower, or I’m gonna call the police!”  Mavis by this time was livid, and Tiffany was sucking in and blowing out enough hot air you’d have thought she was a buffalo getting ready to attack.  Both Mavis and Tiffany had listened to enough of this high-and-mighty, nosey hussy that decided to stick her nose where it didn’t belong.  Both of them glanced at each other and knew exactly what the other was thinking.

Like a well-oiled machine, both Mavis and Tiffany moved together and walked across the road towards the woman in the car.  Mavis was carrying about six petunias in her hand full of dirt, and Tiffany was carrying the shovel they used to dig them up.  Mavis reached the car first, and peered in.  The woman sat there, with an expression on her face that let anyone know who might be slightly interested that she was not amused.  Mavis said to this woman, “Well, since you’re so all-fired sure these are your plants, I want you to by all means have ‘em!”  With this, she took the flowers and threw them in the woman’s face.  The woman instinctively screamed, but Mavis immediately took the dirt from the flowers and rubbed it in her face and pushed it into her mouth.  The woman, panic-stricken by this time, was rubbing her face and spitting out dirt as fast as she could.  She then proceeded to cuss at Tiffany and Mavis for what they had done, threatening to once again call the police.  Tiffany piped up and said, “Let me tell you one thing, you sorry hussy!  After the day I’ve had today, I don’t need your threats or your sorry attitude!  If you want to call the cops, you go right ahead.  I’ll even give you something else to call ‘em about right now!”  With that, Tiffany took the shovel she was holding and started hitting the roof of the car with it.  The woman shouted, “What the devil are you doing, you crazy cow!”  Tiffany then moved to the trunk of the woman’s car, and proceeded to hit it as well.  Tiffany shouted back at the woman, “You get your sorry behind outta here, or the next thing I’m gonna hit with this shovel is you!”  The woman couldn’t believe that she was being attacked by a couple of strange old ladies out in the middle of nowhere, and became terrified.  She uttered something out of her car neither Mavis nor Tiffany could understand, but threw her car in drive and squealed tires as she drove away from what had to be the two craziest ladies she’d ever come into contact with.

Mavis looked at Tiffany and said, “Can you believe that hussy trying to tell us we can’t have flowers?”  Tiffany responded, “Well, people are just crazy in this day and age.”  “Well,” Mavis said, “I guess if you got all the flowers you want, we’d best be getting back before that crazy woman really does call the police or something.”  Tiffany looked at the collection of flowers and decided she did indeed have enough.  “Yes, I think I’ve got plenty.  I suppose we’d better head on back.”  With that, both women calmly returned to the car and drove home.

After getting to Tiffany’s house, both women divided the flowers and Mavis headed back home with her collection of the plants.  After returning home, Mavis told her husband, Melton, about the crazy woman that tried to stop her from getting her flowers.  Never being one to say too much to Mavis in order to not provoke an argument, Melton kept quiet.  He did secretly hope the woman didn’t call the police, but was comforted by the fact that it was Tiffany’s car the woman saw, and not Mavis’.  Later that evening, Mavis recounted the entire event to her sister, Francis, during their nightly phone call.  Francis asked Mavis if she had called Lorena to tell her what happened, but Mavis had decided against doing that.  Francis told Mavis that it sounded like she had way too many close encounters with the police that day, and should consider herself lucky she wasn’t calling her from jail.  Mavis, not at all afraid of the police, told Francis that the police were the ones, in fact, who should consider themselves lucky for not messing with her.  After all, it’s not everyday one has a close encounter with a lady like Mavis.


6 thoughts on “Close Encounters of the Crazy Kind

      1. Yes, actually every word is true! You never know what’s going to happen when my Grandmother and Tiffany get together! Actually, you never know what my Grandmother’s going to do at any time! She can be quite the spitfire…

      2. Well then it makes sense that one was speaking like they were from a different time. I like the story much better now knowing that, and that is CRAZY!!! To be a fly on the wall of that day.

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