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The Dude Who Bought Douche by Adrian Slonaker

Bathed in shades of milk and strawberry Pop-Tart filling,

the rectangular package had popped into my field of vision

in the Awkward Aisle of the Price Chopper.

I placed it before the pimply

teenager at the till and remembered

my spreading redness the time I

bought condoms and lube and Fresca

at Shoppers Drug Mart on St. George in Moncton

from the pale lady with grandmotherly hair the

color of dandelion fluff

who looked as if she’d rather be selling me

Coffee Crisps or plutonium.

From deep in his diaphragm, the lad addressed me as

“dude”

and beep-scanned my Summer’s Eve,

uncertain of whether I was running errands

for a wife or a girlfriend,

on a product research assignment for

a team of marketing Millennials in quirky neckties,

or preparing to be probed by a bearded butch buddy

behind a closed motel room door.

I dropped six dollars and tapped my right loafer

while the callow cashier counted sixty-four cents

in pennies and nickels,

and a phalanx of frat boys brimming with Budweiser

barreled up behind me.

When I collected my sack and sprinted into

sunlit anonymity, I promised myself and my deity-of-choice

that I’d

use Amazon next time.


Adrian Slonaker zigzags back and forth across the Canadian/ US border and works as a copywriter and copy editor. His work has been nominated for Best of the Net and has appeared in Pangolin Review, Aerodrome, WINK: Writers in the Know, and others. He is fond of rain, wrestling, owls, folkrock music and long chats with charmingly eccentric folks.

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