Friday, April 20, 2012

Why Windex smells like VICTORY.

In loving memory of my favorite photo editing playground, Picnik, where I draw all my cartoons, I’m serving up one last Picnik-ified story here, just for YOU. You see, Picnik was hijacked by Google awhile ago and, most sadly and inexplicably, the Google overlords decided to pull the plug on Picnik yesterday. *sniff* So, while I figure out where oh where I will do my cartoons from now on, please enjoy the following tale of Windex, a drunk, and one satanic zebra.

Back in the early 1990’s I worked one summer in a snack hut with several other girls, selling hot dogs, chili, and Slushies to camera-toting, clad-in-plaid tourists.

Oh! And we made ice cream cones……

….for bears.

(Yes, bears.)


(I swear.)

This snack hut sat amid the rock-strewn parking lot of a famous sort of drive-through zoo in Washington State. Since I don’t want to get sued right now (one legal rodeo is more than enough, thankyouverymuch!) let’s not mention the real name of the place and, instead, just call it The Drive Thru Zoo, ‘kay?

People could drive their cars through The Drive Thru Zoo and get all up close with bison, llamas, deer, rabbits, peacocks, and one perpetually pissed off zebra.

(Watch out! He bites!)

There were also bears who lived in pens in The Drive Thru Zoo. These bears would do tricks for their trainers during show times in return for ice cream cones.

(Bears prefer Sherbet.)

(Just saying.)

Anyway, I would show up to The Drive Thru Zoo’s snack hut five days a week in my Depeche Mode t-shirts and Doc Marten boots, munching on Mentos, quoting Seinfeld, and singing Nirvana songs.

(It was the 1990’s. Shut up.)

The job didn’t pay very well ($6.00 an hour, I think it was), but I got all the free food I wanted during my shift which kind of made up for it.

(And which also meant I made sure I ate three meals a day there.)


Besides the lack of money, I really liked my job. My co-workers were hilarious. The food was delicious. The hours were great. And the animals were fluffy and sooooooooooo cute!

(Well, maybe not the zebra.)

In fact, there was really only one thing I hated there: My manager. Let’s call her, ohhhhh, I dunno…. how ‘bout…. Ann. Ann Ebriated.

Ann’s in-law’s owned The Drive Thru Zoo and she actually lived on the zoo’s property in a house which was sitting smack dab in the middle of the parking lot, right within view of the snack hut. Ann was loud, picky, irritable, and had nothing to do all day but stare out her living room window at us slaving away in the snack hut, just waiting and waiting for someone to do something she didn’t like so she could march on over and yell at us.

Yelling at people was her second favorite thing in the whole wide world. Her first favorite thing? Getting drunk. And if she could find a way to combine the two—well, hello!—then her whole week was flipping made!

It became a regular sight to see Ann stumbling in a drunken rage across the parking lot towards us, shouting to herself about idiotic things. Then she’d burst through the door, yelling and throwing things at us in front of all the customers.

When Ann was drinking, no-one could do ANYTHING right. It was so humiliating. One of the girls once got yelled at for writing a smiley face on the dry erase board with all of the day’s Specials.

I once got yelled at for putting lids on the relish and onion jars on the condiment stand to try to keep the wasps from crawling around inside them.

What truly evil, inept employees we were.

One day, there were three of us working in the snack hut when we saw Ann staggering her way over to us, flailing her arms angrily and hollering to herself. Again. We didn’t know what she was mad about this time, but I noticed that the glass counter top had some coffee drips on it and, not wanting to get screamed at over it, I quickly grabbed the Windex and started frantically cleaning the counter as she bumbled her angry drunk self our way.

I was still scrubbing the counter with the Windex bottle in my hand when Ann came tripping furiously through the door in mid-tantrum.

“You little b*tches!“, she drunkenly boomed and started slurring off today’s list of irrational grievances. But she only got about three complaints into it when suddenly she gasped and stared at me in horror as if I had just sprouted a unicorn horn….

….and then farted a rainbow.

”Is that W-w-windex?”, she said in a raspy voice, pointing at the bottle in my hand. Thinking I was about to get a Mounds bar chucked at me, I nervously nodded. Ann’s bleary eyes flew wide open and then she immediately scampered back out the door and stumbled her way back home across the rocky parking lot without even finishing her tirade.


The next morning, Ann was there and surprisingly sober this time. She sat us all down to have a serious discussion during which she told us she was “very allergic” to Windex and that we should never, never, ever spray the foul stuff if she was in the room.


Now, Ann mysteriously failed to mention what form her awful Windex allergy took. Perhaps she broke out in hives. Or had trouble breathing. Or maybe her boobs would shrivel like raisins as she involuntarily moonwalked through the bison poo piles and then she’d spontaneously combust while screaming “ayiyiyiyiyiyi” like Xena. (One can hope!) But it didn’t matter, because at that moment we were armed with almighty knowledge, and Windex became our valiant savior.

Whenever Ann came charging towards us like a drunken bull, we knew exactly what to do: hose the place down STAT! We would spray Windex all over the counter top, the door, the fridge, the sink, and even out dang the window while giggling to ourselves maniacally.

It worked like magic every time. Ann would thunder in through the door, take one whiff and then leave again without being able to properly degrade us.

And the beauty of it was that we could always claim innocence later on and say we were just keeping the snack hut sparkling clean, and—please—even someone like Ann didn’t have the gall to berate us for that. Windex was the perfect sauced a**hole repellant!

It’s been nearly 20 years since then, and I still LOVE the scent of Windex. Windex smells like power, victory, and craftiness frosted with a heaping helping of utter jubilation!

*le sigh*

I would totally wear it as a perfume. I’m not kidding…. Y’know, if I didn’t think I would end up in a padded room, listening to Zamfir, and braiding yarn baskets for doing so. Just sayin’.


What became of Ann, you might be wondering? Well, last I saw of her, she was on the local news. Some patrons of The Drive Thru Zoo had their skivvies in a bunch because the evil zebra was biting people, and they had the videos—and scars!—to prove it. Despite the fact that one of the first things Ann ever said to me when I was hired was, “don’t go anywhere near that damn zebra; he’ll bite your arm off,” she was rolling her eyes on my TV and telling the reporters that the satanic zebra was safe and tame and that the zebra's victims were making a big deal out of nothing.

Unbelievable. Did I mention that one of the zebra's victims was a three year old who was yanked right out of a car window and dragged along the ground and had to get stitches? Yep!

I wonder if Windex repels demonic zebras too?....

© Coracabana


Helen said...

I love your story. It is so funny, and even more because it is true!

Scope said...

It just might. I don't see any around here, so it must be working.

So. Cal. Gal said...

Maybe your boss was allergic to cleaning...or maybe Windex doesn't have the right type of alcohol for her to drink? And your zebra 666 panel cracked me up!

SkylersDad said...

I loved this! And I think you put more effort into this than I have in a years worth of postings.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cora,

Great post. I'm still laughing. I don't comment much but i really, really enjoy your blog!


Cora said...

Helen: Thank you!

Scope: *whew* Well, I hope so.

So Cal Gal: Hee hee heeee. That's my favorite pic too. :-)

Sky Dad: It is kind of sad how much time I put into selling myself on the internet for.... well.... nothing. Oy.

Patti: Thank you very much! :-)