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Shopping with Royer

January 19, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Gump Tibbs
Senior Staff Writer
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A special contingent of Foontz-Flonnaise Home of Abundant Senselessness wardens have been assigned to take incarcerated Lankville business magnate Ric Royer shopping and I’ve been invited along.  Even though the trip is scheduled for 7AM, I cannot refuse– Royer’s excursions to the mall are legend.  I must see for myself.

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Langston’s Progress Crossing Mall

On the van ride over, I ask Royer about his new nickname– “One Who Uses it Daily”.  He blinks confusedly and then lightly vomits.  “I have no memory of that,” he finally notes.  “I think that’s made up.  Did you make that up?  Or was it the guy that got carried off by the bubble?”  Royer, of course, is referring to Brock Belvedere, Jr., still missing as of this morning.  “No, no,” I assure him.  “You stated it just a few days ago.  Held a press conference and everything.”  Royer takes an enormous bite of a cream-filled donut– the cream oozes down his neck.  “It’s chicanery,” he says, spitting globs of half-masticated donut all over the seats.  He eats four more donuts before finally sitting back in his seat and patting his non-existent belly.  “Ooooh,” he moans, lightly.  “I was hoping to make it to six donuts but clearly with age, my capacity has diminished,” he says.  “Have you ever eaten a donut with your shirt off?” he suddenly asks.  I shake my head– one of the guards seated behind Royer speaks up.  “All the time,” he states quietly.  “REALLY??” Royer asks.  He seems unusually interested and the guard revels in the attention.

We finally arrive at the mall– LANGSTON’S PROGRESS CROSSING.  I have no idea what the name signifies.  Several of the anchor stores have agreed to open quite early for Royer so that he may have the entire showroom to himself.  After buying casually at a few smaller stores (Royer purchases 11 new illuminated snow villages from an establishment called KEITH’S– he places a white glove on his hand and points disinterestedly at the desired objects), we finally enter the famous home goods store BARRELS AND CAGES.  Royer puts on a new pair of white gloves and nods lightly at the perky young clerk who greets our strange aggregation with considerable aplomb.

“Show me some Easter towels,” he states, intentionally looking away from the clerks.  He pushes over a glass media cabinet– the showroom is filled with the sound of shattering glass.  The clerks all apologize and an island janitor is called for.  Several jacquard dish towels are produced on pillows.  Royer laughs.  “Not to my liking,” he says, adding considerable noblesse oblige to the tone of his voice.  “But I guess they will have to do.”

Royer kicks an ottoman and it goes sliding into a large display of wine glasses.  Glass flies everywhere.  Two island janitors are called for.  “That ottoman was improperly placed,” he states, looking away.  “Clearly you are hiring buffoons.”  The manager nods in agreement.  Royer puts on a new pair of white gloves.  “Show me your duvet covers.  Something in a marimekko pippurikera sage.”  The clerk nervously straightens her tie.  “We don’t have that here.  It’s…it’s online only.”  There is a long, excruciating pause.  Then Royer lets out a horrendous scream.  He orders one of his guards to slice open a nearby ottoman with his pocket knife.  The guard obliges.

Royer suddenly runs out of the store and comes to rest against a pillar in the concourse.  Several guards follow, I stay behind with a third who settles the enormous bill.  “As soon as they get those new snow villages open, he’ll be alright,” the guard assures me.  “It’s a shame about them not having that duvet.”  “Why not order it online?” I ask.  “No, he doesn’t order anything online.  He has theories.”

I carry one of the shopping bags– it is full of the broken wine glasses.  I don’t ask why.  The guards corral the limp, exhausted body of Royer and carry him to the van.  “He’ll sleep for 15-16 hours now,” one says mysteriously.  On the ride back to the home though, Royer surprises everyone by suddenly waking.  He looks wordlessly at all of us, then very slowly reaches to the seat and eats several donuts in quick succession before collapsing again.

It has been quite a morning.

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