Wally Lamb

“So I got my stuff and the girl at the register puts these other things in my bag, too. Little free samples: gum and a comb and a marker pen. So I says to her, 'Look, girlie, I got false teeth and I wear a wig.' So she fishes back in my bag and takes out the comb and the gum. Left the pen in there. Anyways, I went back to the van, even though I knew it was locked. Figured I'd just wait and have a smoke. You can't smoke in the van, see? So while I'm waiting there, minding my own business, this car pulls into the handicapped space right next to us--brand-new car, white and clean, and it's got this bumper sticker on it that says, 'Life Is a Shit Sandwich.' Isn't that stupid? So this guy gets out--good-lookin' fella, in his twenties. I say to him, 'Hey, handsome, tell me something.' He takes a look at my walker and gets all panicky. 'I'm just running in for two seconds,' he says. See, he thinks I'm going to yell at him for parking in a handicapped space, but I ain't. I don't give a rat's ass about that, you see. I'd rather walk the extra ten feet than be called handicapped. Where was I?'
She amazed me. 'Life's a shit sandwich,' I said.
'Oh, yeah. Right. So that guy goes runnin' into the store and here's what I did. I fished that free pen out of the bag and marched right over there to that bumper of his. Got myself right down on the ground--and I wrote--just after the 'Life's a shit sandwich' part--I wrote, 'But only if you're a shithead.' 'Course, then I couldn't get myself back up again--had to yell over to a couple of kids at the phone booth to come pick me back up.”


Wally Lamb
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