The Eighth Page

Maude Goldfrappe’s Take on the Features Convenience Store

Before making a visit to the Features Convenience Store, any shopper should be aware of my personal opinion of the store, which I provide in the following review. Many of the clerks now know me, Maude Goldfrappe, by name due to my frequent visits since, oh, I don’t know, the 1920s. I’m there at least four times a day on account of the fact that I either forget to buy things the first time around or Mr. Nibbles and the other cats run out of Meow Mix. SELECTION Now I don’t know what these crazy kids are doing nowadays, but all I see anywhere is drinks, gum, and strange tiny bottles loaded with caffeine and all these other drugs. My granddaughter loves those things and makes me buy them for her all the time. This was all fine until I realized that I don’t even have a granddaughter. However, the store does have a delightful liquor section. So many different drinks to choose from: Oxyclean, Tide, Windex. Let me tell you, those things have gotten a lot stronger since my day. I didn’t even know this place had a liquor license. Only a few sips of any of those and I am down for a while. CLEANLINESS Oh my, now here we have a problem! The parking lot smells like gasoline and the pharmacy section reeks of a doctor’s office waiting room. The store as a whole always smells freshly sanitized. These modern days, all people care about are germs and making the health inspector happy. A little dust here and there never hurt anyone; it adds a humble, hometown atmosphere. I even found my first pet in a convenience store: Franklin. What a precious rat he was. When it was time for me to go to college, I put him back where he came from to finally be free. A few years later I saw that he found love and got a family of his own underneath a shelf in the baby formula department. HELPFULNESS I don’t know too much in the way of people who actually work here because they have all stopped talking to me, but other people in the store have been extremely useless. Sometimes, all I want to do is have a little chat about things happening in the world. Is the depression ever going to end? What do you think about that new thing called a television? I say it’s just confusing. I have no clue what’s in that box and what is real life. The other day I sat by the cough medicines thinking I was watching the television box. Did it look very strange to customers walking down that aisle? Yes. Did it scare customers from even walking down that aisle? Most likely. I’m actually still unsure if it was all real or not. What a dull show that was. Sometimes, I even like to play fun games like “pretend I’m having a heart attack” or “pretend I’m a diabetic with low blood sugar” to get free candy. The clerks love the heart attack gag—gets better every time. LOCATION The only places I ever go are my home and this store. I suppose the location is good — only a few hours’ drive. I take turns bringing each of the cats out for a field trip to the store. They are usually well-behaved, but sometimes they scratch on the window or distract me with their purring and I just have to throw them out. I hold similar views on the death penalty: sometimes people just never learn their lesson. Teaching the cats is really a lot of effort, so I figured I should just boost up the evolution process until I wind up with the perfect cat. Someday, Maude, someday. -Sara Alban