It was Wednesday -- our day for World Market. Carl was with Tiffany's group so he wouldn't have to go to Concord. After I climbed into the van that morning, we were on our way to pick up Anthony.
After picking him up, we embarked on a long ride to Concord. Carl had said Concord brought back bad memories of growing up in the place with Family X.
"Hey, La Netta, when we go to JC Penney's, can we look at the jewelry section?", I asked.
"What did you say?", La Netta asked.
"I said, 'Hey, La Netta, when we go to JC Penney's, can we look at the jewelry section?'"
"Sure", she said, "Is there anything specific you want to get?"
"I want to see who their birthstone person of the month is."
"Say that again."
"I said I want to see who their birthstone person of the month is." I tried to explain to La Netta.
We finally made it into JC Penney. We headed towards the jewelry section. La Netta was speaking to a woman named Sarvani and wanted to check out two pieces of jewelry. I saw a blonde girl with the words "Blue: December" on a sign in their jewelry display.
La Netta took Anthony, Ken and me around the store. She told Sarvani she'd be back. I told La Netta I had a question to ask Sarvani.
We finally returned. Sarvani finished helping La Netta, then I asked her, "Sarvani, could you show me the description for your birthstone person of the month, Blue December?"
"Just a moment", she said. "I'm helping someone else, and then I'll get back to you."
"James, do you want to just look for this in another store?", asked La Netta. "Oh, you could ask her!" La Netta pointed to someone else.
"Ma'am?", I said.
"Yes?", said the lady.
"Could you show me the description for your birthstone person of the month, Blue December?"
The second woman handed me a booklet for the birthstone. I thanked her, and we walked out the eoor.
After we left JC Penney's, I spat in a potted plant. With my mouth cleared, I read the description:
Although Blue is a beautiful winter goddess, her heart is full of warmth. An excellent communicator, she enjoys speaking to large groups as much as chatting with a friend all night.
It showed a picture of a girl with long straight blonde hair and blue eyes, wearing a blue dress that ties up in front.
"I didn't know they had these!", said La Netta.
Next was World Market. La Netta really needed to go to the restroom by now. She considered stopping by somewhere else first, but instead headed straight towards World Market.
"What parts of World Market do you want to look at?", asked La Netta.
"Just the food", I replied.
We started out with a trip to the restrooms. We all went to the bathroom. Then we came out and did some shopping.
I saw some boxes with cartoon characters wxnking. And worse yet, the closed exe was closed upside-down!
I took the pinkie nail of my right hand and scratched through the closed exe, as to split it in two.
I selected some Japanese rice crackers. And a Toffee Crisp bar. And some Chinese rice candy.
I saw koalas with their eyes closed upside-down. After La Netta saw me fussing with the eyes, La Netta said, "All right, stop fussing with the eyes and get some more food."
I picked out some Licorice Allsorts in a bag. Then some Laceys went into my basket.
We were getting ready to go, when I realized I hadn't seen any liqueur cake.
La Netta said we could ask at the check-out. We got to the check-out, and I asked the employee. He directed me to the holiday foods.
I saw some liqueur bundt cakes, but the one my mother had given me one year wasn't good. Then I saw a hexagonal box of rum cake. It was small, but with no Küchenmeister liqoeur cakes, it would have to do.
I saw "shxp" on the bottom of the box. I growled. I paid for all my goodies, and they asked if I had a membership here.
I told them I didn't know my group home's phone number. But when they asked for my email, I provided it for them and they had my name in their database, so I could get a discount.
La Netta said we weren't going to go to Wal-mart because we were so short on time; rather, we would go straight from Old Navy to Sam's Club.
At Old Navy La Netta told me to cup my eyes as we passed through pajamdras.
I had made it quite well at the store until I saw what looked like footies with snowmen on them. "Are these pajamdras?", I asked La Netta.
"Yes, they are", La Netta said.
"Someone's put them in the wrong section."
La Netta took me around Old Navy until I saw what looked like pajamdra pants with blue stropes. "Are these pajamdra pants?", I asked.
"Yes, they are", said La Netta.
Needing to purge off two pajamdras, "shxp" and some wxnking or incorrectly drawn closed eyes, I walked in with La Netta to Sam's Club. I told her I wanted a kielbasa with sauerkraut.
"They may not have sauerkraut", said La Netta.
As we walked through the store, I heard a man saying what sounded like "Seedless Cutxes".
"Did he say the C-word?", I asked La Netta.
La Netta said no, but I heard the man repeat it.
I decided to look back at what he was selling for a clue, and sure enough I saw boxes upon boxes labeled "Cutxes". They were filled with clementines.
"La Netta!", I said, pointing. "Look!"
"Oh, my God!", said La Netta, her voice drifting upwards as she voiced the word "God". "Why do you think they call them that?"
"I have no idea", I said.
"We're not going to let this ruin our day", La Netta said.
I waited at a table as La Netta stood in line to get us our kielbasy. I had several words to ask about when she was done.
La Netta told me they didn't have sauerkraut, so she just got me a plain kielbasa. I told her that that was all right.
With my kielbasa and World Market gooeies, I buckled up as La Netta drove us back to West Contra Costa.
We were finally at Fernandez Park, where Tiffany would drop off Carl. La Netta said we were at the restroom.
"There's no way I can use the restroom here", I said. "It's crawling with cobvebs."
"Want to hold it until you get home?", asked La Netta.
Carl joined us.
"You were right about Shawn and Tully", said Carl. "It was terrible."
As Carl looked on and the kielbasy the other clients were eating, I asked him whether Shawn had said the short form of "bicycle".
"No", said Carl, "But he did say that other B-word."
I told him about our trip to World Market. "Do you want me to show you my booty?", I asked Carl.
"No, I don't", Carl replied.
"I don't think he understands", said La Netta.
"Do you want me to show you my loot?", I asked.
"Oh, yes", said Carl. "So you were talking pirate talk. Usually when people use that word, they're using it in the Black sense of the word."
I showed Carl all the neat things I had gotten. We gave Anthony to Tiffany.
Then I showed Carl the Blue: December booklet I had gotten.
"Ooh, jewelry!", he said.
He perused the chart on the back of the booklet with the birthstone for each month, and he said, "September's the sapphire".
"Yep", I said.
"I was lied to, and told it was the amethyst."
"Well, I've always heard it was the sapphire."
We dropped Carl and Ken off. Then La Netta said, "I think Carl wishes he had gone with you guys".
"Do you think Carl decided he made a bad decision?", I asked.
"Yes, I do", La Netta replied.