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Me and Shermayne got it handled…

” Shermayne saw me coming and thought perhaps I was a boyfriend or something because she started walking at me fast. I said, “Hold on…I’m not a part of this…I’m just coming to see if I can be of help!” “

Doug Pacheco

This morning I spent about two hours in the garage with my wife Mary Ann cleaning out junk that has accumulated over the past two years. Like all well organized Americans, I discovered things that I didn’t know I owned out there.

There was the Franklin Planner from 1997 that had a first page that read, “Keep planner on desk or in briefcase at all times”. Yeah, that worked. I threw it out along with the size 32 waist jeans that must have belonged to Dash Riprock back in the 1970’s. In the pocket of said jeans I found a dried up tube of Carmex, (yes, it dried up…don’t ask me how). I went through boxes of clothing, old winery records, boxes with wine making equipment in them, and roughly three hundred decorator pillows. My wife and Martha Stewart go way back…

I found books, dear Lord, did I find books. I found books that I had boxed up to give away and after looking through them I decided I wanted to read them again.  

This happened a lot actually. I found myself asking, “Why am I throwing that away?” and “How could I have lived without these 3XL T-Shirts from my 2011 Men’s Gymnastics Reunion?” I think I found Augustine’s original “confessions” manuscript that he lent to me and that I forgot to return. Somehow he got it published without the original notes…

I found a box with only boxes inside… I found old Christmas ornaments and now that Christmas is over I found the two Christmas wreaths we were looking for in December.

But I don’t tell this story to bore you about my garage antics. It’s what happened today at Goodwill when I went to unload my carload of treasures.

The nearest Goodwill to my home was about 5 miles away and as I pulled up there was a line of about 6 cars in front of me who had decided to do the same thing as I was doing…de-junking.

As I sat in my car and waited my turn for them to unload my car, Two women – three cars in front of me, decided that they were going to get into a fist fight over a shirt that one of them was trying to give away. Now this was not a regular push and shove fight…these girls were mixing it up, one swinging and connecting with a left, the other, kicking the other in the stomach and jumping on top of her.

“This was an important shirt!” I thought to myself.

The Goodwill attendant was a woman…named SHERMAYNE. It said so, right on her nametag, “Hello, My name is SHERMAYNE! Welcome to Goodwill!”

 Shermayne was not in the mood to put up with these two fools. I saw this for myself with my own two eyes, and only for the sake of making this a better story will I tell you that she had only one eye!!!

Shermayne walked over to the two women grappling on the ground. One was trying to poke the eyes out of the other. The one getting her eye poked had her teeth firmly in the arm of the eye poker…you can’t buy this kind of entertainment!

Shermayne walked over and: I kid you not…she picked up the eye poker by the scruff of the neck and I mean she literally tossed her aside. This was with one arm! And no, I’m not telling you that to make the story better…the one eye thing maybe…but not this!

The other woman (the poke-ee as it were) was squalling about her eye and Shermayne picked her up and tossed her on a pile of old clothes. My woman Shermayne could have been a WWE wrestler, because it was EFFORTLESS!!!

Thinking that I could be of assistance… (take note that I only got out of my car after Shermayne had handled the situation,) I left my car running and walked up to see if I could help…being the mild mannered peace loving guy that I am.

Shermayne saw me coming and thought perhaps I was a boyfriend or something because she started walking at me fast. I said, “Hold on…I’m not a part of this…I’m just coming to see if I can be of help!” Shermayne looked me over, like a person eyes over somebody to size them up and see if she could handle me…and then; after hearing me say, “Just wanting to be of help” Shermayne chuckled and said, “get back in your car sweetheart!” The two guys who were unloading cars with her, nodded their heads at me and said, “Do what she says man…do what she says!!!”

Just at that time,  two cars behind me a guy honks his horn due to his impatience. Shermayne threw the womens shirt back in the trunk of their car, and pushed them both back into the front seats, along with an arm movement that signaled, “You get that car out of here NOW!!!

The two women cursed and gave exotic hand signals to Shermayne as they peeled out burning rubber. Again the car two cars behind me, honked their horn.

Shermayne’s head swiveled slowly, like Pam Grier playing “Foxy Cleopatra Brown”, her right eyebrow went up and Shermayne started walking…slight impact tremors shook my car as she looked in at me with a smirk and upon arriving at the car that was honking their horn, she stood outside the drivers window.

“You want to honk that again?!!!” “Why don’t you honk that horn again and let’s see what happens?!!!” The driver, a skinny man with a cigarette hanging from his mouth, did the wise thing…he didn’t look her in the  eyes…


She stood there for a minute, giving him a withering look, and then she begins walking back up to the unloading area. By this time the other guys had unloaded the two cars in front of me and it was now MY turn…Shermayne was walking up to my car. There was a smell of fear and beer and stale perfume in the air…my blood ran cold.

Shermayne watched me open my trunk, and begin to remove the clothes and the Franklin Planner  and other assorted useless items. As I removed the box of frames and two really pretty dresses that were on hangers and wrapped in plastic from the cleaners, Shermayne looked at me and stated…

“You don’t never get mixed up in dat kinda drama wif trouble dat ain’t yore own!” I didn’t look her in the eye…I nodded and kept unloading my car. Shermayne kept watching me, not helping, just watching me.

As I finished unloading my car, and cleaning out my pants, I chanced a look Shermayne. She stared at me, as if expecting me to say something. I looked at her and said,

“Thank you Shermayne for taking care of that foolishness…I really appreciate that!’ I was sincere…you don’t see someone gutsy enough to deal with two people fighting. Besides, you never know when you’ll need a friend!

Shermayne smiled…big gap between her two front teeth and said, “People ain’t got no sense Mr. Vanilla!” she was addressing me and I evidently was Mr. Vanilla. I’m actually Mr. Mocha Almond, being partially Hispanic but there was no correcting Shermayne.

“People shouldn’t not ack dat way in public” She continued. Then Shermayne laughed out loud and asked me, “What was you gonna do? Huh?” Was you gonna knock their head together?” I shook my head no.

“Was you gonna…let me guess Mr. Vanilla, was you gonna go pray for dem?”

I said, “Something like that…” Shermayne laughed out loud hard and then with the wisdom of Solomon she said,

“Hell, Mr. Vanilla, you don’t pray for stupid…you knock stupid in da head and leave the praying for people what got some sense!” I had to agree and started laughing with her. She continued,

“Mr. Vanilla, good intentions ain’t what Jesus had…he had smart intentions…Jesus jus pray for da people what wanted it…and if I wuz you I wouldn’t thro yore Vanilla pearls to that swine… that’s what Shermayne is here for.”

I took a chance and gave Shermayne a hug. She said, “Ooooh Mr. Vanilla, you smell so good!!! You get that backside of yours (she didn’t quite say it that way but…let the reader understand) back in that car before I take you home wif me!”

I turned to the guy two cars behind me, looked at him, pulled up my pants and gave him my Barney Fife Sniff and swagger, got in my car and drove on…

…my work is done here!

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