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‘Torn up’ over a box of chocolates

This is the story that began it all — Feb. 14, 1998. On that day I witnessed one of the most amazing scenes my eyes have e’er beheld. The setting: right in the middle of the candy aisle at the store, on Valentine’s evening. 

I happened to be browsing around the local store that evening, Feb. 14, looking for a few items I needed. Suddenly I heard some commotion over in the next aisle and hurried over to see what the trouble was and to see if I could be of assistance.

That’s when I witnessed it—half a dozen fellas wrestling feverishly in the middle of the aisle. They were scratching, clawing, kicking, and biting, and each one was clinging with one hand to the last box of Valentine’s candy in the whole store. I hollered, “stop it” and stomped my foot for added effect. Surprisingly, they all stopped and looked at me, perhaps more stunned than anything. I walked up to them. 

“You ought to be ashamed of yourselves,” I said. “To think that grown men like yourselves have lowered yourselves to fightin’ over a meager box of Valentine’s candy.”

I shook my head in disbelief, then added, “And do you know why you’re doin’ this?”

They all mumbled something inaudibly. 

“I’m goin’ to tell you why,” I said. “Because you’re too lowdown and sorry to go to the store before the last minute on Valentine’s Day to buy your wife the nice gift she deserves…and you don’t have enough respect for her to give just a little forethought into buyin’ her a gift on a day that’s more important to her than any other day of the year.”

I noticed as I looked at them that each seemed to have a slight tear emerging in the corner of his eye. But I had no sympathy.

“Don’t start getting’ sentimental now,” I said. “It’s too late for that. You should have gotten sentimental a few days ago. I just feel sorry for your wives for being married to such a lowdown, sorry lot as you. I know they deserve better.”

I paused again, looked at them eye to eye, but they all lowered their heads in shame. Finally I said, “Aw, give me that box of candy and get out of here. I can’t stand to look at you anymore.”

They released the candy in shame, handed it over to me, and began to walk away one by one, their heads still down. I hollered behind them, just to throw sand in their wounds. So I found myself standing there in the middle of that aisle with a torn box of Valentine’s candy in my hand. Finally, in an attempt to escape the scene of the crime as quickly as possible, I walked over to the young lady who worked the register and handed her the torn box of candy.

“Listen,” I whispered, glancing around, “since this candy is torn and all, do you think you could, uh, wrap it for me free?”