The story thus far: Julie is in quarantine and Miss Irene has been kicked out of the grocery store for her role in...
Interrogation Transcript: Deavers' Family Foods Cleanup on Aisle 9 incident.
Voice 1: I keep tellin' ya, this is not an interrogation, Miss Irene, we're just tryin' to get to the bottom of . . . is that a tape recorder?
Voice 2: Not like that Dale! You have to identify yourself before you start talking. That was Dale, the store manager. I'm Paulette Palmedo. And I'd like to plead the first amendment.
Dale: I think you mean the fifth amendment, and this is . . . .
Paulette: Exciting! Isn't it? Just like on Jackie Gleason. You know, my Pauley used to call me his little Della Street. (Giggle) And that's my tape recorder. My son gave it to me. He thinks I'm forgetful.
Dale: I know, mother. And I think you mean Perry Mason. Like I was saying, we're just tryin' to get to the bottom of what happened . . . .
Voice 3: What happened? What happened? I'll tell you what happened. That . . . .
Paulette: State your name.
Voice 3: That's ridic . . . . .
Paulette: State your name! Your honor, if it please the court . . . .
Dale: This isn't a court, Mom . . . er, Ma'am. You are each valued customers here at Deavers' Family Foods, but we just can't have a repeat of what happened . . . .
Voice 3: Lena Johansen. My name is Lena Johansen and I'll tell you what happened. That woman assaulted me in the soup aisle.
Paulette: Let the record show Lena “Wack Doodle” Johansen pointed at Miss Irene just then. They'll never hear you shakin' that bony finger of you'n on the transcript.
Dale: For the last time, Mother, this is not a transcript. Mr. Deavers would like to avoid legal action at all costs.
Voice 4: Then what's Deputy Doug doin' here? This is Irene Truman speaking.
Voice 5: (Clears throat) Deputy David Doug . . . do you need my badge number?
Deputy Doug: So, what am I doing here, anyway? Technically I'm not on duty, and anyways I didn't. . . .
Dale: Deputy Doug just happened to be the first shopper on the scene. He's the one who called for backup, er, I mean cleanup.
Paulette: Darn. I thought maybe he was gonna frisk me again.
Deputy Doug: No! I mean, I didn't frisk you in the first place. I definitely don't want to do it again.
Paulette: All natural here, Deputy. No fillers or GMOs.
Lena: If we could please get back to the heinous and unprovoked assault upon my person. I'd like to have the term “wack doodle” stricken from the record, please, as it may prejudice the jury.
Miss Irene: Heinous and unprovoked my heiny. You failed to yield the right of way in the produce section, stole that last package of Oreos right from under my hand, and repeatedly violated the Covid-protocol, one-way traffic signs in the shopping aisles. Officer, arrest this woman!
Deputy Doug: Like I was saying, I'm not sure the grocery store falls under my jurisdiction.
Lena: I got to the Oreos first fare and square. Besides, you're about one sandwich cookie away from needing a wide-load sticker pasted on your rear.
Miss Irene: Wide load, eh? You'll think wide load when I . . . .
Lena: Let the record show the perpetrator brandished a tangerine in a threatening manner! Oh! The flashbacks! I may never eat another citrus fruit as long as I live.
Miss Irene: One more wide-load crack and you may not have long to live. Besides. I wasn't the one who started the fruit fight.
Paulette: It was a random, drive-by fruiting. Just like the one that did in poor John Travolta.
Dale: That was Pierce Brosnan in Mrs. Doubtfire, Mother.
Lena: Now really, Miss Irene. You can't expect me to believe that Paulette threw that grapefruit at me.
Miss Irene: I didn't say a word. Snitches get stitches and end up in ditches.
Lena: Paulette is three foot tall and blind as a bat. She couldn't hit the broadside of a . . . .
Paulette: I used to pitch for the Rockford Peaches.
Dale: That was Gena Davis, Mother. A League of Their Own.
Paulette: I was just givin' ya' the ol' brushback. You crowded the plate, stepped into the pitch . . . and you were comin' down the aisle the wrong way.
Lena: Pfft, one-way shopping aisles. I've got more important things to attend to, like that two for one special on cream of mushroom soup! I was checking expiration dates when I was viciously assaulted by a flying fruit! I tried to turn my cart around and head back up the aisle, but Miss Irene was blocking my exit.
Paulette: We had ya' in a pickle!
Lena: When I turned around again, a grapefruit brushed my beehive!
Paulette: The runner stole on a wild pitch! Safe at second base!
Deputy Doug: I swear I thought that was your waist! I was trying to steady you!
Paulette: Gravity and old age, Deputy. Life's seventh-inning sag.
Dale: You can go now, Deputy. I'm sorry for . . . . Thank you for your service to our country, sir.
(Footsteps receding. A door opens and closes.)
(Muffled giggles. A snort.)
Dale: Alright, Mrs. Johansen, let's talk cold turkey. What's it going to take to make all this go away? Mr. Deavers has authorized me to make a very generous settlement. I'm prepared to offer you five percent off today's purchase.
Dale: Ten, and double coupons for store-brand items.
Lena: Fine. And I want their loyalty rewards card privileges revoked.
Miss Irene: But . . . .
Lena: And Paulette has to take shopping scooter traffic school class before she can get back behind the wobbly wheels of a cart.
Paulette: But . . . .
Lena: You whipped around the end of the aisle on that scooter like you were Thelma and Louise heading for the cliff!
(Footsteps receding. Door closing.
Paulette: I know Thelma Louise!
Dale: (Sigh) No, Mother, she means . . . .
Paulette: I ran into her the other day, over by the Methodist Church.
Dale: So that's what happened to the bumper on the Cadillac!
Dale: I'll say!
Paulette: No, that's what hit Lena. I pummeled her with a pomelo. Some people just can't remember details.
Meanwhile, Muffy is making mischief of her own . . . . To be continued.