"Table 9. That's Jessie's table."

Lying on his metal bed next to the tin can toilet, a man reminisces about days past, a time long before he was introduced to the tiny box in which he lives, a time when he was just a young man, sitting at Table 9 in the small diner along Route 56—the diner where he met Jessie.

Photography © 2016 by C. K. Conners

"I've seen her here every time I come around, and that's quite often."

I've gotten this question many times: "Is this a true story?" The answer is no. Truly, it is fiction. However, I was inspired to compose this particular work because it tells a tale that, I believe, is worth telling, and is in need of telling.

Photography © 2016 by DMB

"Route 56 turns into Ethel Street as it passes through town before turning back into an open road. We get a lot of traffic from folks traveling across states."

My words tend to be few when speaking to people who've not yet read the piece. I do this not because I know not how to properly synopsize what I've written, but because any explanation of the story's premise or context will, in my humble opinion, take away from the tale's impact, remove some of the weight the piece is meant to carry. What lies within the covers of Table 9 must be received as such events would unfold in life—slowly, gradually, but ever gaining momentum. 

Photography © 2016 by C. K. Conners

"The diner is called The Cattle Corral. It's been here for as long as I can remember."


 

"We're all a little bit crazy, but that comes with the territory."

Working in retail can leave you drained, pulling your hair out, and never wanting to answer another question for the rest of your life. But between all the customer complaints and long hours spent counting nickels and dimes, and repeating "Have a nice day" with a forced smile, lie some of the greatest stories ever told—especially when your team of co-workers is as colorful as the one of which I was so blessed to have been a part.

For four years, I worked as a dietary supplement salesman; and during that time I had the pleasure of working with some truly entertaining characters, about whom I have compiled this short, light-hearted and fictionalized account.

Photography © 2016 by C. K. Conners

"Dietary supplements are weight-loss pills, herbal remedies, vitamin tablets, protein powders, energy drinks, pre-workout stimulants, etcetera."

Those were the days! Truly, I am sad my time as a dietary supplement salesman is over—but, boy, am I glad it's over! Don't get me wrong, I honestly don't think I'll ever find myself surrounded by the kind of stellar and super entertaining staff of which I was so blessed to have been a part; but retail, man. I wouldn't wish retail work on my worst enemy, let alone myself! Okay, it's not that bad; but it is a monster, let me tell you.

Photography © 2016 by C. K. Conners

"We in the health and fitness community constantly face the stereotype that we're nothing but a bunch of meatheads, whose brains have not developed past the ability to lift pills into our mouths and count to ten as we curl dumbbells."

A monster, indeed; but one that leaves you with plenty of stories to tell. Now, in Adventures in Retail, you'll mainly find exaggerated and fictionalized stories about my team of co-workers—only a few interactions with customers are mentioned. Why? First off, a great deal of my customer interactions involved very private matters being shared with me. Second, most interactions were routine, identical, with nothing particularly interesting to relate. And lastly, I didn't want my story to be wholly a collection of rants and complaints, and ill-spirited quips and jabs at people I didn't know for more than five minutes at a time.

Photography © 2016 by C. K. Conners

"What fun would such a busy job be—where you’re forced to deal with some of the rudest, most ignorant, inconsiderate people on the planet—if there weren’t a few unique personalities at your side to help you pass the time?"

In my opinion, the stories I shared with my co-workers were far more entertaining than those had with customers. Honestly, we had more laughs together that were not at the expense of others, and I think that says a lot about what made us great as a team.

Now, you may not find this collection all that entertaining or funny, and that's my fault. I wrote this with only my team in mind; it had been intended originally for their eyes only. So, if what's been penned fails to hit your funny bone, it's because the composition is far too targeted, relying too much on inside stories and previous knowledge not related.

That said, if you are one of the lucky few to have purchased or received a copy, hang onto it if you like to collect rare things, for I will soon cease to sell this collection.

Photography © 2016 by C. K. Conners

"Working in retail can be exhausting at times. But when you’re surrounded by as great a supporting cast as I was so fortunate to be, there really is nothing to it."


 

"It's time you knew the truth."

Yet another responsibility has passed from the Author's plate onto mine:
I am charged with writing the webpage synopsis.

Photography © 2018 by DMB

As this is not a novel, a single story with its own central plot and set of characters, but rather a mélange of seven, each with its own of the aforementioned, the attention span of the modern man demands I sum-up thusly:

Photography © 2018 by DMB

One story is about a dancer, the next is about sitting in the rain; after that is a poem regarding an old man sitting in a chair; next there's a story about a lady, then one about falling in love, followed by one about a snowfall; and, finally, one about a disinterested boss and an ambitious job applicant. Yes, I believe that sums it up nicely.

Photography © 2018 by DMB

But who, you may be asking, if context clues have been correctly interpreted, am I? Certainly not the Author. No, my dear reader. I am afraid (though nonetheless thankful) I am not the Author. I suppose it's time you knew the truth.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

However, time though it may be for the truth to be revealed, it will be up to you, dear reader, to discover it, to unveil the portrait, to get those hands dirty and dig it up. And where might the spade of your shovel fall? I refer you to the headline text on this very page, or to the button below.

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Now that I've offered a quick synopsis about (and dropped the hint to pick up a copy of) the book in question, why not take this opportunity to secure for yourself the title of Educated Consumer, and in so doing reap the benefits of knowing what awaits you within the covers of The Ramblings of a Small-Town What's-His-Name before parting with your hard-earned dollars?

Select a story from the below to learn more.

Dancer  ©2018 by C. K. Conners

Dancer
©2018 by C. K. Conners

How I Fell In Love  ©2018 by C. K. Conners

How I Fell In Love
©2018 by C. K. Conners

And The Rain Continued to Pour  ©2018 by C. K. Conners

And The Rain Continued to Pour
©2018 by C. K. Conners

Lady  ©2018 by C. K. Conners

Lady
©2018 by C. K. Conners

The Candidate  ©2018 by C. K. Conners

The Candidate
©2018 by C. K. Conners

In Darkened Room  ©2018 by C. K. Conners

In Darkened Room
©2018 by C. K. Conners

Snowfall  ©2018 by C. K. Conners

Snowfall
©2018 by C. K. Conners