I was in a gas station because I needed a pack of Kool Kings. In line in front of me was a retarded midget. And I mean really retarded, as in mentally disabled. Now, I am lacking in every midget-appropriate social grace known to man. I have no idea how to behave when a midget, or otherwise tiny person, is nearby. I often confuse them with children and speak to them as such. Add retarded to the mix, and I’m outright socially crippled. Additionally, after all this time, I’m still not sure if this retarded midget was a girl or a boy, or a man or a woman. I am just going to refer to her as “her” because it’s easier that way. Just keep in mind that she might have been a he.
She had no hair. Just peach fuzz on top of her head. She appeared to have a cold, which was creating a mess of mucus on her face. She was attempting to purchase a Pepsi, but she was 48 cents short. I happened to be holding, in my hand, two quarters. She was fumbling around for a few minutes, trying to locate 48 cents, and I was standing behind her holding the two quarters.
I feel sorry for retarded people. It broke my heart, this scene.
I walked up next to her and placed my two quarters on the counter.
“Here you go,” I said, smiling at her.
The retarded midget turned her oozing face to mine. She smiled a really super big smile at me, which allowed me to pat myself on the back for a moment for my extraordinarily altruistic character.
“Thank you. Can I have a ride home?”
I stared at her painfully for about five seconds. I made a decision.
“No,” I said.
“Why not?” She asked.
This is where I started to panic. I didn’t want her to think that I was grossed out by her, and that I didn’t want her coming in physical contact with my car. I didn’t want her to think that it made me tremendously uncomfortable to be in such close vicinity with a midget, never mind a retarded one. I didn’t want her to think that my charitable nature was strictly limited to those actions that cost fifty cents or less. These were the real reasons I declined to take the retarded midget home.
“I don’t have enough gas,” I lied.
“You are at a gas station. Get gas,” she quipped. Outsmarted by a retarded midget.
“I don’t have enough money.” I lied.
“I just live right over that way,” she said, pointing east.
“I’m going that way,” I lied, pointing west.
“Then I live right over that way.” She said, pointing west.
Now, that frightened me. Before, there was a retarded midget who didn’t want to walk home asking me for a ride. Now there was a retarded midget attempting to fool me into granting her access to my car, and whose motivation for this behavior was ambiguous. Petrifying.
“No,” I repeated, sticking to my guns.
I bought my cigarettes with her standing uncouthly close to me. Then I walked out of the gas station, with her following unnervingly near. I tried to ignore her, but it couldn’t be done. I could practically feel her.
And then I broke. I began to run. I couldn’t help myself. I was more than apprehensive at that point; I was terrified. I turned around while I ran. I don’t know what I expected to see. I guess I wanted to see her face, whether I had offended her or not.
The retarded midget was chasing me. Stubby little legs zigzagging rapidly back and forth, mucus and saliva flying off of her face and into the air. She was visually livid, just absolutely irate, and determined to get me.
I got to my car, and it was like a horror movie. I fumbled with my keys. I dropped them on the ground and wasted time trying to retrieve them from under my car. The retarded midget was getting closer and closer.
Finally, I got my act together and opened my car door. I managed to slip in and slam the door shut right before she came, bashing into my window. Snot and spit smeared all over the window, and I screamed in terror. She was smashing her fist on the glass, hollering, noise, but no intelligible words.
I turned the keys with my shaking hand and started the car. She was still punching my window when I peeled out of the gas station to escape her dreadful attack.
This was one menacing retarded midget.
The incident ended there, but maybe the worst part of the whole thing was that no one believed me. I grew up in a small town, you see, and no one had ever heard of or seen a retarded midget living in the area. People tend to take notice of someone like that. There was Purple-Face Guy, Tanner the Wheelchair Kid, and the others, but no one knew of any local midgets, let alone retarded midgets.
Months after the episode, I was driving home from a friend’s house. I saw her again, the retarded midget. She recognized my car, and me in it. She raised her arm and extended her pointer finger out to me. Kept it up, pointing at me, until I couldn’t see her in my rearview mirror anymore.
Chilled me to the bone.