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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: See (07/22/10)

TITLE: The Aggravation of Agnes
By Kristi Peifer


“Low fat soy latte for, uh, Ag-knees!” the barista hollered.

Agnes thanked the server, her tone revealing only the slightest hint of condescension.

Dimwit. Another shining example of the success of our public schools.

She navigated through the maze of moms with cranky toddlers to her favorite spot. Of all the tables in the food court, the booth in front of Java Joe’s and Cluck for a Buck afforded the best opportunities for people-watching.

What ridiculousness will we see today, I wonder? Agnes rolled her eyes and settled in for the show.

“Late again, eh, Phyllis?” she mumbled to herself. Scanning the room for her friend, her eyes settled on a group of giggling tween girls.

Don’t their mothers look at them before they leave the house? They’ve got more skin showing than a Turkish harem!

“Helloooooooo!” Phyllis’ voice sailed over Agnes’ well-coiffed head.

“Decided to show up after…” Agnes began, her reprimand losing steam as Phyllis came into view.

“Ta-Da!” Phyllis said with her trademark flourish. “Whaddya think?”

She threw her hands out and twirled, showing off her flashy new hot pink jogging suit.

Agnes gave her friend a thorough once-over. “I think…”

I think you look like a Pepto-Bismol bottle threw up all over you! Who knew they even made velour in that shade?

“You’ve been shopping,” she managed.

“Yeah, the Home Spending Network!” she beamed. “And because I was one of the first twenty callers, they threw these puppies in for free!”

Phyllis popped her left foot onto the table in front of Agnes’ immaculately manicured hands. “Go ahead, touch ‘em!”


“Touch ‘em!”

I don’t want to touch them! They’re hideous!

“Go on!” Phyllis goaded. She grabbed Agnes’ hand and thrust it against her shoe. To Agnes’ horror, the shoes lit up.

Good heavens, Phyllis! What did you do, knock over the Tacky Truck?

“Eh? How ‘bout that?” Phyllis crowed.

“Shiny,” Agnes offered.


And you could moonlight as a neon sign.

“And you can safely go jogging at night.”

“That’s exactly what I thought!” Phyllis smiled and plopped down next to her pal. “So who are we watching today?”

“So far, a bunch of teeny-boppers who dress like that repulsive Lady GooGoo character or whatever her name is.” Agnes sniffed in disdain.

“Hmm. What about him?” Phyllis nodded to a passerby.

“The kid with the skateboard? How he can see through that mop of hair in his face is beyond me. And his pants are hanging so low he could trip over his own belt loops!”

“I don’t think he looks that bad,” Phyllis said. “It’s the style for kids nowadays.”

Yes, Madame Pepto, as if you are the maven of all things stylish!

“Ooh, now there’s something different, Agnes!”

Agnes turned abruptly.

“Don’t look!” Phyllis squealed.

“Good grief, Phyllis! How am I supposed to see it if I don’t look?”

“You’ve got a point there,” she conceded. “But don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Phyllis shook her head, anticipating the coming fallout.

Agnes’ eyes widened, her abhorrence evident with every successive blink. “In the name of all things decent, what does that woman think she’s doing?

Phyllis watched the hot flush surge up Agnes’ cheeks at breakneck speed.

“That’s just obscene—and in her condition! Why, in my day, you’d sooner die than parade yourself around publicly in a get up like that!” Agnes huffed, her tirade just warming up.

“Now Agnes,” Phyllis began.

“Don’t patronize me, Phyllis! It’s just plain vulgar.”

“Times have changed, Agnes.”

“I think I’ve seen quite enough of this questionable behavior,” Agnes said. “I have a headache. I’m going home.”

Agnes rose with a great harrumph. She marched, prim and straight-backed, to the object of her disdain.

With an air of unmistakable contempt, Agnes looked the young woman over.

What kind of woman wears a halter top in public when she is with child? It’s unheard of!

She couldn’t help but stop and stare at the mother’s exposed belly.

And as if that isn’t enough to make her mother blush, what is that…a TATTOO? On her belly? Young lady, have some dignity! Cover yourself up!

Agnes shook her finger and leveled the judgment that could only come from one with a proper upbringing. “Tsk, tsk, tsk!”

There was nothing left to say. Agnes spun on her heel and walked away. She was almost to the exit when the scorned called out to her.

“Hey, Lady! The back of your skirt is tucked into your pantyhose. Thought you’d wanna know.”

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This article has been read 836 times
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/29/10
This had me giggling right up to the last line when I started laughing heartily! I enjoy to people watch too, but hopefully, I'm not as critical as Agnes. But it is a nice reminder, we often judge on looks alone and if we think those thoughts, it won't be long before we speak them. Great story.
Laury Hubrich 08/02/10
Ouch. You hit way too close to home for me:) Hopefully I'm never as bad as this crotchety old lady! Cute story. Glad Agnes got what was coming to her! :)
AnneRene' Capp08/03/10
Ha ha ha and LOL, too funny. This was great, even though I shared Agnes' sentiments:) And btw...I too despise Pepto Bismol Pink!
Theresa Santy 08/03/10
Oh my gosh, this was hysterical. I was smiling and giggling the entire time!

And I LOVE the twist at the end! It really hit home. How often am I too busy judging others to notice the plank in my own eye?

I think, if I'm not careful, I may turn into Agnes in the not so distant future, and oh how I just love to people watch, especially in a hotbed like a food court.

great job!
Beth LaBuff 08/03/10
Ouch! LOL! I love your title (and the alliteration). You had many fabulous lines, among them "Lady GooGoo" :) This was so enjoyable to read!
Shirley McClay 08/04/10
Very fun and easy to read! I loved hearing her thoughts and how they contrasted with what she actually said. Great writing!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/04/10
A fun story with an implied, but very important message:
A critical nature demeans the criticizer. I Love how Agnes got her comeuppance.
Lollie Hofer08/04/10
Pride really does go before the fall. Great reminder for me to examine my heart and guard my tongue. Ouch!
Cheryl Harrison08/04/10
Loved it! Loved it! Made me laugh! Just wondering if Agnes is aggravated everyday! Thanks I needed that!
Mona Purvis08/04/10
I love humor and so I certainly enjoyed this. What a funny, well-written story. great all the way. Love the ending.

Kate Oliver Webb 08/04/10
Yes, yes, yes!! I believe I know Agnes and her friend. This was well-written, with great imagery and dialog, and one of the best endings I've read in a long while. Great fun with a great message!
Edmond Ng 08/04/10
The gap is obvious! The way we think and perceive is certainly far from what our younger ones think today. Understanding one another will be a great achievement! Reminds me of Colossians 3:21.
Mona Purvis08/05/10
I knew this was a winner. Congrats on your EC!

Pamela Pumphrey08/05/10
Hilarious!!!!! Thanks for the good story and good laugh!
Angela M. Baker-Bridge08/07/10
Very nicely done! Congratulations...