Several years ago, my best friend, two of her friends from North Carolina, and I headed out to Charleston, South Carolina, for Fourth of July weekend. All four of us were expert shoppers, but the problem was that one of the girls was facing a lease penalty for having not driven her compact car enough. She insisted on driving, although we'd been offered my best friend's now-husband's SUV instead (and this was before gas prices went through the roof, too). The four of us, with all of our stuff, wedged into the little car and took off- with some of our things inside, because we couldn't get it all into the trunk. That was going.
One of the girls had just gone through a nasty breakup- the perfect pretext for some no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners shopping, although none of us really needed the excuse. It was pretty inevitable that we'd go home with more than we'd brought.
It was hotter than the hinges as it so often is in Charleston, but this did not deter us. Since I'm a plus-size gal, I didn't figure I'd be buying any clothing because the boutiques just don't run to that, but I thought I might end up with some shoes. I think I bought some jewelry, and a t-shirt for my father's upcoming birthday, but that was about it...but the breakup girl dropped some serious cash on three or four pairs of high-end shoes. In fact, everybody bought shoes except me- that's something I still can't quite explain, either.
This is the worst part: on Sunday morning, we hiked out in search of brunch. Just as we reached the Episcopal church, the breakup girl stopped stock-still and screeched, "I just stepped in something! In my NEW sandals!!!" The sandals had cost a mint, and now she was holding up the offending footwear like a dead rat. "WHAT IS IT???" she squealed, waving the hapless shoe. I calmly walked over, grasped her firmly by the arm, and told her to stop it. "You don't want to get that on yourself," I explained, noting the hay clumped between the heel and sole, "because that's a horse apple."
She stared at me blankly for a couple of seconds before it sank in. She listed dangerously to one side before we dragged her up onto the portico of the church, out of the heat. My best friend produced a packet of baby wipes and began cleaning the shoe. Its owner, however, still looked like she might pass out- and then it just got to her. She threw up. So, summing up: it's a hundred degrees, humid, we've got Mr. Ed's leavings on a pricey shoe, and someone just barfed on the steps of a well-known Colonial-era church...what a great way to end your vacation in the Sunny South!
We were pretty grim on the way back home, with even more stuff crammed into the interior because of the shopping trophies...accompanied by a quiet, constant recitative of, "Horse apple...new sandals...hundred and fifty dollars...HORSE APPLE..."