A small, yellow squeaky toy shaped like a dog.
I felt myself being drawn to it and then my tiny T-rex-like hands curled around the middle of the balloon animal and - squeeze.
"HAHAHAHAH!" I propped my forehead on the germ-encrusted buggy and hunched over, laughing loudly and drooling for good measure.
I dared another squeeze.
"OH WHY IS THIS SO FUNNY?" I yelled to the small dog toy still in my hand and then burst into horrible, hornking laughter again.
I knew that I wasn't going to make it.
This stupid little dollar toy was going to make me lose my shit.
I had to find help.
Or a bathroom.
My sister, Summer, was two aisles away, apparently oblivious to my squeaky-toy showdown in the middle of the electronics department. And who the EFF puts a dog toy display in with the cd's anyway? I mean, I could sue for mental duress or something.
I saw her standing next to an employee and contemplating between buying pens or pencils or arsenic - I don't know - I didn't care. I meandered toward her, forehead still on the buggy, dragging my legs behind me, clutching the damn squeaky toy and laughing until my eyelids burned and I snotted slightly on myself.
"Hey - what do you - well Holly! What the-?" she stared at me with a smile but also a bit of concern as I thrust the dog toy toward her perpetually pretty nose.
"Dog toy! It SQUEAKS! Dog! Balloon! Sex commercial! Balloons!AHAHAHAH!" I doubled over in the floor and continued to guffaw and wheeze until I was sure I was as done as my Clinique mascara was now on my nose.
"Why is this funny? What commercial? Sex what?" she asked and goddammit if she didn't squeeze the little fucker and make me keel over again.
Later, when I could breathe again and had thoroughly hand-santized my forehead, I explained about seeing a Durex commercial where balloon animals were "doing it," and it was so funny.
"Okay," she said, doubt radiating from her eyes. But that didn't stop her from squeezing the thing at various times trying to get me to wet myself from laughing so hard at a dog toy.
That stupid balloon animal dog toy almost cost me my dignity.
And it did cost me 99 cents.