, he assured the frightened convenience store clerk. The first thing was potato chips. He needed potato chips RIGHT NOW, he told her, or he would literally explode, because there were bombs strapped to him.

Don't worry about the bombs, he said again, trying to calm her down. But get me those potato chips quickly. I want the deep-fried sour cream-and-onion flavored type, he said, speaking slowly and enunciating so that there would be no screw-ups.

He had the advantage. She would be forced to retreat behind the counter, retrieve the bag of succulent potato chips that he knew she...

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