Saturday, May 31, 2008

Twin Peaks

Once again, we are at the grocery store. This time, it is Walts. Why Walt's? Because they have the best bargains and once in a while their ice cream is on sale. We got Quaker cereal for $1.67 a box. And we happily scooped up some products from the more than 1/2 off bin. Why are they in this bin ? Because they are about to become too old. Yes, another exhibit in the endless parade of american cultural bias against things being 'too' old. This, however is not the point of this essay. The points of interest here concern what I saw at the check-out counter.
As usual, we were met with multiple options when we tried to check out. There was line 8 (express, 10 or less items) but a woman seemed to be lost there because her cart clearly had 7000 items in it. There was line 6, which had two medium size orders in it and there was line 2, which had one medium size order. This was a no brainer - line 2, it is. There was something curious happening in line 2 - something I did not notice at first. The customer in front us was having trouble paying for her order. She was either a master at the oh-I'm-old-so-I-didn't-notice-I-gave-you-a-five-instead-of-a-fifty routine or she really didn't notice her slip-up. But that is no big thing, as it happens every hour at Walt's (home of the older than me shoppers).
What caught my eye was the fact that the cashier, bagger, assistant bagger, and roaming stock clerk (all of whom were hanging out at the end of line number 2) did not seem to notice the lady was struggling to find the right paper documents to pay her bill. She did finally figure out where her fifity was and she paid the bill and then she pushed her cart alone. I wonder why ? Was she a crazy woman that none of the employees wanted anything to do with ? (I wonder if I am one too ?) No, there was another reason for their disinterest.
When the cashier moved slightly to give the woman her change, I saw the reason why. Or maybe I should say the reasons why. Standing behind the cashier, about two to three feet behind him, was a young twenty-ish girl with blonde hair. I know this because my wife told me so. I did not see her hair. Something else was attracting my attention. I whispered to my wife, 'look at that girl.' She did and did not see what I was looking at. I told her to look again, then she saw them.
"Oh my God are those real?" she said into my ear. My wife did not want to be over-heard by the girl, the cashier, the bagger, assistant bagger and roving stock clerk. Of these five people, only one was female. the other four ranged in age from 16 to 20. These four males seemed to be standing taller and taller and their chests seemed to be more and more puffed up. I think a couple of them were flexing their muscles. But I have to take my wife's word on this - I was still trying to determine the answer to her question. And short of touching them, I don't think I will ever know the answer, but I do know what I told my wife in answer to her question:
"Who cares."

Frank

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About Me

I am a crabby old man who hates everything
or
I am a tiny wonderer in a large world
or
I am a young hippie tree-hugger
or
I am a mid-life crisis disaster area.
or
I am an attitude of stillness waiting for a wind.
or
I have not decided yet.