A guy with a goatee and paint-splattered work clothes was pushing his cart down the narrow produce aisle in a long deliberate arc — similar to the curve a bowling ball takes at the end of the lane, but slower. His son and his daughter were sitting in the cart. As the dad playfully threatened to run into the refrigerated wall, his son leaned out of the cart while it was still in motion and said, “I…” then he snagged three green beans “got ‘em!”
Then the dad veered away, past a senior couple. The man was wearing a yellow jacket and a baseball cap that read “WWII VETERAN.” He put some vegetables into a plastic bag. “There’s no twisters,” he said, clearly perturbed. His wife told him to “put it on the weigher.” He dropped the bag on the scale and sighed, still sounding perturbed. “It’s three-quarters of a pound,” he said. She thought about it a moment a said, “That’ll do.”
In the frozen foods section, an older man was accompanying two older women. He was wearing a skinny-brimmed hat with a small pheasant feather in the band. He said, “We already have several pieces of fish at home.” One of the women said, “Do we need bread?” And he replied, “No. I have two slices and that’s on top of the eleven slices you already have.” The other woman said, “I prefer waffles. But if I don’t have waffles, I’ll usually end up making toast.” The man said, “Yeah. Everyone likes waffles. You open a box of waffles and they’ll just evaporate. People will just eat up a box of waffles in no time.”
Shortly thereafter, a woman dragged her three sons into the greeting card section. “We just need to find a birthday card and get out of here,” she said. The three boys spread out to look for the perfect card. The youngest grabbed a card with Snoopy on it, and read it aloud in the monotone little kids use when they’re just learning how to read. “If-I-could-give-you-one-thing-for-your-birthday-it-would-be-a-hug-that-lasts-forever.” The mom didn’t hear him, though, because the middle son was going, “What about this one?”
“No,” she said.
“What about this one?”
“What about this one?”
The youngest son tugged on her arm. “What about this one?” he said, and read, “If-I-could-give-you-one-thing-for-your-birthday-it-would-be-a-hug-that-lasts-forever.”
“Ugh, no,” she said.
The oldest son came over holding a card. He handed it to his mom. On the front, in balloon-like yellow and pink letters, it read, “The answer is Sex & Money” and on the inside it read “The question is: What are two things you won’t get on your birthday.”
“Yeah, real hilarious,” she said, giving him the card back. She walked off with a sigh. He ran to the end of the aisle to return the card to its proper place, and chased after her.