I keep delaying this grocery store series because I don't really have a crush on my local grocer, I just find him so endearing. What follows is the original text from October.
When I finally made my way to the checkout counter with what seemed much more than I could carry, I pulled into Lane 11, Neal�s lane. Neal will henceforth be my favorite checkout person. He said �hello,� I replied with the same and then politely stared at my groceries while he passed them over the scanner. After a brief moment he said, �So, did you do anything fun today?� I was a little surprised, never having had a cashier begin a conversation before, but replied,
�Why, I went to the grocery store.� I could tell from his response that going to the grocery store was not quite what he would consider fun... but then, neither would I really. So I added, �I got to read the Odyssey all morning; that was fun.�
I�m getting ahead of myself now. Let me put this in context. Neal looks like he is about nineteen with short brown hair, standard blue eyes, pale, tall, and thin. In short he was young, a living definition of the word 'callow.' He replied to my Odyssey offer, bless his heart, �from the TV show or the original?�
I caught myself just before laughing out loud and grinned, �No, the original.� From there I shifted the conversation to the upcoming movie portrayal of the Iliad with Brad Pitt as Achilles, and mentioned that I needed to apply for a Safeway Customer card since I had just moved here.
He looked me in the eye and replied, �Don�t worry, I�ll get you one.� We talked for a while about Chicago, bands there, and more movies until he finished scanning my selections and went to retrieve a card for me. He asked if I had an ID since I was buying beer.
�Oh yeah, I always forget that� I replied, shaking my head.
�Sure you do,� he said in a mocking tone. His final comment before I wheeled my cart away was to recommend that I see �Identity� with John Cusack. I�m not entirely sure what prompted this recommendation, other than the possible Chicago connection (Cusack is from there). Nonetheless, it was a novel experience, having my grocer make viewing recommendations. I think I should watch it as fodder for future conversations... just to see what unfolds.