Culinary Expedition, Part 3

So today I returned to the Safeway, after a month of avoiding it, shopping at Albertson's in Lafayette when I went to take care of my parents' house, eating at The Castle etc. But today I needed laundry detergent and it couldn't wait. My eating habits have struck a hesitant medium between cheese nips and canapes, so when I walked up to the checkout aisle with pasta sauce, bagels, tide, lactose-free milk, apple cinnamon cheerios, and Christmas animal cookies, I decided to check for my favorite checker. Sure enough, he was there. He seems to like lane 11. He was peering down at the scanner, saying nothing to anyone but the obligatory "Have a nice day, Mr. shmmmffffzz." I expected nothing to come of this experiment of mine. Certainly he wouldn't remember me from three months ago, nor change his demeanor for my laundry-day self, decked out in overalls and a thermal from junior high. The man in front of me stepped forward to pay and another bagger came to relieve the first. Looking virtually nothing like Laurence Fishburne, excepting in color, he said, "We missed you, Neal." This brought a chuckle from our friend. Maybe it wouldn't come to nothing after all. It was my turn now, and I presented my Safeway card. He scanned it, then continued to stare at the scanner as he began passing my items over it. As he grasped my Vodka Sauce emblazoned with a sketch of Paul Newman in a babushka, he said, "Paul Newman, what's become of you?"
I apologized quickly, "It's the only vodka sauce you carry. There's nothing to be done."
"Well then, there's nothing to be done. He's sold his soul to the sauce," he conceded.
"I think all the proceeds go to charity," I said.
"Really! What's become of you, Paul Newman!" he said admiringly.
"Who's Paul Newman?" the bagger interjected.
"Oh! Break my heart! Cool Hand Luke?" I burst out.
"You don't know who Paul Newman is?" from my checker friend.
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Oh, wait! Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid!"
"Do you know the movies she's talking about?"
Still a blank stare from the bagger.
"Who's the other actor in that?" Neal asked.
"Oh...Rrrroo..." mentally, to myself, I'm thinking, don't remember so you can talk to him just a minute longer.
"Oh, this is going to drive me crazy. I'm gonna wake up at two o'clock in the morning, sit bolt upright and remember... Ahhhh..."
I just made it the ATM before he called "Robert Redford."
I smiled, or beamed more likely.
I muttered to happily to myself the whole way home.

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This page contains a single entry by published on December 7, 2003 3:35 PM.

Culinary Expedition, Part 2 was the previous entry in this blog.

Culinary Expedition, Part 4 is the next entry in this blog.

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