I told you…the ‘weird ones’ just sit around and wait for me to walk by and then they flaunt their particular brand of ‘crazy’ right in front of me!
Today, I stopped at a local grocery store that used to be Bruno’s. I never can remember its new name. Anyway, since we are coming up so quickly (or slowly, depending on your point of view) on the move to the Creek House, I do not intend to cook a full course Thanksgiving Dinner…actually, I don’t intend to cook a half course Thanksgiving Dinner. I’m thinking a big pot of Taco Soup will fill the bill nicely. But, I digress…I stopped in to get the ingredients and lay in a big supply of Diet Dr. Pepper. And, it was in the check-out lane that this story begins.
I looked for a short line, and found a lane where there were 2 ladies checking out. I figured I would be out of there in a snap. I figured wrong. First strange thing I noticed…was a wad of something laying on the counter. It was most unusual conglomeration of things I have seen all tucked in together. There was one of those rubber, spiky bouncy balls, and a silver police whistle, there was a coin purse shaped like a fish, and a pair of dice. There was an small football, and a key chain in the shape of an angel, complete with a sparkly halo, and a tube of lip gloss. All of these were somehow connected to each other and hanging from the key chain was a set of about 38 or so keys. She kept picking it up and moving it down the line as she moved along. She seemed to be having an argument of some sort with her lady friend. “You sure you ain’t got 24 cent? 24 cent ain’t very much.” “Well, I said I ain’t got it and I ain’t! You not gonna die from thirst.” “Well, if you ain’t got all high and mighty. Can’t help a friend out for a measly 24 cent.” “I told you I ain’t got it.” And, with this she proceeds to dump her whole, entire purse onto the moving counter. The clerk’s eyes nearly popped out! There were things in that purse that had not seen the light of day for years. I kid you not. There were socks…there were used tissues…there were feminine hygiene products…there was a pack of gum, and 2 bars of candy. There was a hairbrush, and 3 tubes of lipstick, a compact that had broken open…covering the entire contents of the purse with ‘suntan glow.’ And, out rolled several coins. “Here, count this and see if it’s 24 cent. I’m just telling you it is all I got.” The other woman started counting and obviously big numbers were not her thing, as she had to start over several times. I’m not sure if she ever got it right. “Shug, can I have a wet paper towel to clean off this powder?”, she said to the clerk. The poor girl did not know what to say. She handed her a paper towel…dry. “Never mind, that ain’t gonna work…I knew there weren’t no 24 cent in here to start with.”
This is where I could not keep silent any longer. Taking a dollar bill from my wallet, I said, “Mam, I would be happy to share this with you if you don’t have quite enough money.” “Well, why would you want to do that?”, she asked. “I’ve been in the same situation myself and I would be so happy to share with you,” I said. “Why?”, she said again. “Well, I am just trying to be a good neighbor,” I said. “Do you live near me?,” she asked. “No, I don’t think so, I said. “Well, why are you trying to give me money, Shug?,” she asked again. Feeling very frustrated, I said, “Mam, I just figured if Jesus was standing here, He would help you and I’m just trying to do what He would do.”
She turned to her friend and in a huff, she said, “Now, look what you did…got this woman feeling sorry for us.” She scooped up the contents of her purse, and shoved it all back inside…except for the ‘suntan glow’ powder that covered the counter. Looking at the poor woman with her she said, “You won’t never get my 24 cent…you can just drink water.”
And, with that, they walked away…leaving the counter covered with face powder and a lukewarm RC Cola.
I don’t think the clerk has recovered yet.