Sunday, June 2, 2013


As one of my readers pointed out recently, “I don't know that this qualifies as a check in,” therefore, you can certainly apply much the same to this post if not more. I must be a slow learner. I really try to write 750 words every day. I do, but they're usually comments, remarks to trolls, chat room conversations and I'm pretty sure all of that drivel is not going to add up to a lasting body of work. It's more like graffiti on the internet's bathroom walls, and usually not so polite.

I'm fairly certain this is NOT a contribution to Arts and Letters throughout the Ages.

Not to change the subject, but I hope these yahoos made some money from this post. I certainly didn't. "Playing the Violin, and How to Avoid It," was one of the funnier things I've written.

You can tell the folks at the Algonquin Round Table would have revoked my privileges, had they still been around and if I had ever graced their presence and this were 19__ whatever.

So, today, I had a mini-odyssey. There have been many changes here lately. Some good, some not so. With the death of Kevin, his ALF is finally keeping their residents close to home; it's just a shame someone had to die before they started doing their job. The new laundry is open, so we no longer look like refugees from the Eastern Front in WWII. The have installed a new Express bus line; the Green line and until June the 7th, customers ride free. I was going to take advantage of this. We get paid tomorrow and our fridge turned up it's toes and died a slow and stinky death, so everything had to go.

We're replacing in stages, but we have to cut corners for a bit. I had a couple of prescriptions due today and I was going to take advantage of the freebie bus. Well, shit. The damn thing doesn't run on weekends, so I walked to the local Sweetbay, which is a mile. I can do this easily, in spite of all this hair-on-fire warnings about COPD, congestive heart failure, PD, blah, blah, blah. I am one strong, and tough ox. Seriously; even with the falling down and blindness. Seriously, I walk fast and easy and I can walk forever; it's probably metabolic or something. My knowledge of physical fitness is abysmal. Unfortunately, my dollar store shoe couldn't keep up, so I had to limp-hop across the HOTTER THAN HELL BLACKTOP.

How do you market this? Here they are in Pumpkin Gulag. They started out in the front of the store, scaring the bejesus out of the customers. I thought we'd wandered into Frankenstein's lab. They were a whopping 6 bucks a piece. They did not sell in time for Halloween. Over time, they kept moving farther and farther back, their prices dropping. First to 3.49 each, then the dollar you see here. They were so forlorn. I felt so sorry for them. Poor pink pumpkins. Jim, the produce guy and he of the shirt-and-tie now, said they just showed up on the truck and it fell to them to market them. People thought they were mutants. They tried to tie them in with "Breast Cancer" somehow, but that flopped. I was never sure if they meant, "these will give you breast cancer, or cure it, or we will donate to breast cancer." They ended up cutting one in half to show people they were "safe." I wonder what the geniuses at central distribution will send them this year.

Jim, the wonderful pink-pumpkin guy is now wearing a shirt and tie and works up front. I can think of no one better. He is an endless supply of enthusiasm and professionalism and one of my favorite go-to people, along with Casey, Paula and the Manager Josh Hamilton, who has known me from day one, when I went to the homeless shelter. Jim's solution, when I entered the store with my broken shoe, was to offer me a riding cart. I just looked at him. He said, “yeah, I didn't think you were going to go for that.” So, I shuffled off to the Pharmacy and got my prescriptions.

Sweetbay has just been bought out by Winn-Dixie, but the people at my store are going to stay. Yay!

I picked up the few other things we needed, and while I was in the line to pay, I had a brainstorm. I saw Jim and Josh and said “Hey, do you guys have any duct tape?” They looked at each other. “For my shoe.” I explained. Jim rustled some up and I took my stuff up to the front of the store and bent over. Here I am with my underpants hanging out, bent over. I stood up. “I am so going to end up on You Tube.” These guys have seen me playing “Air whackamole guitar” in the rice aisle. I was getting' down, lost in the moment, but got that eerie feeling you get when someone is looking at you, but you can't see them (I ignore cameras) and I turned around. This guy was standing behind me, grinning. I said, “Oh, I am so sorry.” He said, “I'm in no hurry. Party on.”

Wrong clan and wrong instrument and wrong number of people, but too cool to pass up. 

So now, I managed to get my foot up on the newspaper stand and wrap duct tape around it a few times and tear it off. “There! Now, I'll be able to get home, without dragging my foot like Igor, Dr. Frankenstein's assistant. Now, Jim you just keep being great.” Jim, ever the comedian, says, “First I have to start being great.” This is seriously the best grocery store, ever. Because the spice aisle is jointly run by the CIA and the KGB and the whole place treats all the bizarros with complete aplomb, I feel right at home. I took the regular bus home, and had to beat feet, to avoid one of the many neighborhood Lotharios. Ick. JC is watching the SyFy "Piranhaconda" movie. I can't miss that.

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