I realized that strange things happen in grocery stores and that these silly stories might well bring joy to others, and so I think from time to time, I’ll pen a Grocery Store Diary satire piece all in good fun, in the hopes that somewhere out there it sparks a smile.
A Bold Product
Ever since the pandemic, I’ve been frightened of strangers. Especially those friendly ones that stand too close in the supermarket, the men in flip-flops that strike up a conversation while I’m ordering huge quantities of lunch meat as if the logic is to be standing there, I must like meat and maybe I’ll want to try his.
And the conversation is tangy, mustard that sat out at a sunny bbq all day. Musty movements all wrong right from the start as Flip-flops goes on and on about the beauty of the beaches in Malibu, the uniqueness of its tiny grains of sand, as if the invitation is now, if you try my meat, I might someday take you to a beach in Malibu.
So, I use my secret weapon, I mention my kids. The blue pools of his eyes freeze over. He starts backstroking out of the conversation. Talks about relatives that live in a cliffside mansion in Malibu and how even though they’re rich and have no children, they are so cold towards charities, which I’m guessing means I might still be able to go on vacation in Malibu if we stay with his tight-fisted family members, and I don’t bring up my kids ever, ever again.
The lunch lady interrupts by clearing her throat. “This alright?” She holds up a thin slice of ham.
“Yes, perfect. Thank you.”
“You try?” She dangles the meet back and forth. It ripples pink, opalescent from top to bottom like the inside of an oyster.
And to be polite, I am now nibbling Boars Head Honey Ham in front of flip flops who grins as if he is imagining me sampling his own meat.
The lady behind the counter has a smile wider than the zip-lock bag she hands to me.
“Have a good week.”
“Thank you. I’ll see you next Sunday.” Flip-flops doesn’t say goodbye. He’s gotten his fix. He points through the glass window at his selections, speaks in a raised voice, worried the deli counter worker won’t understand him, and cut him the Black Forst Ham instead of the Tavern variety, but she understands him all too well.
Despite the Sunday rush, she is efficient, and I wonder what she would make of the other meat offered today if I asked her for it thinly sliced?