Greetings, WYMOP readers!
Occasionally I'll be with Handsome, and he'll say or do something that causes me to immediately say "Okay, that's a blog."
This was one of those times.
Here's the story:
I went grocery shopping with Handsome this past Sunday.
Grocery shopping with Handsome consists mainly of finding a place to sit still and wait, while the boy goes on “hunt and destroy” missions. He snakes through the crowded aisles with an almost serpentine grace and a complete lack of manners that only the young can get away with: if I were to try to follow him, Security, the police, and possibly even the FBI would be speed-dialed by panicked folks who had, just moments before, merely shaken their heads at the antics of an overgrown 11-year old and wondered what kind of parents he had.
I am that parent, and you can usually find me sitting over by the deli.
The deli, by the way, is the perfect place to stop and wait a while in a grocery store if you’re an anti-social boob, like me. Everyone there is standing at a sort of attention, eyes fixed on the number display with all the focus of a dog who’s just heard the can opener, and clutching the small slip of numbered paper that tells them where they are in the queue.
If you get too bored, then look closely and see if you can spot the Dancer. The Dancer can be either male or female, and for some reason there always seems to be one. The Dancer is the person standing quite close to the counter even though it’s not their turn, who stares at the number display like they’re trying to set it aflame through sheer force of will. If you watch, you’ll see they’re also shifting from foot to foot, almost as if nervous about something. The price of Imported Hickory-Smoked Yak Ham, perhaps?
The Dancer has to go to the bathroom. Has to go quite badly, in fact — elimination with extreme prejudice is in their future. But they can not leave the deli counter. If they do, then their number is immediately called out and they miss their turn, forcing them to take another number and start all over again. This is part of the magic of the deli, and is unexplainable by either science or mathematics, but it is rather fun to watch.
Other than the Dancer, the deli is usually pretty quiet. There is a sort of “elevator” feel to the place, where everyone stands in their own space, doesn’t talk, and would rather take a dripping baby gherkin to an unprotected eyeball than make actual eye-contact with any of their fellows in waiting.
Away through the crowd he went, and then back he came, one of those pre-cooked, rotisserie chickens in hand. He dropped it into the cart and was away again.
And came back again. This time with a package of thin-cut steaks.
Away again. Back again. Boneless pork chops.
Are you beginning to see a pattern here?
Eventually he came to rest, standing just to the other side of the cart, gazing at me across the mound of foodstuffs he’d collected with his (sometimes startlingly) blue eyes.
“Can we go? I’m hungry.”
“Sure,” I said, looking over the cart’s contents. “What do you want for dinner?”
“Can I have a salad?”
I gave him a squint worthy of a B-movie actor with a Clint Eastwood fetish.
From behind me came a shout, a joyous sound almost giddy with delight. I shifted the cart sideways about a two feet, moving it well out of the traffic lane. Then I stared into it, poking about and moving the larger stuff, just in case I was missing something. Milk, bread, yogurt, cereal, chips, hamburger rolls, peanut butter, soda… and, of course, hamburgers, steaks, boneless pork chops and one whole chicken.
Nothing green, or leafy, or that was grown in the ground for as far as the eye could see. Or at least to the other side of the cart.
“You want a salad?”
There was a commotion behind me, then a fast repetition of words.
“Excuse me, pardon me, excuse me…”.
I recognized the voice as the joyous shouter from moments before just as a cart whizzed through the space in the traffic lane I had so recently vacated. It was the Dancer I had spotted earlier, a woman in, of all things, blue leopard-print pants, raced along in a half-run that was a curious mix of pride and desperation.
“From what? There’s nothing but meat in here.”
“Well,” he said, big round eyes growing bigger and rounder. And, somehow, bluer. “Can’t we just put strips of steak and pork and chicken into a bowl?”
My eyes were as wide as his.
“And that’s a salad?”
Right there in the middle of the store, the boy threw his fists in the air like the home team had scored the winning touchdown, and shouted two words:
I stared at him.
“Man-salad?” I said.
“Man-salad,” he said.
So I thought about it.
I put bacon bits on mine. It was delicious.
Talk to you later!
...and as a little extra, just for laughs (if you're into this kind of thing -- I have to say, it made me laugh), here's a little prank video!
Make sure you have your sound on, and listen to the guy on the left breathing in the end. Oh my God!