People I meet when shopping

Earl Chessher shopping

I dislike grocery shopping. The store is too big and the items I generally need are spaced out all over the place.

Dog food, it’s way over in one end of the place. Groceries are on the other side of the store. And if I need something for my computer, I must traipse to the back of the store.

Not long ago, our dwindling supply of dog food signaled a trip to one of these super centers.

In addition to the pet food, I’d look for toilet paper and Wifey told me to buy a floor mop. (She was busy, and wouldn’t accompany me on this trip.) 

I snagged a container of wasp spray n on my way to the dog food section. Yay me, I grabbed the grub and a pack of rawhide chews. And I figured that since I was here, I’d pick up a sack of cat food too.

Okay, done, and time to traverse the vast expanse of shopping aisles, to the grocery section.

I was getting close, and stood in front of shelves of spices. Wifey had said we were getting low on thyme. And voila, the spices were arranged in alphabetical order.

“Excuse me,” said the gentleman in the above photo. “Do you know if they carry any salt substitute?”

I shrugged, “I have no idea, but we can certainly look. I think they do.”

He spotted it before I did. “Bingo. Got it.”

He put a little container in his shopping cart, “What are you in here for?”

I pointed to my buggy, “Dog food, and a few more items that just happened to fall in my cart.” I said. “Now, I need a floor mop, and some toilet paper.”

“Ah,” My new friend said, “I think they’re close by. And I need paper goods too.”

We navigated our shopping carts toward the back of the store. And a thought hit me. “Orange juice,” I called out.

  “I need a squirt,” He replied.

 “You gotta pee?” I asked.

“No. I want a bottle of ruby red grapefruit Squirt. It’s a soft drink; sugar-free soda pop. I’ve been drinking diet squirt for years. I wonder if they have any ruby red?”

“Let’s go check,” I said. “Two sets of eyeballs will find ruby red Squirt faster than one pair.”

We nearly drove our shopping carts into the mop display. “Hooray,” I said. “Mop land.”

We found a long display of soda pop just around the corner, and toilet paper was one aisle from that.

Another shopper, of gargantuan size, bumped my friend’s hip with a corner of her over-loaded shopping cart. He made a muffled “Hmmmph” remark and held a hand on his hip. A Mexican standoff ensured, the only weapons involved were threatening stares.

My friend won the duel with a comment, “There ought to be a law about reckless driving in grocery stores.”

A few minutes later, he had his Squirt in hand.  “It isn’t ruby red, but it’s diet.”

We went through the checkout line together. And we chatted briefly in the store’s foyer. He told me he wrote books. We exchanged names, shook hands, and promised to look each other up on the internet.

Neat guy; I wonder if we’ll meet again?


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