Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Neverending Friday (part II)

As I mentioned, last Friday was a bit of a challenge for my good mood and sunny disposition. After I finally got my paper handed in, all I wanted to do, was go home. Unfortunately, unless I stopped by the grocery store first, I’d have to live off of raisins and old strawberry jam. And I’d probably have to fight the pooch for them, since she had just emptied her food storage the day before.

The store stood where it normally did, across the street from the station. I walked through the sliding doors. They closed behind me with a swish, and I looked longingly at the spot where my bus always stops. It wouldn’t be there for another twenty minutes. I wanted to go home.

I was very proud of myself when I managed to find all of the stuff I needed in a very short time, without my Inner Voice convincing me to “get the cookies” or “pick up that candybar”.

Heading for the checkout line, I figured I’d be out of there in no time. Until I saw the person standing in front of me, that is… A little, old lady with blue, curly hair who I hadn’t noticed earlier, since she practically disappeared behind her overstuffed cart. I wanted to get away, slither over to one of the other lines, but people started crowding me from behind. I was trapped.

The old bird started placing her items on the little conveyor belt. Slowly she bent into the cart, fumbled around for her groceries and picking them up as if someone had poured cement into her fake fur coat. Or maybe it wasn’t fake. If so, whichever animal had passed on for it, must have done so half a century ago.

Why are little, old ladies apparently allergic to plastic? No, not all kinds of plastic. Many of them seem very fond of plastic plants and plastic covers for furniture, but when it comes to the kind of plastic that you might use to… Oh, say pay for your groceries, that’s another story.

“That’ll be 416 kr.” said the cashier.

The little, old lady stared at him for a few seconds, while her little, old brain digested what he had just said. Then she dived into her purse. As she slowly placed the bills in the little, white tray in front of the cashier, she counted each one of them out loud. “Oooone, twooooooo, threeeeeeeee…”
When the turn came to the small change, she stopped again, her brain trying to recollect what it was that it had just digested.

“Did you say three?” she asked.

“No, ma’am. Sixteen,” the cashier said.

The women digested, returned to her purse and started putting the coins into the white tray, counting as she went along.
“Ooone, twooooo…. Did you say three?”

“No. Sixteen.”

Behind her, I was tip-toeing like a toddler needing to use the facilities. Through the window, I could see my bus pulling up. I wanted to go home, and I wanted to go home NOW.

By the time the old thing had relinquished her cash, and the cashier started to turn towards me, my items were already sitting on the little conveyor belt, ready to putter past the register, and I was holding my card in my raised hand, like a weapon.

Paying for my things and stuffing them into a plastic bag, probably took all of fifteen seconds, but it felt even longer than the eternity the old lady had used.

I made the bus with a minute to spare.

Old lady pic by KoAn for


Jazz said...

Well, at least you made the bus...

choochoo said...

otherwise my head would have exploded right there

Hageltoast said...

exploding head, cool. I know the feeling.

choochoo said...

maybe I should use some of the tape I got on Friday to hold it together. Just as a precaution.

Steven said...

Why are little old ladies allergic to plastic?

And why do they all smell like my sock drawer? ;)


Tim Rice said...

Just be careful; some day somebody might think that about you. ;)

But situations like that are often aggravating when one is in a hurry. I sometimes feel that way trying to get through a crowded commercial hallway and everybody is just dillydallying around.

choochoo said...

Steve - I think the question is, in fact, why does your sock drawer smell like little, old ladies???

Tim - Actually, I'm sure ppl think like that about me every now and then. Like when if I'm out running along the side of the road and ppl have to slow down to pass me. But when the shoe is on the other foot, I really don't care. I am the center of my universe