I was standing there, rummaging through the turkeys. For some reason, I was convinced that it was really important to find a 21-pound turkey instead of the 2o-pound one I already had. As I rummaged, a guy on the other side of the freezer started chatting.
We talked about this and that — how many guests we were having, what kind of stuffing we like, and so on. We discussed various methods for thawing a frozen turkey. I said, “Ha ha, I just bring mine to bed with me!” and then thought, Hm, that was kind of a weird thing to say. Oh, well. Then we talked about different styles of cranberry sauce, how far our guests would travel, and about a pig roast the guy had one time in Wisconsin.
Finally we found our turkeys, and I said, “Well, have a nice Thanksgiving!” He answered, “You too! Hope you get that turkey defrosted in time!” And I answered, “Oh, I’ll just bring mine to bed with me.”
And then I left, even though I still had more shopping to do. Because I knew that if I ran into him again, I’d once again tell him that I was going to bring my turkey to bed with me.
Which I’m not. Why do I say these things? What is it about supermarkets that makes people reveal too much about themselves?
Here’s a sad little window I looked into one night in the frozen foods aisle of the Walmart Supercenter. A middle-aged man stuffed into a snowsuit, like an enormous toddler, was muttering in a sulky monotone, “I wish they had the Stouffer’s. They used to have the Stouffers. Right there, that’s where they had the Stouffer’s. This isn’t Stouffer’s. The Stouffer’s is really better, so why don’t they have the Stouffer’s? I wish they had the Stouffer’s.”
Another time, in another aisle of the same godforsaken Walmart, I saw another couple. The young man, bored to the point of semi-bonelessness, draped himself over the cart while his monolithic girlfriend surveyed the shelves of cereal.
“Well, do you like Cheerios?” she asked.
“Myehh,” he said.
“Well, how about Wheaties? Do you like Wheaties?” she asked.
“Mmmrr,” he replied.
“Well,” she went on, “Well how about, do you like, like, Honey Bunches of Oats and Shit?”
I swear, that’s what she said. Doesn’t that sound delicious? I see a happy future for that couple. As long as someone else makes breakfast.
How about you? Any supermarket stories to tell?