Some months ago, I was going about my grocery business in Whole Foods-a place Mr. W. refuses to patron because “Every guy who goes there resembles Mr. Filch and it scares me. ‘Student out of bed! Student out of bed!'”
I was looking for some eggs in the The Restricted Section (Free Range Section) when my thoughts of happy hens eating bugs in fine grass were trampled upon by an angry, muttering woman I did not know. “NEXT thing YA KNOW, EGGS’ll be TEN dollars a dozen!”
Uh oh. A victim.
And she glared at me, as though I had something to do with her suddenly being placed in the most expensive grocery known to man without her bioidentical hormones or her Lynx bus pass.
My mind raced. I turned mute, clogged by analysis. I couldn’t say “Well, you’re a git!” out loud and to her face, could I? I couldn’t suggest “Perhaps Walmart in Cottonwood via the Lynx bus?” either. She might spit in my eye and give me tuberculosis, right there near aisle 5.
So, I shrugged, knowing any amount of arguing that “the price has really remained flat since 1913 and I know this because of old receipts from my grandmother Knutsen who used to sell eggs…Plus if one looks on the cpi inflation website, one can clearly see that 21 cents in 1913 is equal in buying power to $5.40 in 2018…”
“Bah! You don’t care, do you?!” She demanded.
At that moment I wished I had a baseball bat or some mace in my cart.
Just in case she chased me past pastries and snarled about those too.
In downtown Houston, to be sure, we had odd people, but typically they would be remanded by the police for not wearing underpants in broad daylight and holding up traffic and spitting on car windows. It was part of the accepted tapestry of urban life.
The invasion of thought is part of the culture here. It happens in restaurants, grocery stores, nearly everywhere. And, come to think of it, there is no “Excuse me, Miss” to gently bring the interuptee into focus. It’s a Drive-Right-In-As-I-Please type of interruptus that make take many years for this Southern Belle to get used to.
Oh dear, I do beg your pardon…