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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

carry-out boys say the darndest things

When you live in a town the size of Winterset and you're the band director's wife, it's a basic requirement that you have to maintain a certain level of...shall we say...sophistication at the local grocery store. Lots of high school kids work there, lots of parents shop there, and lots of them know who I am even if I don't know them. I've had a few Fareway moments that have made my head spin. The one that used to take the cake happened when I was about 35 weeks pregnant and feeling, well, 35 weeks pregnant. Dameon was with me and witnessed the whole thing. It started with the checkout girl giving me the once over with a look of total disgust and then asking me if I was feeling okay. "Yes, I feel great!" I replied. She then proceeded to tell me that I looked like I felt awful and then took it a step further by confirming with Dameon that I was indeed "doing okay." She then made some comment about how pale I was, to which I responded with "Nope, that's just my skin." Moving on.

A few weeks ago I was doing my weekly shopping. I had reached the point in the trip where it was time to walk out to the car with the carry-out boy following behind with my groceries. Back when I was a Fareway worker, I always tried hard to lead a conversation with the customer and be extra polite in the process. So I always kinda hate it when we walk to the car in silence and it's up to me as the customer to do the talking. At least that's how I used to feel. I wasn't sure if this particular kid was a band kid or not, but regardless, I attempted to make some small talk. "How are you today?" I say. "Good, how are you?" he replies. "Great." We reached my vehicle and as I was opening the truck I realized I was still hauling around the kennel and the stroller.

Me: "Uh oh. Sorry I forgot to clear out some space in my trunk."

Kid: Looks into the trunk and says, "Have you ever considered...."TIME OUT. At this point I think his sentence is going to go something like, "Have you ever considered cleaning out your trunk before you come to the store?" And I'm prepared to get pretty annoyed. But no. What he actually says is, "Have you ever considered the brain?"

Me: "What?"

Kid: "I was just thinking about how many songs I know. I mean, I know the words to a lot of songs. And then I was thinking about how much other stuff I know. And how much stuff I, like, remember."

And now I'm soooooo glad I'm wearing sunglasses so that the look of pure bewilderment in my eyes is somewhat hidden.

Me: "Yes. It's amazing."

Kid: "I know! And then I was thinking that if my brain can remember that much, then I wonder how much a dog can remember!!"

And now the groceries are completely loaded, my trunk is standing open, and we're both standing there just staring at each other. Him with a look of amazement on his face and me with a sudden realization that he's actually waiting for some profound insight from me or something. And all I can think to say is, "I'll just get this," as I close my own trunk. I then walked in silence to my door and got inside. I'm pretty sure he was still standing there lost in thought as I pulled away.
As I drove home, I started to wonder if I should call the manager and suggest they get the kid some water or something. It was a super hot day. Maybe he was dehydrated?? I haven't seen him there since, but the next time I do I'll be on the look-out and try to mentally prepare for some sort of conversation about things such as...
"Have you ever thought about how you can buy corn in a cob or in a can??" And my response will be AWESOME.


Ruth Ann said...

HA! This totally made my night! I laughed out loud the whole time. I love you. And your stories. let's hang out.

carlsonfam3 said...

Totally dude!