Here I go again – observing things. Or imagining them. Someone who lives in such a narrowly defined space does that a lot (two words – grammar gurus take note).
So . . .
While I was bebopping down the grocery store aisle one day last week I noticed a bag of bread on the floor. That’s happened to you, right? Most people ignore such fallen goods. Not me. I made haste to get over to the fallen bag because I just know that somehow – this time – bells and whistles will go off. Big time. That’s right. For years now a new game show has been in development whereby grocery shoppers are observed by hidden camera – and – the kind soul that saves a fallen food item and returns it to its proper shelf Wins. Ta Da!
As I approach the bagged bread there’s a hitch in my step. Uh oh. How does my hair look? I give my head a little toss and finger comb it whilst I steer my cart with one hand. Not so easy as I’ve positioned all the meat (including a small package of hamburger – the food of kings these days) on one side of the cart causing it to slew slightly to the left as I walk. But I walk on.
No one else seems to notice the bread until – I spot her. Another potential gamer coming at me from the other end of the aisle. Yeah – she’s looking all un- concerned about that bread – but I see the glint in her eye. And she sees the glint in mine. Okay lady, the race is on. I’m at the far end of the aisle by the chips and she’s honing in on the Nutella and jam shelf thirty yards away. Smack between us is bread and the “fallen loaf” as I’m now beginning to think of it.
I lose all sense of hair and makeup at that point. I grip the cart with both hands and with studied nonchalance put on some speed. I notice the relative lightness of the other contenders cart and quicken my step even more. Past rye, past mult-grain and then I’m closing in on pumpernickel which is on the bottom shelf near my prize. I fancy some of the more enterprising loaves to be cheering us on. Now I’ve got a clear shot and I go in for the kill. So does she. Then I glance up to see my opponent up close and personal. Our carts clink and I know it’s now or never.
“Oh my goodness,” I say sweetly. “Why hasn’t someone picked this up?” It only takes me a nano second to swoop low and snatch the two for a dollar white loaf. I hear it sigh as I grin at the other woman, whose face is a mask of fury. I replace the loaf, pat it, and turn. That camera has to be around here somewhere – maybe in pretzels on the opposite side of the aisle. I smile at them and wink.
My worthy opponent walks off in a huff as I wait for the bells and whistles. But, alas, I sadly conclude as I stand there that, as in so many other situations in the world of gaming, the Supermarket Game of the Fallen has apparently not yet been perfected. I realize I’ll just have to keep looking for the Prize Patrol balloons until those gaming people get their act together.
Yup, my world is small. But thank God for imagination.
Image: KRAKRATHHOT Free Digital Photos