It was a ripped-up morning. I'd just fought my way toward Office Max on 27th street, and when I got to the intersection, instead of 27th street, there is a mile-long bank of dirt and gravel next to a gaping trench. Apparently, the city no longer welcomes people from east of 27th Street. I finally found a breach in the embankment, and, feeling like I was in an ATV instead of a Mini-Van, I crawled through.
Office Max was empty except for staff - what a surprise. While digging for my change, I found the elusive grocery list - I couldn't seem to locate the blasted thing while I was at the Piggly Wiggly earlier. Two items had been forgotten - Salsa and Italian Sausages.
So, since I was already through to The Other Side of 27th Street, I navigated over to Pick'n'Save using access roads and alleys. The usually busy Saturday morning store was very, very quiet. Amazing what a difference a road makes.
No people, but; still a checkout line. Taking up about three carts' worth of space was a shopping cart made to look like a plastic automobile, with two children in it. The children leaned out of the car's windows and waved. "Hello!", OK so "hello" already, now shut up. But they kept it up. I was just about to go to another longer but more quiet line, when an older man in a motorcycle jacket with a huge US flag on the back got in front of me, waving back to the kids. "Hello" He kept returning their relentless salutes until their father finally shut them up, and moved ahead to bag his order.
When things quieted down, I noticed how loosely the jacket fit the old biker. He had a scraggly once-blond beard, and, judging from the jacket, he must have weighed lots more at one time, in a burly beer-guzzlin' biker way. He was apparently a regular, and talked to the cashier as she was checking out his purchases, chicken breasts and bread. As she was bagging his purchases, my salsa and Italian sausages drifted down the belt and stopped directly in front of him.
Amazed, he dropped mid-sentence, stopped talking to the cashier. With a tone of amazement he turned to us both, and exclaimed "Whoa! All the Good Stuff!. I could eat a whole jar of this salsa and nothing else! Doctor at the VA says I can't have that any more. Sausages, too. No pork chops, no gravy, nothing spicy, everything has to taste the same."
"Well, what can you eat?" asked the cashier?
Turning around with his bag, the flag on his jacket waving so much more freely than it once had on his frame. "Well, I'm sprouting feathers, with all the chicken I gotta eat. I'm gonna grow wings, pretty soon, I guess."
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