11 July 2005

Small Town Adventures

So, last night, Sarah and I decided to make an important outing to the grocery store. It was important because she only had a few Zone bars left, and all of my greens had turned brown. And they're called "greens", not "browns".

I had to stop for gas, as I hadn't filled up since Saturday's wedding. We pulled into the station that lets you watch TV as you pump the gas, and I was all over that as I haven't seen a TV since I took Sarah to the ER a few weeks back and convinced her to stay a little longer so we could watch CNN. While we're on the road to a tangent, I might as well keep going...Sarah had to go to the hospital because of an ever-growing insect bite on her ankle. There's actually a hospital that's much closer to the band camp we're at, but we're "not supposed" to go there because there's a board member who works at the hospital that's further away by Walmart - the center of all the action in this little town.

So, there at the ER by Walmart at about midnight, we met a friendly couple. The guy hurt his arm from a rollerblading accident. While he was being examined, I asked his partner to elaborate on the disgusting mosquito situation in northern New England. She was eager to offer advice as to how to keep the sick creatures away; she suggested garlic and a strong bug repellent. The next day, Sarah bought garlic pills, and I placed ten heads of garlic on our kitchen table. We sprayed bug spray all over like it was Chanel No. 5. I also told the woman about our living situation..."Yeah", I said. "We have no microwave, no TV, there are large insects creeping around, the screens are out or broken, and no internet access." "Are you camping?" she asked. "No, we're just at a music festival." On the positive, there aren't as many bugs around thanks to our fixed screens, and our internet access is back in full-swing. Still no microwave or TV.

Back to the gas station...While I was pumping, I thought it might be a brilliant idea to wash my entire car with the squeegee they reserve for car windows. I didn't want to put Sarah through the embarrassment though, so we proceeded to the grocery store.

The last time I went to the same grocery store, I slipped on what I thought was a piece of onion across the produce section floor. I really slid far - about four feet or so. I landed on my left knee, and when I got up, people quickly started looking away and re-stuffing their corn into plastic bags, as if they didn't see my calamity. As I limped away from the scene, I tried to find Sarah or someone to notify about the obtrusive piece of onion out on the prey in the produce section. I ran into (almost literally) the store manager and told him about my predicament. He asked if I wanted to fill out any "paperwork" (in case of a lawsuit). That's when the wheels started turning. I thought of all the money I could earn, the debt I could pay off...But, let's be honest, I wasn't too hurt. I just had a severe burn on my knee. I refused the paperwork, but insisted on showing him the onion. When we arrived, he immediately saw the long streak of onion juice that stretched from the red bell peppers to the packaged spinach; he had to turn his head to see its whole length. "Uh, yeah", I said. "It was pretty severe." As we crouched down to examine the onion, we realized it was actually a grape. He again offered me paperwork, but I declined.

So, this time at the same grocery store, we were in the paper goods section, and I decided to stuff a twelve-pack package of paper towels under our cart. Little did I know that our cart had knife-like protrusions facing downward out of its bottom. As I placed the monstrosity into the under-cart compartment, I let out a yelp when sharp plastic penetrated the base of my left thumb. It started bleeding, and I was tempted to get a band-aid from customer service, but I didn't want the manager to see me again. I was afraid he would banish me from the store because of my last experience. I resolved to fasten my tongue to my thumb while we finished our shopping. Although this turned out to be far more humiliating than asking for a band-aid, all the looks and stares were more inviting than the disapproving manager's voice: "Um, yeah. You're not going to be able to come here anymore."


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