Friday, February 2, 2007

Lunch Time

Earlier today, mid to late afternoon, I got hungry and went down to the deli. I ordered a sandwich, picked up a bag of Doritos and got a vitamin water—you know, something healthy to offset the processed meat and practically neon-orange-colored cheese powder on the chips. When I pulled out my wallet to pay, the guy behind the counter asked “Is this all together?” “Yes,” I answered, a bit frazzled. Though I had perhaps not made the most judicious of food choices, I felt that they more or less corresponded to the typical one-person fare. The bag of chips was “fun” sized after all! (Yippee!) It wasn’t your conventional lunch hour and so I took a quick glance over my shoulder to confirm that I was indeed the only person in the store. Yep. It was only me. There were no other prospective sandwich, chip and vitamin water purchasers in sight. So the question "Is this all together?" really didn’t make sense to me. “Why,” I asked, “do you have a layaway plan?”

It’s true, there was another place down the street where I may have found, instead of the Doritos, some Cheetos or even some Fritos if I were lucky; and I might even have been able to snatch up a bottle of B-12 instead of a C. But I was rather hungry and thus not really in the mood for any extensive comparison shopping. Still, I couldn’t help over-thinking it. Was there some kind of crazy blow-out sale at the deli down the street that everyone in the neighborhood knew about except me? Was this the mysterious reason why I was the only person in the joint as opposed to my original assumption that most people just didn’t get their lunch at 2:43? I looked at him inquisitively and perhaps a bit suspiciously. He stared at me blankly. I continued to work out the problem in my head framed thusly: “Was it him or was it me?”

I thought back to earlier in the week when I had come in at 12:06 for a bagel (lightly toasted, low-fat cream cheese, lettuce and tomatoes) a fruit salad and a Coke. Yes, a Coke, with the fruit, the low-fat cheese, and all of the nourishment that iceberg lettuce and tasteless, genetically-modified tomatoes have to offer, I had not deemed any beverage balancing necessary. Unlike today, the store was packed with 12:06 lunchers. I waited in line for 7.28 minutesa little foot tapping and key jingling all the waybefore it was my turn to pay. That time I was asked “Would you like anything else?” Sheesh, if I had wanted anything else wouldn’t I have gotten it before standing in line for 7.28 minutes? Most fortunately for me, that time, with an impatient, hungry mob behind me, my survival instincts had kicked in and directed me not to over-think the situation. Today, however, I was continuing to look at him inquisitively and perhaps a bit suspiciously and he was continuing to stare at me blankly over a protracted period of time. But damn it all, I broke first! That is, I spoke first—at least my stomach did. I had lost a proverbial battle of chicken over a chicken sandwich; and I have yet to get to the bottom of things, at least the things that don’t come in airtight bags and plastic bottles.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Thanks for your visit and kind words. My lunches are not so glamorous nor do I have a "bright spark" to buy it from, only the dog who would happily eat it for me without a word - but lots of wagging of course!

Typically English, I must mention the weather in passing, we actually had some sun today and the temperature is 10 degrees C.

I went for a walk to prove the sun was out and took a picture of Eric Gill's war memorial in the village. It reminded me with some sadness that our countries are again at war. Will it ever end?

At least here is a ray of hope of some sort. I knew this chap in the Army in the 70s, he is much older than me and a bit "different"!