July 5, 2009
4th of July
Unfortunately for all, it wasn't until after I retrieved the hot dogs from the grill this afternoon that I remembered that I didn't have any buns. Faced with such bad fortune, I left my family to fight over a bag of potato chips and a liter of grape soda while I ran to the nearest grocery store to purchase the ingredient needed to complete our healthy meal.
I was in the process of weighing the merits of whole wheat sandwich rolls when a man in his mid-forties approached me from behind and tapped me on the shoulder. There wasn't anything overtly wrong with this man other than the fact that he was wearing mid-thigh running shorts and penny loafers without socks.
"Can I borrow a couple of dollars?" he asked.
The details of exactly when and how the man would repay the debt were a little fuzzy, so I declined. To his credit, the man didn't seem upset with my refusal. The last I saw of him, he was headed in the direction of the T.V. dinners.
A few minutes later, I was in the checkout line when I overheard the woman in line in front of me tell the cashier that a strange man had solicited her for loose change in the produce aisle. Eager to be included on the list of potential victims, I piped up that I had a similar encounter with a man matching the woman's description on the other side of the store.
To make a long story short, the cashier summoned the store manager, who in turn called security, who appeared in the form of a bald Goliath with biceps as big as my waist. The Goliath barged out the front office and made a beeline for the frozen food aisle. The lady in line in front of me had a dinner party starting in thirty minutes and I had a platter of charred frankfurters that were in the process of shriveling and shedding their skins, but we both decided that the action taking place on aisle three far outweighed in importance and excitement the obligations we had to our families and friends.
The woman and I began to head down one aisle when the ill-dressed man shot out of another, carrying a carton of Neapolitan ice cream under his arm. He made his way to the 10 items or less line, where he paid for his purchase in quarters and dimes.
"You have to admire his perseverance," the woman noted.
I had to agree.
I was even more impressed with the man's commitment to his cause when I noticed the wad of small bills protruding from his pant's pocket.