An odd, true, non sequitur

March 27, 2009

I was in a grocery store yesterday. One of those stunted downtown locations with poor selection and busted prices. I wanted five things and felt put upon by the rival customers impeding me. The meandering of purposeless shoppers grates on my teeth: they were like a flock or retarded seagulls at the dump.

I watched a man pick up three red peppers and then stare for minutes at the clear plastic bag in his left hand, wholly unable to process the relationship between the two…as if someone else had put it there to trick him. Eventually he put the peppers back and grabbed some prepackaged baby carrots, which he then placed into the clear plastic bag. I can’t explain why, but it felt like a deliberate slight against me.

I was going to confront him, when an older women of middle eastern descent gently took my arm and said

“You remind me of spring”.

She had a fairly of a thick accent, but there was no question she’d just compared me to a season without prompting. It was oddly touching. I wanted to say something substantive in reply but all I could think of was

“Thank you, that’s a good thing to be reminded of”.

She laughed a bit, squeezed my arm again, and said

“Yes.Winter is almost beat”. Like she was giving me some small part of the credit.

I told her to have a good day and continued my shopping, much lighter for the interaction. Strange, but pleasant.

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10 Responses to “An odd, true, non sequitur”

  1. Aaron Says:

    Well, you *were* punching those groundhogs pretty hard…

  2. Pollyanna Says:

    This pleases me. I picture a good-natured old lady laughing to herself after a successful feeling-up of your arm muscles. Heh. Good for her!

  3. Justin Says:

    I credit you on your quick response to the elderly woman. It may not have come out as witty as you wanted, but it got the job done in a polite manner. I hate moments like that though. Can’t seem to escape the thought of it for the rest of the day.

  4. jcow81 Says:

    I just have to ask a pressing question. Beatsentropy is the name of your page, as you know (sorry to state the obvious). Do you mean -beats- boom shalak boom boom shalak wicky wicky – entropy? Or is it like “Hey man, this beats entropy!” As in like what you are doing is better than entropy. Or is it like blank had a fight with entropy and won? Like if you post something on the page it would be like “AJ Valliant beats entropy…2nd round! Just wondering. Im sure it’s the former but you never know.


  5. “Well, you *were* punching those groundhogs pretty hard…”

    I punched them as hard as the season demanded…and not a whit harder.


  6. “This pleases me. I picture a good-natured old lady laughing to herself after a successful feeling-up of your arm muscles. Heh. Good for her!”

    That coy old mink. Though my granny loving is reserved for Ada and Ada alone.


  7. “Or is it like “Hey man, this beats entropy!” As in like what you are doing is better than entropy. ”

    That is precisely what it means. It came from some profile I was writing out where it asked “What is you reason for exsisting” and my answers was ” it beats entropy”.

    Thank you for asking.

  8. jcow81 Says:

    Awesome! I only get analytical once in a great while and for some reason the name of your page would not leave my head. Thanks for clarifying sir!

  9. sulya Says:

    I can only hope when I am an “older woman” engaging younger men in grocery stores I can bring it with that much poetry and grace…

    Well done “older woman” and well-done you! I think the story has even more charm because you were so genuinely caught off-guard and rightfully flattered in many ways [see Pollyanna’s comment above] you could be neither pithy nor punchy. I wasn’t sure anyone could ever leave you even in the roundabout vicinity of near-speechless…

  10. Andfre Says:

    I meander on occasion, often with a glass of merlot


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