123Valerie Strikes Again

Unprecedented Self-Indulgence.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Playing Ketchup

He found me in the cured meats section. I'd spent seven minutes lusting after some real bacon before finally settling for the 25-calorie-a-slice turkey bacon with the suspect coloring.

"Hey," he said, "I don't have enough money for this sausage. Can you help me out?"

Ohhhh. "I'm so sorry," I said. "I don't have any cash on me" and I didn't. Then I walked away.

I meandered around the grocery, collecting a coconut, some dried thyme, tahini, frozen Brussels sprouts and a couple of lemons. You know, the basics. Then I took my place in line and who did I see?

"Hey," he said, "I don't have enough money for these potatoes. Can you help me out?"

"Again, I don't have any cash … … but I guess you can put them on my tab," I said.

"OK. Thanks, miss," he said, and plunked down his sack of taters. His dilated pupils pulsed under the fluorescent lights as he talked.

I was just about ready to swipe my card when he showed up again with a bottle of ketchup.

"Mmm?" he said, holding up the bottle of name brand catsup by way of permission. I don't even buy name-brand catsup!!

Le sigh.

"Fine. That's it, though."

So, I bought a strange, desperate man with big pupils a sack of potatoes and a bottle of ketchup. I'm thankful I'm in a position to easily afford it. Why, then, do I feel so guilty that I had the security guard walk me a good part of the way home?

In the Comment section, tell me what you would ask a stranger to buy you at the grocery store if you were desperate and hungry. Myself? I'd go for apples, bread and a big hunk of cheese.

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