Cars lined the entrance to the parking lot. Drivers wove in and out of the lanes looking for a spot.
One woman seemed to be certain I was going to take the spot she’d just claimed and cut me off. I gave her a wide-eyed, goofy face and made some sort of absurd noise.
Humor, I had decided, was going to be the only way to survive SNOWMAGEDDON!
It was Monday evening at the local supermarket. Inside, the bread shelves were empty. The aisles teemed with shoppers, their carts overflowing with processed foodstuff.
Yes, the giant snowstorm – giant by our standards, anyway – was on its way. We were about to be snowed in and no one was going to be caught going hungry.
And yes, I was there, too. I figured I could stand to stock up on a few things, nothing too serious, just a small cartful of items.
My daughter and I had made a quick study of what was available and what we really needed to take out of this insane run on food. We made a beeline for the meat section, picked up some milk, bread – there was a loaf left on the shelf – and coffee because I’ll be darned if I’m ever caught without coffee.
The checkout lines were heinously long and winding down already crowded food aisles. But we found one that looked reasonable and so we took our place in line.
We parked our cart directly behind a woman that was holding one item. She was behind a woman who was unloading an ungodly full shopping cart. This checkout stand must have just opened up, I surmised.
Right at that moment I realized there was one item I had forgotten. It was in the aisle right behind us. I figured if my daughter got to the stand she could start unloading without me.
I wasn’t gone more than 30 seconds, however.
When I returned my daughter’s face was red. Suddenly a teenage girl joined the woman in front of us with a shopping cart overflowing with processed food and there was a man in front of them unloading his groceries.
He hadn’t been there 30 seconds ago.
“That woman said since you weren’t here she was going to let that man go in front of us,” my daughter said, speaking through gritted teeth.
That didn’t register as quickly as the arrival of the girl with the shopping cart.
“Neat trick,” I said to the lady that had been there, apparently to hold a place in line while her daughter shopped.
“I was already here,” she said.
“Yes, you were there as though you had one item to buy. That’s a neat trick,” I said, not even attempting to cloak my sarcasm.
The woman abruptly turned away. She cocked her head back, raised her arms, pinched her fingers in a sort of Yoga-meditation-fashion and while taking deep breaths snaked her arms up and down as though she were a genii.
My friend referred to it as the “chicken dance.” I just thought the whole thing downright rude.
As I explained to my daughter that she must not overreact to rude people, I spoke just loud enough to be overheard. The woman was repeating the chicken dance and I had to laugh. I laughed because really there was no hurry, I didn’t need to be upset and humor, I had surmised, was the only way out of SNOWMAGEDDON!