When was the last time I erupted into a nice warm shopping rant? Lately, things have been rather peaceful, but if you go into the grocery store often enough sooner or later someone or a group of some ones, or no one, or even a group of no ones, is going to do something extraordinarily stupid when shopping for food, and the Law of Averages dictates that I be there to witness then event, more often than not, and my credo of writing demands that I faithfully report back to you, as factually as my penchant for hyperbole will allow.
Ladies, gentlemen, and followers of the written word, and fellow drinkers and writers, (I do realize how redundant that last part was) I give you the Nana Person, and the Terrorist of Two. Unleashed upon an unsuspecting populace, I can only surmise that biblically speaking, this has to be some sort of sign, some harbinger of times to come where no sane person dare walk in daylight lest he or she, well, okay, there are so few sane women to begin with so he, might be exposed to the Nana Person and the Terrorist of Two.
Not being fully informed that Elbow was up to some Epic Dithering involving Equine Pedicure, I stopped on my way to our walk at the one and only local market for three, count them, three items. Knowing the size, shape, mass, and bulk of these items, I took into the market one cloth bag, suitable for reusing. Because it was rush hour, and because it was double coupon day, and because Flying Monkeys were attacking people in the streets and everyone knows that Flying Monkeys won’t enter that store on a dare, the place was crowded. It is made worse for the store, for reasons surpassing reason, places sales papers beside of the one and only door. This causes people to pick up a sales paper, stop, and stare at it. It would be beyond even my skill at fiction to pretend some of these people are reading. Worse, this entrance picture trance, causes the exit door to swing open at odd times, wiping out those of the herd who are just arriving. Moreover, the shopping carts, the employee clock, and the exit terminal for time travelers are all located within a few feet of this one door. I keep having visions of losing my mind with a cattle prod at this point.
So it came to pass I gathered the items, placed them into the cloth bag suitable for reusing, and made by way to the checkout line, which moves at a pace measured in feet per month. Yet here before me was a sight I’ve not seen before. There was a woman holding in her hands two enormous boxes of cereal, and in this case the substance inside of those boxes had as much to do with grain as alcohol. These were sugar bombed meth encrusted high powered teeth chattering hands shaking wall climbing house destroying kid fuel. She held them in front of her, one box stacked flat upon the other, with a dozen items perched on top, balanced like a dozen plates on the top of a skidding car. Meanwhile, a two year old ( and I am guessing here, really) child clad in diapers and a tee shirt was stomping its way back and forth from the nearest aisle, bring more stuff to the woman, who was speaking all the while in a third person voice. “Nana can’t afford that, no, Nana doesn’t want that, Nana will get that for you next time, Nana wants you to take that back now, Nana wished The Pill had come out sooner, she does, yes, my precious,” and all the while the Terrorist Of Two, Maggie Simpson-esque, sucked on its pacifier, and brought more stuff. The Nana Person, instead of doing something to control the child, would instead balance the stack of stuff on the boxes of sugar bombed meth encrusted high powered teeth chattering hands shaking wall climbing house destroying kid fuel and take the new stuff the Terrorist of Two would bring, and stuff the stuff on the nearest shelf, regardless of the species of product on said shelf. The bagboy, who in the next shift would be restocking those very shelves, glared at the Nana Person, and the Terrorist of Two, with bad intent. Finally, the man in front of the Nana person began to unload his stuff from his cart, and Nana started loading his cart with her stuff. The man looked at her as if she had lost her mind, but she kept speaking in third person so I guess he thought he was outnumbered.
I had to stand to one side to allow the Terrorist of Two free passage back and forth to its grazing areas. The Nana Person, and come on, is it really necessary to refer to female grandparents as “Nana”? Why does having a grandchild delete a person’s name in favor of “Nana”? or “Pawpaw”? I mean, really, what’s up with this double name stuff? But I digress.
The Terrorist of Two then began to loot the impulse shelves with abandon as The Nana Person, still speaking in third person, tried to rein the child in, pay for the sugar bombed meth encrusted high powered teeth chattering hands shaking wall climbing house destroying kid fuel and keep the guy in front of her from reclaiming his cart. The Terrorist of Two voided the sale by jamming on buggery finger into the wrong button, so we watched in horror as the poor guy bagging the stuff unloaded to try again. In the end, The Nana Person bought two bags of candy, along with the sugar bombed meth encrusted high powered teeth chattering hands shaking wall climbing house destroying kid fuel and she also absconded with the man’s cart.
The cashier, when I arrived to pay for my three items looked at me and smiled sweetly and said, “How are you today?’ and I swear if that smile had been any tighter her eyeballs would have popped.