The Journal

Grocery Store Blues

Last night, I went to the grocery store to get the fixings of a fajita dinner. I love making fajitas because they’re so stinkin’ easy. I just chop up onions, peppers, zucchini, squash, and whatever other veggies I want, throw them into the pan, sprinkle them with chili powder, saute them until tender, heat up some corn tortillas, put on a dollop of sour cream, a slice of avocado, and a squeeze of lime juice, and voila! A really tasty meal in under 20 minutes.

But back to the grocery store. I was standing in line with my fajita fixings waiting to be checked out. There was one lady in front of me and two guys behind me. The lady in front had quite a few items, but the cashier made quick work of it and had them all rung up in a flash.

“Your total comes to $62.38,” he said.

But payment was the last thing on her mind as she was making sure her frozen fish fit in just perfectly alongside her yellow onions in her one reusable bag she had brought. It obviously didn’t click with her that she was being asked for her money so the cashier could continue to check out the rest of us in line who were waiting patiently (sort of).

The cashier repeated again, “That will be $62.38.”

Still, she was entranced with how to ideally place her whole wheat bread and yogurt in her bag and made no move to hand over her money. After a few more moments, she finally realized she needed to pay and let the rest of us get on with our fajita making and beer drinking (the guy behind me had exactly one item – a very large bottle of beer), so she handed over her card. As the cashier was running the card and waiting for the authorization, there was a prolonged awkward silence as we all were thinking the same thing, which was, “It has taken an inordinately long time to get to this point, but we’re trying to be polite about it.”

He then looked at the rest of us and said out loud, “It’s waaaay too quiet in here. Someone needs to sing a song. Who here can sing?”

So, being a singer, I knew I had to step up to the plate. It was up to me to lighten the atmosphere. Therefore, I immediately sang the first thing that came to mind and belted out,

“Always look on the bright side of life!”

Then, without hesitation, the guy behind me burst into the whistling part that comes right after that line.

I was impressed; I was not expecting such collaboration. The cashier was also impressed. Looking at me, he said, “Nicely done! Way to be a team player.”

After that, there were smiles all around as phrases such as “Monty Python is the best!” and “You made my night!” were bandied about. I was so proud of us.

You never know when you’ll have the chance to bring a smile to someone’s face, so always be ready to seize the moment, sing in the grocery store and look on the bright side of life 😉

  1. Karen says:

    I love it!

  2. Katie Morris says:

    I second that!

  3. Jeanne says:

    I love this story … it’s 100% Sammy

  4. Reid Loessberg says:

    Yeah, this one made me laugh 🙂 Wish I had been there.

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