I just came back from the supermarket. It's 2:39 AM EST.

For me, there's nothing better than capping a vigorous day with a late, late trip to the local food store. Unlike during daylight hours or early evening, there are no long lines to wait upon, no children with chocolate smeared faces to run up to you and stick their grubby little fingers all over your nicely pressed slacks. There are few little old ladies to mow you down with their carts, and even fewer husbands arguing with their wives over the latest indulgence food. I am alone, with my shredded wheat and extra-firm bean curd, my tubs of yogurt and slab of ground turkey. I am secure in my polished world of lineoleum, REO Speedwagon playing softly in the backround, the click of price tag guns rising from the automotive goods aisle. Perfect?

Well, no. The grumpiness is still there, attenuated by the lack of a crowd but still present. Since there is usually only one cashier, there is a much greater chance that the cashier will be grumpy as well. I can't blame them, since I work during the day and play on the computer at night while they work a graveyard shift bagging groceries. I was lucky today; the cashier was extra nice. Perhaps it was because she was leaving in five minutes. Perhaps it was because I reflexively bagged my own groceries. I was acting from shades of a previous New York, before the days of self-serve aisles and cashiers who actually bag rather than stare at you while you fumble with a watermelon. In any event, I find that I can weave my way in and out of the store more quickly when the only threat is having my ankle jabbed by a wayward stock truck carrying Tide with Bleach Alternative.

The only problem is waking the neighbors pulling the car in at nearly 3 AM.

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