Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
I stopped in the Walgreens to see if they had flour. They did not have flour. Would’ve turned around and left, but I am almost out of Altoids and they had peanuts on sale – so now I’m committed. You can either bolt when they don’t have the item you came for, or roll the dice and make something of the trip into the covadian miasma.
There was a woman in line wearing a face mask, which made the rest of us uneasy: what does she know? Nothing we don’t. There was a snuggly-toothed guy redolent of cigarettes walking up and down asking for a ride, because he’d missed his bus. Sorry. I eyeballed the rack of Hostess snack cakes and powdered donuts, and thought: I want to inhale all of those, but the womenfolk back home would be appalled. They have their exercise bands and mats and videos and the treadmill and they will be hanged if they come out of this thicker.
WHY isn’t this line moving.
Ah: there’s a rack of good bread. Two for seven dollars. Well, I’m not a hoarder if I take two. Then I note that the woman in front of me is buying Easter candy, and I see a display with Kinder eggs and packets of pastel-colored speckled candies.
What day is this?
What month is this?
I grab some Easter candy, thinking, I’ll hide them. It’s not much. The girls will have fun finding them. Daughter can teach Rotaria, our Spanish exchange student, about this tradition. I regret not picking up some shaved luncheon ham from the freezer, but I’m in line.
My turn. The clerk is tired. He doesn’t ask for my rewards number, because who gives a crap. I am happy about the modern world’s contactless innovations; I can wave my phone at the POS system and it logs me in, pays them off.
Then he coughs.
I reel back, by instinct. I judge the cough: dry, wet, chronic, allergies, bronchial irritation? Who knows. He hands me the bag. In the car I get out the precious vial and disinfect.
Later I am talking to wife, who had been on errands, and stopped off at the same Walgreens. She said there were paramedics there. WHAT hold on why – did a clerk collapse?
No, they were just picking up some stuff. They walked in, looked around, said loudly “Anyone got any toilet paper? Didn’t think so” then went about their business.
“So there wasn’t a clerk who coughed and collapsed.”
“No. Well, I don’t know.”
Let my obit not say I died for Altoids, but for Easter candy. Okay, it was an afterthought, but in the end, it’s a better symbolic sacrifice.
Then again, “he died living the way he wanted to live: minty fresh” isn’t a bad opening sentence. The paper has a rule about staff members writing their own obits, but I think these days, with all the demands of working from home and the pile-up in the workflow, they might make an exception.Published in