Friday, January 15, 2016

Hippie Check-Out Girl

I used to hate going to the grocery store with my wife. But that's all changed. There's a check-out girl that makes going to the store seem like a trip to Disneyland. She wears plastic flowers in her hair. A 70's styled-blouse balloons over her apron, the chaotic colors of the Scooby-Doo van. Unfortunately I was out of town over Christmas, but I just knew--absolutely so--she would be wearing antlers and a red nose.
But it's her endless patter that's the best: caffeine fueled, breathy and full of sing-songy cadences.

"What's a good-looking couple like you doing out on a day like this?" 

"Buying some stewed tomatoes for my mother," I answered.

"That sounds like an absolutely wonderful thing to do. You must be a very good son. And these stewed tomatoes are great."
My wife was dumb-founded, said nothing. But I wanted to keep the good times rolling, rocking with the early '70's.

"Oh, you've got some of the great sushi here," she said. "I recommend this one." Pokity-poke went her finger into the plastic cover. "Good for you, too. It's a shame not more people eat healthy. Honestly, I believe that we'd be a much healthier, happier country. I mean, is it too much to ask..."

She went on and on while I stood, fully enraptured.

At the end of our first encounter, she sang some sorta jingle. Told us to have a "wonderfully, blessed day."

Service like this, I don't usually expect. 

And then my glorious encounter ended on a glum note. The bag boy (baggist? bagger?) was sullen, the dark flipside of hippy girl, staring at me with stoned eyes.

"Thanks," I told him.

"Yeah, whatever, man." He looked at me, considering his follow-up. "Have a nice night." Then his gaze wandered outside. "Or day. Whatever. Just as long as you have a good."

Not only couldn't he get the time of day right, but he was night to Miss Glory Hippie's day.

My wife threw down the gauntlet and swore she'd never get in Miss Glory's line again. I, on the other hand, search her out every time I grocer.

Nothing changes in her sparkly, psychedelic, unicorn world. Always ready with a wonderful compliment. Makes me feel proud to purchase pork. But I have to wonder how does a kid become a hippy in the self-entitled, self-indulgent 21st century?

If it were up to me, in a grocery-store democracy, I'd vote her in as "Employee of the Decade." Just a few decades removed.

Speaking of hippies, there're two of 'em in my new comedy mystery, Bad Day in a Banana Hammock.  Along with a buncha other strange characters. Just sayin'.


  1. Somehow I can just see you enjoying this checker's banter. Gotta hand it to hippies for being interesting characters :)

  2. Sounds like a middle-aged version of Luna from Harry Potter.