Posted by Floyd Diebel 2 Comments

A late night Safeway adventure

So I’m in Safeway last night buying the stuff I needed to make my late night falafel dinner. I’m just waiting at the checker minding my own beeswax and trying to avoid reading the tabloid headlines. Apparently Angelina Jolie is a total fake, I dunno at what though.

All of a sudden the guy in front of me in line blurts out

“Are you just doing that just to make me look bad?”

Err.  I’m wondering what the hell he’s talking about but then he clues me in by gesturing to my pile of groceries:  pita bread, hummus, spinach, tomatoes, avocado, and some Irish cheese. Uh.

I look at his groceries and intuitively make a quick comparison: chocolate cake, a jumbo bottle of Dr. Pepper, and 2 copies of  Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Yes, two (2) copies.

“One of them is for a friend.”

At this point I laugh.
He’s glaring at me.  He’s serious.
The checker tries to ignore us.

The guy behind me breaks the moment by slamming the thingie that divides people’s groceries onto the conveyor belt and says

“Only in California do people buy shit to make salads in the middle of the night.”

Jesus Christ they’re out to get me tonight…

I turn around to see who’s talking smack about my eating habits and see this hunched-over dirty guy wearing a baseball hat that said “Team Texas” on it. I’m not making this up.

His groceries: off-brand vodka, a half-gallon of ice cream, and a box of sugary breakfast cereal.

His groceries: some off-brand vodka, a half-gallon of ice cream, and a box of sugary breakfast cereal, I forget which brand.

I thought for a moment of a few witty things I could retaliate with… but in all honesty, these two guys (along with Safeway’s late night mise en scène) had already accomplished so much awesome randomness I just didn’t want to ruin it.

And that falafel tasted like victory.

  • that’s a funny story. grocery stores are weird places because everyone, and I mean everyone has to buy groceries at some point in their lives. it makes for an interesting mix.

  • wonderfully, abstractly non sequitur experience – and I’m certain the subliminally-flickering fluorescent lighting added a certain cinema verité patina to the whole thing…
    thanks for sharing.
    I spent years in Portland Oregon, and there this sort of Gus van Sant weirdness would pervade all the Fred Meyers shops late at night… reminds me of the cult french film “subway”.

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