Back in my college days, I was subjected to a plethora of short stories in various English and Literature classes. The presumption here was that these particular stories had successfully made their mark on the world as prime examples of interpretive or escapist literature.
Among those stories was one with Sherlock Holmes, another one about some guys spreading tar on a hot roof as they ogle and gawk at a bikini clad hootchie mama one building over. I remember another one about a little girl living on a farm charged with keeping the cows in check, and one about some travelling salesman who showed interest in a perspective clients flowers just to make a sale.
One title which specifically comes to mind was A&P. I ultimately had to look up what exactly A&P was, as at the time I didn’t know it was a grocery store chain. Since it’s been so long since I read it, I’m going by memory in my summary of what happened in that story. I believe it has to do with a teenager working in a grocery store as a clerk. It took place in the early 60’s. Grocery stores had clerks back then.
Over the course of the story, a few girls wearing bikinis walk into the store and create some sort of scene with their chosen dress code. The clerk fails to keep his hormones in check and does something stupid as a result. I don’t remember what he did, but it ultimately got him nowhere with the girls or his employer.
Since we’re on the subject of grocery stores, let me tell you about something that happened to me at one the other day. I had wandered in with Junior and grabbed a package of ground meat, some spaghetti noodles, tomato sauce, tomato paste, parsley, and a loaf of pan Frances bread.
As the checker started scanning my items, she engaged us in small talk. “Are you making spaghetti tonight?”
Not being the biggest fan of Bill “Here’s your sign” Engvall, I let it go without a smart ass remark. Sometimes, I give away freebies.
In the aisle next to me, the real show was taking place amongst the observative checkers. It was in that aisle that the lady had placed a couple of packages of strawberries, some dipping chocolate, and a feminine hygiene product on the conveyor belt. Upon seeing the items and trying to hold true to develop a rapport among the customers, the teenaged boy charged with completing the customer’s shopping experience opened a dialogue: “Are we having a moment?”
The customer shot the boy a look which had the same effect as icy cold water on man parts. Upon recuperating from the re-ascension of the aforementioned man parts, the boy clammed up and worked diligently to ring up the transaction for what could have been his last customer.
In the 60’s, a young man working in a grocery store gets inspired by a bikini or two and displays a bold act of hormone driven stupidity.
Fifty years later, the stupidity is still there.
Whose up for chocolate dipped strawberries?