I was feeling sorry for myself yesterday. I won’t bore you with why. I went to Walgreens on Beach Boulevard to buy Skinny Pop Popcorn, Blow Pops and a box of Charleston Chews*. Have you noticed each Walgreens store seems to have a bit of merchandizing autonomy? My local has a charming array of suntan lotion kiosks and hopeful displays of lesser boogie boards, beach towels and folding chairs.
I go to Walgreens a lot and I am a card carrying NICE member, even though I want to speak to SOMEONE in charge about the real need for an apostrophe. I also want to point out to this person in charge (before he calls security) that the store is essentially empty, but always has a long line at the check out counter.Anyway… I was waiting in line to check out with my I’m-an-alcoholic-so-don’t-give-me-any-shit-about-eating-this supplies, and the cash register clerk seemed particularly droll. He was a forty something, white guy in a cheap, short-sleeved dress shirt, spouting the required, “BE WELL!” salutation with just enough exuberance to be ironic. He took his time. He commented on everyone’s purchases with the semi-cruel but accurate observation of a celebrity roaster. When it was my turn he scanned my items with such disdainful scrutiny, I found myself lying, “I’ve got children at the house – got to get them some snacks…”
Then I did that thing people do when they feel awkward – I said a little too cheerfully, “So how’s it going for you today?” I could see the clear blue sky in the window high above his head.
He looked at me for a long moment and said, “I’m just living the American dream…”
And I said, “Yeah. Me too.”