I’m in a grocery store lineup, on the left side of the conveyor belt. Ally Sheedy and her moustachioed partner¹ are on the right. We barely notice each other as we place our items close together, and neither of us puts the separator between our goods.

I’m off in my own world when Ally interrupts me to confirm that I’m in front of her. She’s only trying to get the line organized a bit better, but it startles me in such a way that it comes across as antagonistic.

Me: I was here first.

Ally: I never said you weren’t.

Cashier (interrupting): That can’t all be for you, anyway.

Me: Why not?

Cashier: So you’re buying these items for someone else.

Me: No, no, it’s for me.

Cashier: So you’re getting these chocolates insured even though they’re for you.

Me: Well, those are a gift, sure. What happened was, she thought I skipped her in line.

Ally: Hey, wait a minute. No I didn’t.

Me: Sorry, let me correct myself. At this point, I don’t know what the hell happened. And I don’t care anymore.

That line really breaks the tension in the lineup, as all four of us start laughing, realizing how foolish it is to be getting the least bit upset at any of this. We don’t become friends, but later it occurs to me that maybe we should.

¹ [Author’s note: It’s not Frank Zappa, but it might as well be.]

June 13 – Ally Sheedy gets blamed at the register
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