I was over in Marin last weekend, getting my folks' house ready for their return from three weeks of vacation. Inspired by Kevin McAllister, I swung by Safeway to pick up the basic food needs for Mr. & Mrs. Spotswood: milk, yogurt, salad stuff, and one of those roast chickens they sell for $8.
I was standing in the checkout line, and behind me was an older man purchasing 3 items: a pre-made, diagonally-sliced, turkey sandwich, a bag of Cheetos, and Gatorade.
Honestly, they make me uncomfortable too. So I agreed with him, the politely turned away. But somehow, I'd apparently committed to a conversation with this guy, who, speaking of Kevin McAllister, basically looked like Old Man Marley.
"Ya see, I'm going fishing."
Since I was already feeling like a wonderful person for picking up perishables, I chose to say, "Oh? Where do you go fishing?"
Old Man Marley told be about some lake in San Rafael, and I said that sounds nice, etc. He likes it, you see, because he can be alone with his thoughts. "And I don't have to listen to anyone!" He grew a little aggitated. "Like this guy!"
With that, he pointed to a picture of President Barack Obama on a magazine across the conveyor belt.
Oh shit, here we go.
Old Man Marley started to tell me how all politicians are liars (I once broke up with someone over this, so OMM better watch it), and then how Barack Obama wanted to eliminate cars entirely.
"How are we supposed to get around?" I asked.
"Bicycles. And walking. I work on the top of a hill. You gonna pay me to walk to the top of the hill? I can't bicycle uphill. No one can!"
The whole conversation was making me wildly uncomfortable, compounded by the fact that the woman in line in front of me had 5,935 coupons and questions and rainy day discounts to discuss at length. I had no choice but to listen to the insane and paranoid rants of a Gatorade-fueled fisherman.
Finally, I bought the goddamn pre-roast chicken and yogurt, naturally forgetting to bring my tote and thus paying an extra ten cents for a paper bag.
OMM, watching my transaction, accounced, "I don't have a bag either! I'll have to carry it!"
I took my ten-cent bag, said, "Have fun on your fishing trip!" and went home to bobbytrap my parents' house...