Getting through the doldrums of winter can be a bit of a chore. We’ve been dealing with several concurrent snowstorms, and I think it was the better part of a week where we barely saw the sun through the clouds and endless snowfall. Here in Maine, that means that many people are stranded indoors, with no choice but to engage in their favorite pastime.
Thankfully, that’s not one of my favorite pursuits, but I still found it necessary to make one of those ill-fated runs to the grocery store when it was announced that we were going to yet again get another storm. I dread these – actually, I hate grocery shopping in general – but I especially despise pre-disaster grocery shopping. The lines, the rudeness, the near fist fights over necessities like bread, milk, cheap beer, and cigarettes. It was entirely necessary in this case, however, as I was nearly out of absolutely critical items to weather the impending storm: Pepsi and peanut M&Ms.
I felt my anxiety building as I prowled the aisles – people were getting far too close with their shopping carts, and I absolutely hate when someone steps in front of me at the display I’m scanning, or when they leave their cart in the exact center of the aisle while fondling the beans. In this town, that last phrase can be about as dirty as you think it might be.
Luckily I found something at the end of the snack aisle that at least temporarily alleviated my distress. It epitomizes all that is wrong with both the education system and my brain. I present it to you now:
I’m not sure I can properly express just how this sign struck me when I first read it. Maybe it would help if I described the cashier. She is about six feet tall, her teeth are black, she has hair on her chin that’s longer than most of the hair on my entire head, and she has a very advanced case of front-butt. If you’re unfamiliar with this affliction, I leave you to the bowels of the internet. The Truth Is Out There.
So you see, asking the cashier for worms immediately evokes images of a cashier with, well, worms.
“Hey, I was just wondering if you’d like to get out of here and you could give me some worms?”
“Are those worms in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?”
“A pound of your finest worms, please!”
I’ll just avoid making any comments at all about ‘red wigglers’. Oops.
I’m especially tickled by the fact that the sign says “SPECIAL”. Worms don’t come along every day, so get some now before we run out! I also noticed that they picked the one person in the store who could write all their letters and actually spell all the words properly. There isn’t even an apostrophe in ‘worms’, which is staggering these days. I have to wonder if the person who wrote the sign did so with extreme irony, or if they truly had no clue how it might be read.
You should probably be informed at this point that ice fishing is a Big Deal around here. It’s a great excuse for drinking, and as long as you’re in the store for a couple of cases of beer, you might as well grab some bait. You never know – you might actually catch a fish. It’s not unusual to see several varieties of worms in the dairy case next to the eggs and milk. I have to wonder what the Health Department thinks about this, but maybe there are some regulations in the worm industry that I’m not aware of. Maybe they use extra-clean dirt or something.
I got my Pepsi and M&Ms, but I couldn’t quite look the cashier in the eye when I checked out. Debit, please. No cash back, hold the worms.