I’m often asked, “Does all the stuff you write about really happen, or do you just make it up?”
People, I live in the South. I don’t have to write material. It just happens.
All I do is take notes and report back.
Case in point: My horsey friend, Nicole, who shared an excursion with me that was so delicious that, well, I’ll just let her tell you all about it:
“As I’m walking around and starting to fill my cart, an elderly lady runs up to me with a panicked look on her face and grabs my arm. I’m thinking this poor woman is having a heart attack or stroke, and then she shouts at me, ‘Can you help me find the canned vegetables?!’
“So then I’m looking for a pumice stone and thinking about Russell’s big toe callus, when I walk down the next aisle and start pondering, ‘I wonder why they put the Jesus candles next to the shampoo?’ when I turn around and see an 80-year-old man place a large package of feminine napkins in his cart!
“I had to walk away quickly to avoid laughing.
“Upon request of my sweet husband, I head to the beer cooler.
“But, Russell won’t drink just any beer. It has to be a fancy, snobby, foreign beer with a name that no one can pronounce.
“So I call him on my cellphone from inside the beer cooler, and he answers on his cellphone from inside a factory of banging machines, and we have several loud rounds of, ‘DO YOU LIKE WHEAT BEER?’ ‘WHAT?’ ‘WHAT?’
“At this point, I still can’t find the granola bars, so I give up and go to the checkout, where the young kid bagging my groceries starts asking me about the beer, and excitedly pulls out his driver’s license to show me that he just turned 21 and can drink now.
“So I head out to the parking lot and wait for the guy in the car next to my truck to get out of his car, and I notice that the guy is wearing a Chicago Bears hat, has an Illinois license plate, and a bumper sticker that says Lake Zurich High School Band.
“Yep, the same town in Illinois where I grew up!
“So after exchanging a brief hello, I unload my groceries and get into my truck. But I can’t back out of the space, because every arthritic person in Ingles (I’m sure Canned Vegetable Lady was in there) has now decided to exit the store and walk right behind my truck.
“Well, some guy, spotting a woman behind the wheel and thinking she obviously doesn’t know how to drive, starts waving his arms and trying to direct me!
“I had to bite my tongue, because I wanted to roll down the window and yell, ‘Backing the truck is not the problem. I’ve backed a 40-foot horse trailer. I just need everyone to get the $%@ out of my way!’
“Next time I want food, I think I’ll just order takeout.”