I went into the liquour store to pick up some beer while Joe was in the line up at the grocery store. I saw this mini keg, from the UK, of St. Peter's Ale and, even though I had a shopping bag full of beer, I grabbed this as well. I thought it would be a great for Joe who likes St. Peters and wanted to surprise him with something unusual. I must have made quite the sight, a bag full of beer in one hand and a keg of beer in one arm, all while steering a power wheelchair.
I got into a lineup for a clerk who I really like.Over the years that we've come to the store we've got to know him and have chatted with him, and maybe flirted a bit - all in fun of course, so we always get into his line. As I waited I listened to the woman behind me going on, and on, and on, purposely loud, wanting me to hear, about people who misuse the system and waste benefit dollars on AL - CO - HOL. The woman she was talking to agreed and intimated that I was an alcoholic and probably spent my time sitting on my ass. I couldn't believe it. Neither could the clerk who heard the conversation, glanced at me and winked.
When it was my turn, I plunked my keg down, set the bag beside it rummaging to find one of each of the three kinds of beer that I'd chosen - Harp, Stella and Canadian. As he was scanning them he said, loudly, wanting to be heard. "So how was your lecture tour of the United Kingdom?" I told him that it had gone well. He asked if my books sold well while I was there. I told him that they had. He asked how it was to be back at work. I told him that it was good to be back at my desk.
There was silence behind me.
An almost profound silence.