Archive for November, 2019

Thoughts at the Store

It’s 4 pm on a Thursday. Busy. People are rushing around the grocery store at the corner. It’s old people day, so they’re everywhere, clogging up the aisles and keeping me from the bread and coffee.

In the aisle there are four or five massive pallets that are taller than me and wider than a refrigerator. The guy is stocking things on the shelves. Another two men are bringing out another wide pallet and they’re grumbling and shouting at people who get in the way. It must be sad that the pallet is about four feet wide, which leaves about three inches on either side to squeeze past. When a little girl drops a mag of M&Ms in front of the pallet, the man shouts at her so hard that his neck tattoo reddens.

My local store has some interesting tendencies. While there are four teams of men stocking goods onto shelves, they are doing so at the busiest time of day. They also stock around 12 or so – obviously, lunch rush. And as they are doing that, two people are working the checkout. Last week when all of the self-service checkout stations crashed and 130 people instantly needed a cashier, they added another one woman.

Additionally, when something is good you can almost guarantee that they will change it. Cheese pizza, fish sticks, ricotta cheese, and cookies. All very good. All changed within a year. I think once they figure out that something is good and people like it, they get rid of it out of some kind of schadenfreude. For this reason I am buying every bag of these hash browns that I can find. For these too shall disappear.

I buy my potatoes and pay at the self checkout. My bill is 502 Koruna, which means that I have to enter my PIN code. Anything under 500 Koruna and I don’t need to enter my PIN. I have paranoid fantasies about some guy stealing my ATM card and hitting the town, 499 Koruna at a time.

I don’t know if these things are “Czech” or if they are universal or if I’m just paranoid and weird. Maybe I have a weird persecution complex. But probably not. Besides, when everyone’s out to get you paranoia’s just good thinking.

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That Guy

In my never-ending quest to remain out of a motorized scooter until they become chic, I went for a jog this Saturday afternoon. Normally I am a bit hesitant to run as I typically prefer working out at home. I have found that 30 minutes of running can aggravate the joints in the lower part of my body for a week. Part of the joys of getting old, I guess.

Anyway, part of the plan was to take in the last hurrah of the fall colors as it was November 2nd, October was in the books, and in a week or so the weather will be cold. So I wanted to enjoy the autumn while it was still here. 

My local park did not disappoint. The leaves were golden and everywhere. And so were the children. As there was some local Halloween festival happening in the park, the place was jammed with kids and their parents. They were dressed up and carrying around pumpkins that I knew were to be filled with candy and, I really hoped, not fruit. In any event, the paths were clogged up, so I took to the forest trails.

I’ll admit that this was my first time running a forest trail. As I did my ten-minute jog followed by a one minute walk break I realized something interesting. One, I wasn’t exhausted, and two, my knees and back didn’t hurt. My minute of walking over I embarked upon another ten-minute jog. Halfway through that one I realized that I wasn’t praying for death as I usually was at this point.

My joy was mixed with mild consternation.

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