While I was studying the cans of pasta, I was tapped on my shoulder. I looked around and saw a man in his mid-fifties whom I could now count on more or less among my acquaintances. We have the same shopping rhythm and for reasons that are not entirely clear to me, we always start talking to each other. I can never talk to anyone – although I might want to. But most of the time people get misunderstood or understand it too late, which really loses chatting momentum.
I usually understand this guy, despite his Boss tone and the lack of a good portion of his teeth. Maybe because he’s always yelling.
The first time I heard it, I was standing in the dairy section at the back of the supermarket, I thought there was a brawl in the checkout line. It turned out that he was having a friendly conversation with the cashier.
He also showed me pictures of his dog, because my one and a half year old son reminded him of the Pekingese. The animal came to him in a pathetic way, but he corrected it and is now his companion. “Animals, at least you can count on them. From people not. You cannot be trusted. With this conclusion, almost every conversation between us ends, even if we do not talk about people at all, but, for example, the weather.
“Do you know what I should know?” He shouted now, looking anxiously at the large stack of Knorr and Honig cans on the shelf in front of him. “That bitch wants the sauce on her cauliflower, but I don’t know what the package means.”
“Oh, that has to be with cornstarch, right?” I answered some sort of spontaneous missionary exhortation to lure people from the lower social classes to exchange ready-made parcels for fresh ingredients like cornstarch. I know the guy comes from a different social class because he has tears under his eyes. People in my immediate environment don’t have that.
“It should have been with a package,” she said.
We stood together, a little dumbfounded, looking at the rows of cardboard boxes.
I noted, “This is a picture of the beans, so maybe it could also be about the broccoli.”
“Then take it,” he shouted. “This house should go to the store by itself.”
“Animals, at least you can count on that,” he shouted and headed toward the cash boxes.
Avid music fanatic. Communicator. Social media expert. Award-winning bacon scholar. Alcohol fan.