Grocery store spat gives insight into tolerance

Brady C. Mallory

Brady C. Mallory

The thing I miss most about Canada is the option to purchase wine in a pop can. One might easily mistake me for a native of our northern neighbor, but I simply acknowledge the technological beauty of an adult libation in a portable, easy-to-hide cylinder of aluminum. Such a device would have proven useful during a recent mess of a situation I incurred whilst visiting my humble homestead.

My siblings and I deemed it necessary to hold a party to celebrate my parent’s 40 years of indentured servitude, otherwise known in America as marriage. Somewhere between the Jello salad and the cacophony of questions concerning my post-graduation future from my parents’ friends, I found a meaningless errand to serve as my escape from my Saturday night imprisonment.

As I entered the grocery store, I was startled by a man who was as irate as he was portly. Curious, I peered out from behind the bread aisle to find him screaming at an African woman who was undoubtedly searching her purse for mace or a cookie to distract Sir Tons-of-Fun. Sadly, this man took it upon himself to reflect poorly not only upon himself, but also my hometown.

“WHEN YOU COME TO THIS COUNTRY YOU PARK THE RIGHT WAY IN OUR PARKING LOTS,” he shouted, followed by an unintelligible jumble of, “THIS IS AMER’CUH!” While I find yelling at children to be perfectly acceptable at any occasion, especially on their birthdays, I do not condone hillbilly bravado. With the exception of a Kenny Rogers Christmas special, of course.

After I got over the initial shock of this offensive exchange, I quickly realized purchasing generic hamburger buns for our guests was not the divine reason I was sent on this task. I quickly got on my knees in aisle four to give thanks for this great gift in addition to the two-for-one sale.

Ten minutes later, I was in the checkout lane right behind the carnival barker. His vast spread of Little Debbies and Doritos made me wonder if he was hypoglycemic or if he made it a mission to test the endurance of the elastic waistband adorning his green sweatpants. By the look of him, it was clear the elastic waistband was losing. He engaged the elderly checkout lady with his previous actions, painting his prejudiced rant as heroic.

After he left, the checkout lady decided to re-tell me the story, whilst imposing her thoughts on immigration. To sum up the five minutes of my life she took from me, she feels foreigners are just super if they are seen and not heard. I had to wonder what the Hispanic lady with child thought of the woman who would ring up her groceries.

Looking back on it, I wish I would have said something to the man in front of me. However, with my diploma a mere month away, I had no desire to be beaten up by a man in a Kid Rock T-shirt.

I am perplexed to think a country so advanced with the luxuries and freedoms provided by many great people in our armed forces is still evaded by the race issue. My only comfort is seeing that man waddle around the parking lot whilst, in his mind, looking for terrorists. Perhaps such strenuous activity, coupled with his dinner of trans fats, made him far too sleepy to beat his wife that night.

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