Check Out

posted 5 Oct 2003, 2PM | 6 Comments

During the evening on September 11th of this year I stopped by Ralph's to pick up some quick groceries: yogurt, carots, fruit. I hadn't been in a particularly memorial mood, to be honest; I had spent the day keeping busy with daily grind routine and some freelance work; the year 2001, New York City, and all the events of that Tuesday morning felt pretty far away.

from - click for full versionAt the supermarket I found myself standing in front of a large pile nectarines, alongside a pleasant looking middle aged man wearing a Yarmulke. There was nobody else in the produce section. Silently, we squeezed and inspected the red-orange fruit (only $0.99 per lb!) acting generally oblivious to one another's presence. How absurd and pathetic is it that two people standing side by side doing the same thing don't take the time to exchange even a "hello"? Aren't we both human beings? Male human beings, even, who appreciate reasonably-priced juicy citrus? I though hard about it, for a minute or two. Hard enough that I didn't remember to take the time to actually say "hello" to the guy. And as if to turn the moment into some sort of post-modern zen koan, the grocery store sound-system started pumping out "Will you Marry Me Boy?" by Paula Abdul. With vocals. Just awful.

I stepped into the shorter of the two checkout lines, thinking, "Jesus, I haven't thought about this song in about 10 years." Suddenly the 22 year old chubby bearded guy in front of me turned about halfway around, and spoke aloud to no one in particular. "Is this Paula Abdul?" I muttered something about 12 years, and he started make observations about the nearby rack of Snow White DVDs. "About time Disney started putting out this stuff," he said. He rambled on annoyingly, and I suddenly remembered why people keep quiet at the supermarket. Then I felt guilty.

Later, sleepy, I visited a Netscape news site to find a rather harrowing combination of news items structured into one screen. I found a sad synchronicity in there, somewhere between the nectarines and the cheating wives.

There are 6 Comments


6 Oct 03 at 01:57PM R. said:



6 Oct 03 at 09:16PM Anonymous said:



6 Oct 03 at 11:39PM ryan said:

Funny, while I was typing this entry I said to myself, "Self, remember to edit this and replace 'yamaka' with the proper term," but then I completely forgot.

If it aint plain American English, I can't spell it.


7 Oct 03 at 06:38AM R. said:

Heh. Yamaka is actually a Japanese something-or-other, if I recall correctly.


16 Oct 03 at 12:32AM Beej said:

Since when is a nectarine a citrus?

Picky I know. Sorry.


16 Oct 03 at 10:12AM ryan said:

hmm, you raise a good point. Since, uh, they were the color orange, i guess.

well, they were piled up in the citrus AREA, anyway.

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