Sunday, March 15, 2009


After three days away, and a period of time that contained so many wonderful people, sights, thoughts, discussions and tastes, it is chillingly frustrating that at present I cannot , because of personal circumstances, comment upon these experiences in these columns. Perhaps later, or even not. It all depends ... Suffice to say, I have returned home to drink fresh-ground, pressed coffee in the morning, sleep soundly on my familiar pillow, and be with my dogs. Not to mention my own parish and people. And, of necessity, King Kullen.

Now, my visit today to King Kullen was my routine, late Sunday morning visit. Family agreement on the dinner menu created the shopping list, and I pick up the ingredients. Simple. As it was today, despite the store not having any leeks. The frustration was at the check-out.

I joined the line behind a woman with a cart packed to the gunwhales, but as Tom was the man at the check-out I knew he would be quick. And he was. And as the huge mountain of packets, produce and cans disappeared past the scanner, I felt hope as I began to place my smaller hill on the belt.

And all of a sudden everything ground to a halt. The large woman with the large (now unloaded) cart in front of me was presenting Tom with a series of dilemmas. Method of payment? Cash. Ah. But she couldn't find that cash. She was sure that it was in one wallet, but it wasn't. So she opted to pay by credit card. I noted that it was a Visa card. And it was refused by the omnipotent banking call center in India. So she persisted in looking for her cash. And, God be praised, she found it in another chasm of her pocket book. Counting out the bills slowly and audibly, she suddenly stopped. She announced that she preferred to pay by American Express. That card was duly swiped, and I began to feel happier. But in her purse- rummaging she then came across a coupon for paper towel, and asked if it could be redeemed. Tom, of course, said yes. And I felt totally ecstatic, yes even in King Kullen, that I could be quickly next, until her next proclamation. This was based on the fact that she had found her cash, and could Tom cancel the Amex transaction? Of course he could, but ...

It was about his moment that I started to lose the will to live.

I swiftly regained that will after Tom had swiped and checked , but behind me I saw many others, city people, pallid of skin and with disorganized manners, lining up to created even more customary incidents. God bless Tom!

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