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01 July 2010

The Aisle

"Pardon me sir" said I, scooting past the young store clerk who was placing items on the sparsely stocked shelves. The store clerk made a noise but I couldn't make out any words. As I made my way towards the rice, an old lady turned her cart down the narrow aisle toward me. I reached the rice and grabbed a small bag of the white. The old woman drew closer. I looked back at the young store clerk who was still stocking the shelves. I was trapped. Who designed this store? I thought to myself. I could return the way I came but would that require another "Pardon me sir." I again looked at the store clerk. Oh shit! That's no sir at all! Now I'm going to have to try and squeeze past this old woman. I couldn't possibly face another encounter with that young lady stocking the shelves. As she made her slow approach, the old woman eyed the rice that I was carrying then looked into my eyes. I hesitated, then made my move to get around her. "Excuse me Ma'am." She smiled and again eyed the rice as I side stepped between the shelves and the cart. I was clear from the awkward moment. I then declared to myself that I should have climbed over the row of shelves into the next aisle. I reached the check out. I lifted the back flap of my gray sport coat to grab my wallet. Tucked into my trousers at the small of my back, was a Model 1911 .45 Auto pistol. Had she made a move for the rice, I would have dropped that old bag. I paid for the rice and left without incident...this time.
Roland Premium Jasmine Rice from Thailand, 20-Pound Bag

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