Several years ago, when the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Saddlecreek was new, I wanted a beer. I had just turned in the on-call phone on another three day weekend Monday morning, and I decided that I was going to jam all of the lounging and celebrating others' had been given into the piddly amount of hours left to me. That sliver of rebellion decided, Thunderhead and I hopped in the car and drove the several blocks to the store. Up and down the isles I lurched, like a Zombie from being under what can best be called house arrest for the previous week. I added junk food, some necessities and a bag of dog food the the cart along with my precious sixer of beer.
At the checkout, I'm greeted by an older gentleman with a graying ponytail and wonderfully rebellious, perfectly round glasses. We exchange a few pleasantries, and he scans my items. leaving the alcohol for last, this twinkle forms in his eye.
"I dunno about this." he said, gesturing with the beer in his hand." "Are you old enough?"
My mind was about as sharp as cooling oatmeal. So, before I could come up with a witticism, like "Oh yes, I'm 21 for the 15th time." or some other nonsense, Thunderhead literally pops up over my left shoulder and in his best toothless hillbilly brogue announced, "She's 14! I got 'er on the Internet."
What followed, was my furious and somewhat bland protestations, and perhaps a slap on the shoulder. The poor cashier is turning a bit pink from having to hold in the laughter. Thunderhead managed to back away from me just enough to wag his index finger and fire back with, "You keep complaining like that and I'll drop you right back at that middle school where I found you. Don't think I won't."
At that point, my brain shrugged and said, "I got nuthin' boss.". I thanked our cashier, paid, and grumbled behind a sauntering boyfriend back to the car.
I tell you that to tell you this. Yesterday, while out running around the city all silly and everything, we decided to stop into the Duluth Trading store that had just opened. I was fortunate enough to find the skirt I'd been looking for. With it over my arm, I was walking over to the men's underwear section (Which is truly something to marvel guys. It's huge!) to find Thunderhead. As we met up, a sales rep walked up and asked if we were finding everything ok. Ever friendly, I replied that we were doing fine, but he looked familiar, and asked how I knew him.
Again, arriving at my elbow with perfect timing, Thunderhead chimed in, "That's because he used to work at the Neighborhood Market." After relating the story to him on how we remembered who he was, he got a ittle glimmer of recognition in his eyes and said he thinks he remembers that. Thousands of people and hundreds of shifts, and even a different store later. . .
Never underestimate the power of a good laugh, folks.