Ms. Pepper Spray or Adventures at the Local Supermarket

Following are a few grocery store tales from the last two weeks that I’ve shared shopping-cart-1275480_960_720with my facebook friends. Thought I’d post them on the blog as well. Sometimes I am discouraged when Chronic Fatigue Syndrome keeps me from getting out more and having lots of big adventures. But really we need not look far to find those little stories that make our lives memorable. Sometimes we’re inspired and sometimes challenged by the little things. At other times all you can do is laugh.


One afternoon Kat and I headed to Winn Dixie for a few items, before the school crowd let out. Two ladies — and I use that term loosely, very, very loosely — were having an altercation just inside the front door. The back and forth went something like this.

Lady 1 (talking to some unknown person on her cell phone): “She’s stalking me…”

Lady 2 (in an obnoxiously loud manner designed to draw the maximum amount of attention possible): “Your days are numbered [fill in the blank]! *@!$$* pepper spray ME while I sleep!! Your days are NUMBERED!” (ad nauseum)

Management has now descended on the front end. The ladies have been asked to leave the store, nicely at first. Lady 1 isn’t budging, not that I blame her. At least she’s not spewing profanities.

In no uncertain terms, Lady 2 was instructed to leave the premises NOW by the front end manager. She takes her tirade into the parking lot. Three steps toward the liquor store, turns back to Winn Dixie and then: “Your days are numbered [fill in the blank]! *@!$$* pepper spray ME while I sleep!! Your days are NUMBERED! You scared? You scared? You scared? Come on! Come on!” Three more steps away, turns back, rinse, repeat….

Lady 2 manages to step out in front of traffic, drawing honks and angry protests from drivers who had to stop for her nonsense. Some of their remarks were right amusing themselves.

Kat and I were positioned at the checkout next to where all this started. To say it was difficult to keep a straight face was an understatement. The cashier had long since given up on it. We had the pleasure of walking out past all this — front row seats, if you will.

By the time we made it to our car, Winn Dixie had emptied of managers. They were all standing on the front entryway encouraging Lady 2 to leave. I’m reasonably sure the police were on their way judging by the phone in one of their hands. Those of us used to this calmly walked to our vehicles, carrying on with our business while keeping one eye on Ms. Pepper Spray.

I’m not quite sure what the moral of this story should be, other than that little nugget of common sense… If you make it a policy of dousing your constituents with pepper spray while they sleep, beware! The birds will come home to roost.


Kat drove us from mom’s house to Walmart yesterday so we could do a little shopping. As she swings the car into the parking spot, she stops short. A couple of sea gulls have spotted a nice bit of squished sandwich and stand in the parking spot to eat it.

Kathryn’s driving experience has yet to include an encounter with a sea gull. They are stubborn and protective of their culinary treasures. Kat’s patience is wearing thin.
Before I can suggest that she ease forward, she lays on the horn: H-O-N-K!! That scares off one of the gulls. H-O-N-K!! H-O-N-K!! The remaining gull still munches, staring Kathryn down with a determined look in his eye. Customers entering and exiting the store stop to look. One man yells a bit of advice: “Just keep going. He’ll move!”

H-O-N-K!! H-O-N-K!! H-O-N-K!!

Me to Kat: “Will you STOP it?!”

I exit the car and chase the bird out of the space. It gives me very dirty looks. Several customers loading their cars around us burst into laughter at the sight of me chasing a bird around a parking lot so that my daughter can park her car. After an amusing conversation with the man and woman beside us, we head inside. Show’s over, or so I think.

Kat and I are now standing at the money center counter paying a cell phone bill. My attention is on the nice clerk helping us out, my back to the registers and customers going by behind us. All of a sudden a woman can be heard yelling at the TOP of her lungs, “IT KEEPS MAKING MY BUTT HURT!” She is weeping as she loudly announces this bit of news, all while making a beeline toward the exit.

All eyes on the front end were turned toward the ruckus. I didn’t see her myself, but Kat confirmed that she appeared to be in her mid to late 20’s.

The clerk helping me with the phone bill was a bit alarmed. I assured her there was nothing to fear as it was most certainly the presence of myself and Kathryn that caused this outburst. I explained to her that no matter where we go, no matter how mundane the errand, outrageous things are soon to follow. She chuckled and replied, “Hush now!” stealing several glances at the register area behind me while she finished our transaction.

Kat and I never did figure out what “it” was that caused this poor woman such pain and distress. She appeared to have no one with her. Her remark was directed to everyone, and no one in particular. She disappeared in a flash. No way to get to the bottom of it (no pun intended) or offer assistance. Maybe she had her own encounter with a sea gull. Maybe it bit her on the butt.


Before we got our schoolwork started this morning, Sam and I were reviewing the latest grocery store sales… ’cause we’re just so exciting like that. Hoping for sales on ground beef since I’ve been craving everything from tacos to lasagna to chili. Our go-to store for meat, Winn Dixie, let me down. However, steaks are on sale.

Sam immediately begins to drool. Rib eyes, T-bones and the like are usually saved for a special occasion around here. We are hard pressed to come up with one in the middle of September, with no significant holidays in sight for months, and no birthdays among the local folks, either.

Leave it to Kathryn to come up with a solution: “It’s September [as in school has started back] and no one’s died yet.” Yep… the books are out, it’s back to the grindstone, and she and I have so far not killed one another. No 911 calls, no blood shed, no tears. Eye rolling has even been at a minimum. I try to control myself but sometimes one just slips out.

Sam immediately started a grocery list. He should be leaving for Winn Dixie within the next couple of hours.

© 2015-2016 Our Lives in Stories

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