Cool weather, bad songs and beans
After what felt like a hundred years of infernal humidity we (for the moment) are experiencing seasonally appropriate weather.
When I walked out on the porch this morning the cool, crisp air greeted me like a long lost friend. I was so happy to be surrounded by cool air that I tried to hug it. Gone were the hordes of gnats, flies and mosquitoes that had been treating me like a buffet all summer. Best of all, those relentless weeds that look like chicken feet and permeate even the thickest of centipede grasses have succumbed to the cold temperatures.
We used to enjoy hollowing out a pumpkin and making a jack o'lantern. Sadly, it's been so hot the last few years at the end of October that the jack o'lanterns on our porch ended up looking like Yoda had spent too much time in the tanning bed. The last one wilted into such a horrible shape that the dog attacked it to protect the family.
Since we're now allegedly ensconced in winter weather, The Wife planned to cook chili for Sunday dinner. I was asked to pick up a can of kidney beans when I headed out that morning to empty the coins from the several Crystal Pepsi/New Coke vending machines I own in Lenoir County.
I invested heavily in Crystal Pepsi and New Coke many years ago, and there are still several cases of each in my attic. Sales have been a tad slow as of late, but many fraternities have worked my inventory into their pledge weeks, so a financial windfall is imminent.
You'd think walking into a grocery store to pick up a can of beans would be a relatively painless exercise, but I may as well have been trying to climb Mt. Everest with a plastic spoon.
I found the bean aisle fairly quickly, but when I did there were three grocery store employees holding a vigil around a box of busted corn flakes. The premature demise of the box must have affected them all deeply as not one of them had the emotional strength to clean up the mess. Best I can tell, they were searching their phones for an app that would speed up the process.
Not only was there a corn flake vigil going on in front of the one area of the store I needed to access, but parked in front of it was a long inventory cart stacked several feet high with un-stocked merchandise. All I wanted to do was obtain a can of beans, but it looked like I'd need to set up camp and order some mountain climbing equipment to do so.
After a series of events that are unclear to me at the moment, the stock cart was moved and I was now face to can with the beans. As it turns out, consumers are bored with old-fashioned kidney beans. Now the shelves are filled with lung beans, spleen beans, mean beans - even gluten-free beans.
After tunneling through a few feet of cans, I found the kidney bean section. The next challenge was figuring out if The Wife wanted the light red kidney beans or the dark red kidney beans. Luckily the plaid kidney beans were sold out, which made the decision much easier.
The guy in front of me at the cash register was incredibly proud of his "Red Solo Cup" ringtone. Someone kept calling him and he just let "Red Solo Cup" play until the call went to his voicemail.
When his phone rang a third time I offered him $10 and a can of kidney beans to please answer his phone. When he finally answered it was someone from the Emily Post Foundation doing a survey on telephone etiquette.
Enjoy the weather, folks.