Sometimes Things Just Happen

Think about what you do for a second. If you can do it without vomiting, think about your job. I mean, what does your job description say versus what you actually do. Again, please don’t get sick. The thing is, from my observations, what you do has very little to do with your job description. You do a ton more than described and it’s a lot harder. It’s like that for me. But occasionally just when the going is tough you get a break and it’s all easy. You see, I am supposed to make fun of the world. But recently with sending my son to college,  sending my other son to high school, and my daughter sending me to the nut house, the world hasn’t been very funny. Until yesterday. (Imagine the Dragnet theme [dada-dun-da   da da-dun-da daaaaaaaa])

The story you are about read is true. The names have been made up because I don’t know what they truly are. (If you don’t know the theme, that’s OK too)

I had occasion to go to the deli at my local grocery store yesterday. A totally normal thing to do when all of a sudden, the world went completely sideways on me. Woah, that sounded ominous. But actually, it was a little strange. You see, usually there is one older woman at the deli counter but, yesterday there were two. This doesn’t sound so bad. In fact, you would think it would speed up the process. Well?

Both women were doing the deli thing and, when it was my turn, the new lady looked at me and then turned around and sealed up the cheese she had been cutting. I didn’t think too much of this. You should clean up after yourself, I just wish you would do it after you take care of me. I don’t care if you make the guy behind me wait, but why do I seem to remind everyone they forgot something just before they wait on me? But I digress. Eventually the cheese was put away andshe gave me the customary, and extremely annoyed “May I help you??”

I asked for a pound of bologna. I truly didn’t think it was an unusually difficult request. However, she looked at me for a second as if waiting for clarification, then asked if I wanted stick bologna? I didn’t know what stick bologna was, so I answered, “No I want it sliced.” She shot me a look that suggested she was a rocket scientist talking to a Neanderthal. She responded,“I meant did you want it sliced off the stick” Before I could answer she continued with, “and how much did you want.” I responded that I wanted one pound, and she walked away leaving me to ponder the fact bologna came in sticks. I always thought it was processed meat, not harvested as sticks from trees. Who knew?

As I pondered I watched the lady. She cut and weighed exactly a half pound and was about to wrap it up when I interrupted, and said for the third time, “I want a full pound.” She looked up and responded, and I quote, “I knew you said that but I was unsure.” What? If she knew, then how could she be unsure. I mean, there really isn’t a whole bunch of room for confusion here. Remember, I said only four words to her. A pound of bologna. The word A is an article and OF is a preposition. Those words just link other words and have nomeaning. She must have understood BOLOGNAas she asked me stupid questions about it. So, we must look at the word POUND.

Now, this word has three distinct meanings in the English language. The first is to hit something. She never offered me the bologna stick to beat on, nor did she try to protect it in any way. Therefore, we must conclude she had to be reasonably sure I wasn’t going to pound on her bologna. The second, and more English meaning for pound is, of course, the British currency. I guess she might have thought I wanted a pound’s worth, except for three simple facts. First, she didn’t have a British accent. Second, we were in America at the time. And third, that would be really, really dumb. Not just your average, run of the mill idiocy. I’m talking traveling ten-thousand miles and jumping into an active volcano to cure a hangnail stupid. We’re talking once-in-a-lifetime craziness here. Besides all of that, we were in a deli. The word pound in a deli is pretty specific.

I would have thought nothing stranger could have happened in this trip but when I got my bologna, in a fit of silliness I asked for some salami. Now, in the counter, visible to anyone who cared to look, were four types of salami and three brands. Her hand went immediately to a stick clearly marked, “Genoa Sweet Salami.” I guess I was unclear again so I reiterated, I wanted regular Hard Salami. She, in turn, rolled her eyes at me and said, “We only have one kind!”All the while slowly removing her hand from its current sausage and then into acompletely different case.

My brain contorted itself into a series of somersaults which would have made an Olympic gymnast proud. Did she a say only one kind, I thought? I can clearly see six. Now, I remember passing kindergarten on the second try. I can count to six. So, either she is nuts or I am. While I’ll admit I have shown some insane tendencies, I have never seen sextuple at the deli counter. I even looked over at the swiss cheese to make sure I could still count. Yep. In this case I was right. I had seen the correct number of salamis and the deli lady was off her rocker. I smiled. You’ve got to take the victories when you can.

 Well, she brought over the meat and made a face that would stop a digital watch. Then asked, “Anything else?” Well, let me tell you I had seen that look before. Oldman Grimsome used it whenever a kid walked on his lawn, and it never meant anything good. I actually did want a half-pound of cheese but that face convinced me I could live without it. I said thanks and slunk away.

I have since changed grocery stores. Not that I’m scared mind you. I just prefer not to tempt fate. You see, after seeing the look, I remembered something. One of those salamis was named Roger.

Hey everyone. Thanks for reading Mr. Ohhs! Sideways view. I hope you’re having as much fun as I am. If you like it, I bet a friend of yours will like it too. Share it on Facebook or send them this MySidewaysView.comn They’ll love you for it and might even return all the stuff they borrowed. Hey It Could Happen! (if you don’t have any friends, I’ll step up for the low low price of just $5/week)

If you have comments, want to discuss the merits of Bavarian vs Virginia ham, or have me take a sideways view at your favorite topic. Send me an E-Mail at I’d love to hear from you

Ihave since changed grocery stores. Not that I’m scared mind you. I just prefernot to tempt fate. You see, after seeing the look, I remembered something. Oneof those salamis was named Roger.


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