After work, I stopped at Harp’s Grocery. The possible impending task of preparing food to shovel into my gullet seemed herculean and the promising lure of the storefront logo in the distance banished all thoughts of wasting my precious minutes cooking food.
I made my rounds through the supermarket, valiantly attempting to curtail my desire to place at least 1.2 of every delicious item into my proverbial shopping cart. The girl stocking produce undoubtedly considered reporting me to the manager as “suspicious,” given the rapacious way I was fondling all the foodstuffs with my eyeballs.
After exchanging pleasantries with the cashier, I left, digging out my car key from my right front pocket. My feet were on autopilot as I traversed the crosswalk; my thoughts were on eating all the things I had just purchased – and all at once, if duty required such a gastronomical sacrifice.
I pointed my electronic key fob toward the white late-model Hyundai to the right of the main store entrance. I clicked it again and didn’t notice the lights blink quickly. Naturally, I clicked the door unlock button a few more times. As an adult, I’ve learned the incredibly stupid habit of doing the same thing 15 times and hoping for a different result.
I shifted my groceries to my left hand and tried to push the key into the door lock. Of course I was mumbling to myself like a lost insurance salesman, muttering the usual patois of incriminating yet mild curse words normally associated with minor annoyances. (You all know these immortal words so I won’t bore you with a definitive list.)
Instead of heeding the resistance as I attempted to insert the key again, I pushed decently hard. The key, of course, didn’t slip into the keyhole. I’m certain I had the dumbest possible expression on my face. My imaginary and impending starvation had rendered me incapable of logical thought.
Just as I was about to do something really stupid and get the key irretrievably lodged in the door, a very commanding shrill female voice cut through the air: “What are you DOING?”
I turned and a short old lady was standing a few behind me to the left, exhibiting a mix of curiosity and hostility on her face.
As many of you know, my mouth often runs ahead of me to clear a dangerous path for the funny yet idiotic things I often say. My brain operates on its own initiative and connects directly to my mouth.
“I’m trying to steal this car!” I said, in a voice that I thought conveyed witty and confident humor.
Obviously, in that split second my brain registered the fact that I drive a white Ford, rather than a white Hyundai, the one warding off my attempts to get inside it with my key. I did as I often do and belched out something that I would think is funny.
It took a few attempts, but I finally convinced the nice old lady that I was at the wrong car and had just told her I was trying to steal her car to be funny. I clicked my key fob in the direction of my car, situated an entire aisle over and the lights blinked briefly.
“I forgot where my car was,” I repeated as I noted she was buying my version of events.
“Gingko,” the lady said. Although she didn’t laugh, I realized that she had just trolled me elegantly, as she clicked her key fob and got into her late model Hyundai to drive away.