So… I stopped by the Macey’s on my way home from work today to pick up a bottle of some sweet Pace Picante Sauce. It was on sale for about a third off. Wow! Could there possibly be a better deal to be had anywhere in the universe? I think not!
Anyway, let’s get to the conversation part shall we?
I hit the express lane. Ten items or less, and I’m second in line. I’ll be out of there in no time! Unfortunately for me, the older gentleman ahead of me was using an archaic payment method. I think they call it “writing a check”?
Okay okay… I know. The conversation.
Okay, so the gentleman ahead of me takes a look at me and says, “Too much basketball?” and pointed at my slung-up arm.
“Too much motorcycling,” I respond.
I was about to continue the conversation when the man’s wife walks up and informs the man that he wrote his check out for the wrong amount. So he tears up his check and starts anew.
Now, this is where things get interesting. After the man finishes writing his new check and hands it to the amazingly hot cashier (yes, as you’ll find later on, the hotness of the cashier is an important factor to the story) he turns to me and says, “You know, six years ago they found a tumor in my colon that was this big,” and he holds his hands up to express a tumor that is roughly the size of an orange.
Okay. Now for some people, that might be a perfectly normal thing to say to a complete stranger that you meet in the checkout lane of the local grocery store. But for me, not so much.
My first thought was to respond with, “Wow, that is really gross!”
I managed to get out, “Wow…” before catching myself and realizing the rest probably isn’t very socially acceptable. Yeah, talking about your gigantic, cancerous, stage three colonic tumor is okay. Saying that talking about your gigantic, cancerous, stage three colonic tumor is gross is a bit inappropriate; or so says Miss Manners.
A bit taken aback, I’m not sure how to respond, so I say, “You know, I write for a living and I’ve written a lot about cancer treatments. It’s amazing what they can do these days.”
So after I learn that after 6 months of chemo treatments — no radiotherapy! — the tumor disappeared, the cashier has rung up my picante sauce and, looking quite apologetic for interrupting our stimulating discussion about cancer in the 7th planet from the Sun (Uranus… get it? Hahaha! It never gets old!), tells me I owe her $2.05. I hand my cash over.
The man then says he’s gotta go and bids farewell. Of all the places to get tongue tied! I wasn’t sure what to say. I almost said, “Good luck!”
Then, realizing that would be stupid (we’re in Orem Utah, not an unregulated whore house in Reno), I stammer out, “Have a good one!”
I turn to the amazingly hot cashier, who I would normally have been quite charming with, and simply thank her for allowing me the pleasure of spending my money