….IT'S NEWS TO ME….
Thompson reports being amused and even a little “heartened by humanity in general” as Jenkins slowly hunted down and manually entered each barcode between stories—often stopping and starting over.
“It was almost as enjoyable as spending time with the family I hadn’t seen and waited on me at the time, but not quite.” Thompson admits that the bag of onions was a mistake on his part. “I didn’t even know if we needed them. Trying to figure out which one of three onion varieties was where Pete really fell apart.”
Jenkins reportedly hovered a finger over the small checkout interface, took his glasses on and off three times before eventually choosing, what Thompson believes was, “the wrong fucking onion anyway.”
“Don’t get me wrong,” a weary Thompson explained to other patrons. “Stories of Pete’s children were heartwarming, almost as heartwarming as hearing about my own children or reminding them who their daddy is. Old Pete does have a way with words. I nearly didn’t want to punch him in his wrinkly face.” He then explained that Pete’s story about how living on a fixed income in what some would consider “squalor” never got Pete down, touched him and almost stopped him from writing a complaint that, “I hope, will get Pete fired,” Thompson reportedly said to a grocery store shopping cart rustler who didn’t have the power to fire anyone.
Thompson went on to say he supported hiring the elderly for any profession where they qualify, but only as long as they aren’t allowed to talk or ask questions. “I wondered why his line was almost empty while all the other checkout lines had two or three carts loaded with food, pushed by wary-eyed soccer moms. They knew. They fucking knew, and they didn’t warn me.”
Stepping into his Dodge Neon, Thompson gazed off into the distance. “It reminds me of Pete’s story about the hobo and the dancing girl . . . except I’m not drunk and no one’s getting laid tonight.”