Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Having Fun at the Supermarket

Having Fun at the Supermarket

I like going to the supermarket.  It gives me a chance to talk with people and often, have a little fun.

My wife, Barbara does not generally share my views about trips to the supermarket and generally cringes when I talk with people.

I ask for opinions on different brands, ask the fruit guys what’s good today, will graciously offer my opinion on different brands to other customers, and never fail to speak with the person offering free samples about their product.

At the checkout counter, I will often ask for “an exact change discount”.  Often, I am told, very seriously that the store doesn’t offer that. Sometimes I get a smile or a “wish I could, honey” out of an older female cashier, and once in a great while I actually get a penny or two from a greatly amused, older, female cashier.

I find the older female cashiers like my sense of humor.  They are doing their job and find my “antics” to be a break from their routine.

I have gotten them to give me discounts (once $5), credit me for coupons I didn’t have, but mostly when I innocently ask if it is “double coupon day” I get “sorry that was yesterday, if only you’d been here” from them.  

They’re the best.

The younger cashiers don’t seem to get it.  They take my inquiries seriously or look at me blankly when I innocently ask them for these whimsical things.

If there is a young cashier and a bagger, I will occasionally ask them if they wish to play “The price is right”.  I explain that the person who guesses the closest to how much everything costs in my basket will win the chance to pay. 

They usually agree to the game and if they win they laugh it off.  Once a young girl won and actually took it seriously. 

I magnanimously let her out of her obligation.  I actually felt bad about that. But how gullible was she?

My wife rolls her eyes, pretends she’s not with me, or tries to apologize and hustle me out of the store.

I am not above pulling her into my little attempts at humor.

I often pretend not to know her, or insist she pay, or she should promise me some unspecified reward for paying for “her” groceries.  I play the “put upon role” as if she was” dictator for life” of our marriage.

Once, after witnessing our little charade, an older bagger asked how come she (Barbara) hadn’t killed me yet. 

Barbara told him “It’s coming”.

Today, we were out shopping, and we were heading to the checkout.  I turned into the checkout line, and Barbara was nowhere to be seen. 

She had fallen behind and lost sight of me. 

I spotted her looking around for me

I told the cashier I was going to hide and hunkered down.

Barbara finally spotted me and came over.

By that time the cashier had started ringing up our stuff.

I asked Barbara if she was going to pay.

She said ”no”.

I asked her to help with the bagging.

She said “no”.

I asked what she was going to do.

She said, “pay with your credit card”.

I asked if she was going to sign my name, which would have been forgery.

She didn’t answer, but the cashier agreed it would be forgery.

We finally finished up and as we were leaving the cashier (an older female one), gave us a big smile and said: “Have another fun day as always”.

After thinking about it for a second, we laughed all the way to the car.

Some people get us.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Update on Retirement

Update on Retirement

Having stopped working in February, I have to say life is good.

Barbara and I go to the gym 2 or three times a week, get up when we want, do what we want, and try to have fun every day.  We usually do.

Barbara is still addicted to the news channels and follows every political, criminal and scandal story.  I still like old movies.  This gives us our “quality time”, which we spend apart.

We are about to start on visits to places we have discovered through “Weird Florida”, a book we bought and a TV special we watched.  The places sound interesting and we love “weird”.  After all, anyone who knows us thinks we are “weird” too (Barbara claims just me, but I know better).

I still play golf once a week with my older friends and shoot for the early bird breakfast instead of low score.

We recently had a visit from our daughter and her family along with our niece and her husband and new baby.  It made for a loud, crowded and happy time.

We still have my son here with his family and we try to see friends and family often.

Our new hobby, cooking, is going well. 

I watch the Barefoot Contessa and Giada when I am home in the afternoons and by the time they are over (at 5), I am starving and we rush to the kitchen to try out new recipes.  I can’t help it, the shows make me hungry.

We (me) have applied to the food network for a show called “Cooking with Bobbi and Shelly” but astonishingly, have not heard back from them.  We would be sensational as newbie cooks trying out their recipes. We are charming and likeable, at least Barbara is, and would be very popular.  Are you listening Food Network??

Barbara, not so enthusiastic, and somewhat shyer than I, has asked me to provide a stand in for her if we actually get a call back.  I refuse; it wouldn’t be the same without her.  We often seem like an “I Love Lucy” episode, as the following incident will illustrate.

Yesterday we attempted a shrimp Parmesan recipe and nearly burned down the house.

As per the recipe, we had 2 skillets and a pot going at the same time.

We were frying the breaded shrimp in one skillet, prior to putting them in the other skillet, which was simmering with the sauce.  At the same time the pasta was boiling away next to the other two skillets.  Steam, some smoke and aromas permeated the air.  We had the vent fan on full over the stove.

Suddenly there was a marked increase in the amount of smoke and my eyes starting stinging.  I was sautéing the shrimp, watching the skillet with the sauce and trying to keep track of the pasta. 

The smoke increased and now a burnt smell could be detected. 

Barbara and I looked around to see what was burning.  Everything seemed ok, except for the smell and smoke.

A lot of smoke now poured out of the microwave over the stove.

We were puzzled at first.  We weren’t using the microwave as far as I knew.   I stood there stupidly while Barbara reacted and tried to stop the microwave.  She finally cleared it, and I pulled the door open.  Smoke poured out from within filling the kitchen and den.

“What is going on?” I asked.

“It’s my fault”, said Barbara.

Barbara had mistakenly used the microwave as a timer for the pasta.  What she actually did was start the microwave.

Unfortunately, Barbara was using the microwave as a breadbox and had some blueberry muffins in a plastic container stored within.  They were the items on fire. They had melted and burned.

We opened the windows and kept the vent on high and the smoke soon cleared.  We didn’t have to use the fire extinguisher or call the fire department.  A near miss.

Unfortunately, the burnt smell has lingered even after cleaning out the microwave and we are trying to get rid of it.

Barbara and I find this episode funny. Barbara more than I.  She constantly laughs about it. I can just see Lucy running around trying to put out the fire while trying to keep the dinner going.

It is reminiscent of the times (twice) Barbara has caused a fire in microwaves cooking popcorn.  As a preventative, our children don’t let her cook popcorn any more.

The important part is the shrimp dinner was delicious and we will try to do it again without burning the house down.

Too bad we weren’t filming; this would have made a great episode for the Food Network.