Thursday, December 23, 2010

Johnny Has Left the Building

It's nice to know we can make a difference.

The latest proof comes from two different news stories. In Australia - which we left on November 10 - the retailers are reporting a sharp decline in holiday spending. In the US - where we arrived three weeks ago - retailers are reporting a strong surge in holiday spending.

Coincidence? I think we all know better.

Even at the local level we can see our impact. Monday I went to Mendon Liquors, the bottle shop we have been using, and scoured the shelves for Johnny Walker Black Label, LK's brand of choice. When I finally asked the guy at the register, he told me that there had been unusually strong sales of this brand and they were temporarily out of stock.

Coincidence? I don't think so.

Actually, that stop at the liquor store was the last errand on a quick trip. First I went to the supermarket to pick up some crusty bread and bread crumbs since LK was making Italian wedding soup for dinner. That's the one with lots of little meatballs.

At the store, I saw that crackers were on sale, so I got 2 for $5 and went to the checkout. Bread, bread crumbs and two boxes of crackers. Hmmm, I said to the kid at the checkout, looks like I'm not on the South Beach Diet this week.

"Nobody should ever have to be on that diet," she said. Then she looked at me, and we both knew she was thinking she may have spoken too soon.

Anyhow, the market was the first stop. I walked out, put the grocery bag in the car and then drove half a block to the service station. There I went inside and paid for a bag of ice we needed. Then I got in the car and drove to the liquor store. And then I got back in the car and drove to another liquor store where I could get Johnny Walker Black.

That sounds normal, I suppose, but those of you who paid close attention may have noticed a slight hiccup in that routine.

I didn't even realize it until I got back to Peg's. I brought in the grocery bag and then LK asked me where the bag of ice was. It was only then that I realized that I had indeed walked into the service station and paid for the ice, but I had then just driven off, walking straight past the ice freezer without grabbing a bag.

Over 60. Drinking Mendon dry of Johnny Walker. Paying for items and forgetting to take them.

Coincidence? We all know better.

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