First, a special high five to the guy driving down the 101 through Encino in 95 degree heat with the windows rolled down, steering with his knees and playing a tambourine and singing at the top of his lungs.
But the big shout out goes to the couple standing in line in front of me at Foods-4-Less on Date Palm Drive in Palm Springs at 2:00 a.m. last Thursday. You had me fooled at first, lady, with your face like a limestone cliff and your snakey black boy toy with the do-rag and the gold tooth. You made me nervous, I admit, and I think you felt a little prickly in return toward my Volvo sedan and good leather sandals. I don’t know why you two needed to return a twenty pound bag of dog food at that hour, but the ten minutes it took the cashier to figure out how to get the drawer open gave us some much-needed time to contemplate each other's situations. You softened toward me when you saw my bottle of children's cough medicine on the conveyor belt, and I know that because when that shrill beeper thing went off every time someone crossed the sensor you finally gave me a tired look and remarked, God, that must be nerve wracking. I had to chuckle in agreement. But when your bored boyfriend started riding around in the little motorized handicap shopping cart, well, my dissolving into a fit of giggles wasn’t meant to offend. I was becoming slap-happy, and the fact that I couldn’t purchase Robitussin for my sick little sleepless son until you got your sixteen bucks back, and the cheerful way your boyfriend skillfully steered around the canned bean display, let's just say that laughing so hard I almost peed took all the anxiety out of my little errand. My husband kind of seemed to think it was amusing, too, but my little boogery son only wanted to pepper me with a two-year-old's concept of details of the story of how the Powerpuff Girls used soft words to vanquish an angry Gojira while I was gone.