I love grocery stores. As long ago as the 1950’s I can remember the idiotic brother and I running around in the store causing mayhem among the shoppers and practically driving our mother to tears. On more than one occasion she was asked to rein-in her off-spring. Short of leashes, I don’t think this would have been possible. A favorite isle was the one containing the bagged candy. We’d check that out quickly to see if there were any loose pieces that might have leaked out of broken bags. At some point, probably after a dry spell with no broken bags, we began taking matters into our own hands and creating broken bags. It’s funny, but after over 50 years, I feel no shame for having done this, ahh, the “statute of limitations of the mind.” Thank God video surveillance had not yet been invented. But I guess this early experience, plus genetics (my Dad always loved shopping too), has led to a life long love of grocery stores.
Now though, they’re trying to ruin the fun. I swear, I think they think we shoppers are a bunch of morons. Do y’all carry around those little cards that you must show in order to get the sale price on stuff. It’s ridiculous. I now keep a full key chain in the car holding nothing but these stupid little “chips.” Here’s a photo of mine.
Because I keep them in the car, I sometimes forget to bring them into the store. This results in my arrival at check-out with no card and begging for mercy. I sheepishly ask if the cashier will scan another card, feeling something close to a criminal in the process. Last week I actually had one of these people say to me, “Well, this is absolutely something we are told not to do, but I’ll scan my card for you this one time.” Sheesh, give me a break!
Then there’s the “buy one get one free” scam. They price something up to the max and tell you that can have two for that price. But of course no Boehmke ever said “no” to getting something for free, so even though we don’t really even need the first one, we end up taking two home. Last week The Princess and I were picking up a few things we needed, actually had a list: Mayonnaise, it was buy one, get one free, pickle relish, same thing, barbecue sauce, again. I felt like Noah, you know, putting two of each species in the Ark, I mean cart. It got us checking expiration dates to make sure we could use the stuff up before it expired. Honestly, can we use up two jars of piccalilli by May 10, 2014?Crikees, I could be dead by then.
And then The Princess tries to ruin my fun too. For a recent solo outing, she’d put ice cream on the list. As I headed out the door she admonished, “Don’t bring home anything stupid.” I tried to think where I’d heard that before. Then I remembered similar words spoken by my Dad before going out on a date in high school, but I digress.
To finish up at the grocery, I love it after I’ve checked out, and they hand me the receipt, “You saved $3.86 today.” I did, compared to what? I’m pretty dang sure I didn’t save anything, but I feel confident that I’m still riding on savings from purloined candy back in the 50’s. I’d say we’re even.
Things are moving along, well in the case of the Pony, not literally, but I’m working on that. I put the final coat of Pony Red on the left front end and then what a relief to break into some Pony yellow and begin painting the wheel and hub. The left front wheel and hub are now what is known in the Massey Harris world as “straw yellow.” I was having coffee with friend of the Pony (that’ll be “FOP” from now on) Joe Strain, and mentioned how I was ready to grease the bearings and put the hub back together. One thing led to another and Joe ended up in my garage to give me a lesson in packing a bearing with grease. Here’s a photo, courtesy of Joe, depicting how it’s done.
It’s really pretty simple. First you get a nice size gob of grease in your palm. Then you scrape the bottom exterior edge in the grease on your palm until you see the grease come out the top. I’ve put a little red arrow to show where the grease is coming out the top. You rotate the bearing until you’ve completed the process around the entire bearing. In no time at all we had the bearings greased and the hub put back together. A look at the final product? Shade your eyes; this is pretty dazzling.
Practically a piece of art ain’t it? The Princess is always so helpful. Upon showing her this, she pointed out that I only had “three more to go.” No kidding, and those two big ones on the back are going to be something!
Speaking of The Princess, she and I celebrated our 43rd anniversary July 5. By golly that’s starting to sound like a lot. Where did the years go? We toasted each other at dinner, wishing ourselves many more. She told me a little story. When she was six or seven she says she often thought about death, I’m pretty sure thanks to the nuns at the catholic school she went to. She has a specific memory of sitting at the kitchen table eating tomato soup and crackers and wondering what it would be like, not to feel anything. Wow, really deep for a seven-year old. I can remember many such moments, but all I was thinking was, did the idiotic brother get more soup than I did.
Listen, against my better judgement, I’m heading out to California for a week of cycling and then a brief visit with the idiotic brother and his wife, Minnie. So, don’t despair, I will return. In the meantime, do what they recommend on TV. Go back and check out some reruns. If you haven’t read em, they’re new to you. I’ve picked out a few of my favorites, mostly from 2010, and they’re listed below. All you need to do is click on them.
Finally, I was on the inbound leg of the morning 40 when I came up to a bridge that was under construction, and the road was closed. Due to lack of rain, however, I could see that if I carried my bike down to the dried-up, rocky creek bed I could get across and not have to take a detour. It was not easy, and I struggled a bit down in the creek, but I was finally coming up the other side when one of the construction workers up on the bridge hollered, “You got it pretty easy. The last guy that did that was carrying a Toyota!”
See you in two weeks, and thanks for reading.