Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon's Crazy Second-Cousin
I was in line at the no-longer-the-store's-best-kept-secret express checkout lane near the produce entrance at my neighborhood monolith grocery store buying some macaroni salad and beer a few weeks ago. The line was long, and I stood there for several minutes. A woman was about three people in line ahead of me. This woman was clearly, but gently, insane. She wore ill-fitting clothes and a stocking cap that would have looked more at home on Tad Doyle or the Screaming Trees' Conner brothers circa 1991, and she was missing several teeth. She occasionally turned toward the people in line behind her, including me, and said something to nobody in particular that made no sense. "I cut in line," she said once. She hadn't cut in line. "Today is Thursday," she said. It was Wednesday. "We're going to the moon," she said. We weren't. About four minutes later and the line hadn't moved much. We were still in the same spot. Suddenly, a large man wearing several coats, though it was relatively warm outside, slowly pushed his cart by us. In addition to the multiple coats, he had a large pair of earphones on, which were affixed to his chalky, bushy hair by a shitload of packing tape. He was hunched so far over his shopping cart that he was nearly resting his head on the bottom of it. The crazy woman in line looked at him gently, and said, "Oh hey, Louis." He looked at her, said, "Hey, how's it going?" and proceeded on his way.