A friend of mine recently accomplished one of those things which is worthy of being celebrated with champagne, so I went to the store this afternoon to get her a bottle.
I picked out a bottle of Veuve Cliquot, which is Anne's and my favorite, and walked up to the register to pay. On my way, I thought I saw Amanda Peet standing in the cereal aisle. I don't mention this to drop names, (which is pointless anyway since I'm not sure it was actually her,) but because it was so surreal to walk past, glance down the aisle like you do in the store, and a few steps later have my brain say, "Hey, Wil, I think that was Amanda Peet." By the time I'd registered what I thought I'd seen, there was no way I could go back without officially being a total creep, so I left this mystery woman in an eigenstate and continued walking to the register.
Checkout 5 had one person in it, but his cart was overflowing with more meat products than one person could reasonably eat over a weekend. Checkout 8 had three people, all of them with a few items in hand baskets. As usual, it only took a glance at the express aisle to confirm that it was not appropriately named.
The speaker in the store blared: Lane 11 is now open accepting all orders. No waiting on lane 11. It was extremely loud in the nearly-empty mid-afternoon store, which was a little jarring, but I didn't complain, since it solved my line-choosing problem quite nicely. I turned to my left and headed toward lane 11 quickly, almost knocking over a display box of DVDs and blu-rays that I swear to Steve the Fruitbat hadn't been there ten seconds earlier. While I caught my balance with one be-champagned hand and stopped the display from toppling to the ground with the other, I saw that the blu-rays were on sale for $5. I also saw that one of them was MEGA SHARK VERSUS GIANT OCTOPUS.
I reached out and grabbed it so fast, I nearly broke the sound barrier.
Champagne and blu-ray in hand, I got to lane 11 (which I was still calling 'Checkout 11' in my head) and put my two items on the belt. The cashier scanned them both while I pulled my wallet out of my pocket. While she put them into a bag, she said, dourly, "So ... looks like you have quite an evening planned for yourself."
"You know it," I said, as enthusiastically as I could without jumping around or raising my voice.
She recoiled slightly. In a voice that was a combination of suspicion, caution, curiosity and fear, she said, "Well ... you ... have a ..." she paused, like she was choosing her next word very carefully, "nice evening, Mister ..." she looked at the receipt ... "Wheaton."
I took the bag from her outstretched hand and flashed her a Tom Cruise Crazy smile. "Oh," I said, "that was never in doubt!"
I walked out the doors and into the unseaonsably warm January afternoon, incredibly amused with myself. As I walked across the parking lot, I wondered if Amanda Peet was buying the blu-ray of 30,000 Leagues Under The Sea, with a fine champagne, or if it was more of an Asti Spumante kind of film.
I think about these things, you know.