I'm at the Westside Market checkout counter, searching for a credit card to pay for my purchases. There's a man in line behind me. He's tall, blond, and good-looking-except for the tension in his face. I can sense his rage at the delay I'm causing.
The clerk is quiet. This type of thing apparently happens all the time.
I'm trying to recall where I last used my card, when, to my relief, I find it. "Here it is!" I shout, and turn to the man to apologize. "I, uh . . . "
But he cuts me off. "You should have had your card ready," he snaps. "You ignored me!"
eyes drop. She's waiting for my counterattack.
The clerk bites her lip to suppress a grin.
"Sorry I kept you waiting," I add. (That's me talking.)
"No problem," he says, his mouth curving upward, puts cash on the counter for his six-pack, and rushes off without another word.
A tall, dark-haired man, next in line behind me, witnessed the exchange and smiles at me. He's just as good-looking as the tall blond man.
"That fellow wanted very much to stay angry with you, but he couldn't after what you said. Congratulations."
"Thank you," I say, and make a mental note to visit this market more often.