Yesterday, for instance, as I sat at the gas station waiting for the guys to ream the mud out of the axles of my car, I listened to the owner and his friend muse about the weather.
Owner: Will it be like the flood of '87 tomorrow?
Friend: Mmm. I remember getting that call from Earle, his wife was stuck there at the farmhouse where the stream had flooded, could I get her out? he wanted to know.
Friend: You know [pause]. She's a big woman [pause]. Hard to carry through that lake.
Friend: [pause]. And then I shut her foot in the car door.
That friend wandered off, and another friend wandered in.
Other Friend: I'm off to Wal-Mart. Need anything?
Owner: I can't think of anything.
Other Friend: I'm gonna buy a new belt.
Owner: [looks closely at Other Friend's belt]. You can't get another five years out of that one?
Later in the day, on my way north to pick up my son at school, I stopped to run a few errands. First, I went to the feed store to buy some new work gloves. While Clerk 1 was ringing up my purchase, Clerk 2 bustled over and started bossing him around.
Clerk 2: Time for you to go do [something unexplained in another part of the store].
Clerk 1: It's been a long time since I done that.
Clerk 2: It ain't hard, go on and do it.
Clerk 1: But first I'm gonna go outside for a minute.
Clerk 2: Take a phone with you. Which phone you gonna take?
Clerk 1: I'll bring number 6.
Clerk 2: [darkly]. Ah. You're taking The Aggravator.After buying my gloves, I walked next door to the grocery store. There, in front of the entrance, was the woman who grooms my dog. She was just standing there, going nowhere, holding the leash of a young springer spaniel.
Me: Hi, Sue! What are you doing?
Sue: I'm teaching him to meet people!
Young Springer Spaniel: [bounce, leap, bounce, leap, bounce, leap, bounce, leap].I'd like to say that this was the same day I saw the Amish family purchasing (1) a package of lunch meat, (2) a box of factory-farmed eggs, and (3) a jumbo-sized bag of Cheerios, but that was last week.