Here is Les’s first contribution to my blog – and this is one of my favorite stories!
I would like to relate to you a story about a most embarrassing experience that happened to me while shopping at a local store.
My wife Faye and I live on a quiet acreage outside of Edmonton, on which we have a multitude of pets, as well as a constantly changing number of foster cats that we look after for the Northern Alberta Society for Animal Protection, or NASAP, for short.
The story that I want to relate to you took place a good fifteen years ago, when Faye and I commuted together back and forth from our home to our jobs at the University of Alberta. Due to the long drive from our home to the store where we purchased the majority of our pet foods and supplies, we usually resorted to stopping there on the way home from work. This meant that we were often tired and frazzled when we did our shopping.
I really must tell you a bit about this store. It’s called G&E Pharmacy and it’s located in the south-east end of Edmonton. This is a family run business that has been serving the Edmonton area for many years now. Several generations of the owner’s family can be found working there at any one time, all the way from teen-aged grand-daughters up to the matriarch of the family, the grandmother, who although she has never mentioned her age to me, has to be well into her eighties. Those shoppers who walk through the front door for their first time must all feel the same sense of amazement that hit me on my first visit. As I strolIed around looking at the variety of items overflowing the shelves I felt that I had stepped back in time. The business might be called G&E Pharmacy, but it is in fact a general store of the type that one might have found in any small town many years ago. Along with pharmaceuticals (for both humans and the four-legged animals), this store stocks just about every imaginable item that might be of use to city dwellers, country folk, hobby farmers, and yes, even real full-time farmers.
Due to the sheer volume of stock that is carried at G&E, the aisles are often cluttered with various items for which there is absolutely no room on the shelves, which can make maneuvering around other shoppers while avoiding the stock that is sitting on the floor a definite challenge. On the day that this story took place, Faye and I had headed off in different directions to save time – she to get some dog biscuits and cat treats while I went hunting for a specific brand of dog food.
It took me a few minutes to find the food I was looking for and as I was finally heading to the front of the store I came around the corner of an aisle and found Faye, with her back to me, reading the label on a package of rawhide dog chews. I had just read an article in a magazine about the risk of dogs choking on small pieces of rawhide and I decided right then and there that I would nip this new dog treat idea of Faye’s in the bud. I walked up behind her until I was looking over her shoulder at the package, with my cheek almost brushing hers, and as I reached around with my hand and gave her waist an affectionate little squeeze, I said “I really don’t think those are a good idea.” As I was uttering my learned opinion on the merits of rawhide chews, I happened to glance up from my inspection of the package to see Faye halfway down the aisle, walking towards me, with a decided frown on her face.
“That’s strange”, I thought. “How can Faye be halfway down the aisle giving me the evil eye, AND be snuggled up against me at the same time?”
As my mind was dealing with this perplexing question, the lady whose waist I was still holding looked around at me and with a sweet smile and a tone that belied the fact that a strange man was groping her, asked “Why, is there a problem with them?”
Well, I am happy to say that after a spluttered apology from me explaining how much she looked like my wife from behind, although as Faye rather drily pointed out to me afterwards, they weren’t even wearing the same colored coat, the unfortunate recipient of my words of wisdom, and of my groping, was very gracious and was still laughing as we left her to carry on with her shopping. I don’t know if she ever did buy that package of rawhide dog chews.
I can also report that after fifteen years, Faye has just about forgiven me as well. Ever since that day though, whenever we go shopping, and before we head off in different directions, she always asks me “And what color is Faye’s coat today?”
© Les Hicks, 2010
Ha ha – this was truly hilarious. The look on Les’s face when he spotted me – first confusion, then shock, then beet red embarassment – I still crack up when I think of it. 🙂