the last time i remember dropping something at a store is really the only time i remember dropping something at a store. there was the one time i knocked over a drink at a restaurant and it went all over a friend. [it was orange, therefore he was orange. it happened before we even got our food. i felt crappy, to say the least.] and one time i flung ketchup all over myself at a diner. [the previous diners hadn't secured the lid properly, i didn't realize, and when i shook it i became covered. i washed off in the bathroom but i still reeked. my then still-new (and now long since ex-)girlfriend didn't seem to mind. i felt idiotic but glad i didn't condiment her as well. it stained a red shirt i was wearing, if you can believe that. yes, ketchup.] i guess these might apply in a tangential way.

but actually dropping something, for which i have not paid, while still in the store is not something i tend to do. the one time i remember was when i was fifteen-ish. my brother, a friend, and myself were stopping at a gas station before going to school and i dropped a one-liter of wi1d cherry ispep (spell the last word backwards). i felt bad, but it was a gas station and it had a fountain drink machine and probably a slushie type machine as well, so they had to expect the occasional spill. the worst part was that my sock was sticky all day. [yes, it's all about me.]

as you might guess, i had an incident. it was the store's fault, twice really, but i'll come back to that. so i went to the bakery first to get this bread i always get. no, really. always. sourdough five grain. except they didn't have any already sliced so i was waiting to get a boule sliced up. the lone bakery representative (i was going to call her a baker, but as she was sweeping or mopping and on the phone i have no reason to believe she bakes,) did not seem to care. so after minutes of this, i left the bread and figured i would swing by after picking up other stuff.

i got some cereal, which i would explain but it's very weird so i won't, and went down the aisle where i saw pickled things. now i knew that i had (and still have) some marinating happening in my fridge and some pickled pepperoncinis would be very welcome. after examining eight or nine jars, only to be repulsed by the faded peppers within, i reluctantly decided that fate was not with me (or not with the peppers) this day.

of course, being the pickles section, what did i see but actual pickles. [for those non-americans among you, we tend to call pickled cucumbers pickles. and most often those are dill of some sort.] i hadn't bought pickles for some time and figured, why not, perhaps they'll fill the pepperoncini craving. so after debating.. not zezty dills they are weird. kosher dill or original dill? i always get kosher and i don't get how cucumbers are kosher anyway, i think i saw an episode of good eats that mentioned it had to do with the salt, but i could be making that up. i think i'll get original this time.. see, every now and then i want a pickle[d cucumber] but what i want is that bit of spiciness. and the jar of originals said it had the dill flavor but with a tang.. so i figured that tang sounded about right.*

cereal, pickles, and i head back round to the bakery and actually get recognized as a human customer. so i'm handing the bread to the mopper/phoner and as she's about to grab it, down goes pickles. [in my head i'm thinking of this like "down goes frazier!" if you don't know the reference, um, good luck defeating me in trivial pursuit.] and i'm not talking about one of those micro jars of pepperoncinis, no. 46 oz of pickles and their fetid garlicky soak. not to mention the glass jar containing them. anyway, glass plus floor equals me with juice on my shoe, and an unfortunate mess as my new companion. luckily the collateral damage was minimal as i do my best most days to avoid smelling like a pickle cemetary.

the mopper/phoner was quite nice. as i apologized (more than once) she said, it's outside the bakery, i don't care. another person came over from the deli section and was also nice. after getting my bread back and apologizing to her as well, i told her that i was going to run away, she said, "run fast."

i felt even worse because they were nice. but whatever, i had to get the heck out of dodge. and when i boldly got another jar of pickles (that's right), i assure you that i held on to it like a hungry person holds onto a fleshy baby he just stole. [that's a lie, i just changed my grip so it would be a little less easy to drop.]

anyway it was their fault twice. first, by denying me service at the mopping/phoning station in the first place it meant i had to return to, if you remember, the scene. second, if they simply had some quality pickled pepperoncinis in the first place i would probably not have dropped the soda can-sized jar.

quickly, if you ever have a bit of pickle excrement or gasoline on your hand and you want to get it off so you don't make your car's interior (especially the wheel and shifter) smell of either, just get a bit of paper towel. where? well, at a gas station they often have it available with the window squeegee, and if you are at a grocery store steal an old lady's purse and look for the unused tissues, avoiding the ones with stuck-on cough drops from 1968 if you can. wipe your hand off very well. then, spit on your hand, and rub it around, then wipe it all off very well with another towel/tissue. i've used this technique for both toxic fluids and so far so good. it does not remove the smell entirely, but it seems to be about 95% effective and no smells in my car yet.

this makes me wonder though. i put gas in my car yesterday prior to going to the store, and i put a few of these towels in my hatch just to have. [if you must know i fold up one or two to hold under the nozzle as i remove it from my car post-filling to catch the drips.] anyway, some stations don't have them and i figured they would be nice to have in just such a case. and then minutes later i have to use them. so while i am glad i thought to put them in there today, i wonder if i had not if i also would not have needed them. probably not, right? i mean, it doesn't follow, obviously, but i'm curious.

edit: * = this was the pickle flavor i have been wanting for some time. screw you kosher dills.



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