Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A "That Girl" Moment

I often find myself shopping at one of those economy grocery stores with food stacked in packing boxes rather than on display shelves. At the checkout register, no bags are provided; you either pile the food in carts or forage through the empty boxes to find one that may accommodate your items - or you bring your own bags. Unfortunately for me, I typically have good intentions regarding this last option but never quite succeed in doing it.

But today was different. For a change I actually remembered to bring that well known "bag of bags"; mine hangs on a nail in my laundry room, specifically for such a purpose.

Upon checking out I headed to the van, pressing into the wet morning wind with my food-laden cart, happy to know that my bags were stowed in the vehicle. A feeling of pleasure stole upon me as I pulled out the first of many of the small plastic holders. But as I began to open it, the capricious wind snatched it from my hand. A sideways glance revealed it drifting away so I relinquished possession to the wayward breeze. I turned to the remaining stash of bags just in time to see the wind whisk those away as well. One more gust sent them tumbling, one after another, across the wet pavement.

I leapt forward, determined to gather them once more. They were within arm's reach, but as I bent forward another mischievous blast catapulted them headlong across the driving lane. With little time for deliberation I must decide: should I chase after them when the wind was so inconsiderate and showed no signs of changing her nasty attitude, or should I succumb to her unkind whims?

The thought of dozens of miscellaneous food items being tossed into my van was not pleasant. But it was not impetus enough to inspire the pursuit of my windblown bags. However, as I watched the trail of white plastic balls tumbling across the blacktop, my conscience was pricked with another thought: the irresponsibility of such littering.

That proved to be the necessary inspiration; pursuit began in earnest. I ran through the busy parking lot, splashing through puddles. Every time I was within reach, the teasing wind blew upon them once more. With one final gale, they were tossed readily across the open road beyond the parking lot entrance. A sigh, followed by a quick glance, and I bolted across the highway. On the other side they tumbled down a small hill where they at last came to rest, hidden away from the wind's grasp.

Rushing down the grassy slope, I found myself in a soggy mess. As I paused to collect my truant belongings my lips slipped into an upward curve. "This would have made a pretty good stunt for an episode of That Girl," I thought. (I just dated myself terribly, I know...)

Pondering the difficulty of staging such a filming project and wondering how to get the timing just right (don't forget I just finished staging a Keystone cops comedy segment for our show - and "slapstick comedy is all about timing" was a phrase my students heard repeatedly,) I quickly crossed the road back to the parking lot. As I passed the front door of the aforementioned grocery establishment an older gentleman stepped out. With a smile on his face he applauding my performance, laughing and calling out his compliments on my successful mission. I laughed with him and made some sort of reply which I cannot recall...

...because mostly I was thinking that I was right. An audience had enjoyed my comedy. And it was free, too. Now, what would Actors Equity think of that?


Blogger sam said...

I read this last evening and everytime I think of you running around chasing your errant bags it makes me smile.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An idea for you...I bring my laundry baskets with me. Throw everything that needs to go in the fridge in one and the rest in another. This works well if you have someone strong at home to carry them in. :-) ~Michele

11:58 AM  
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