“I’ll wait for you right here,” Larry told me as he sat down in a lawn chair in front of Bed, Bath, and Beyond. He opened his Harry Turtledove novel and got ready to read. “There’s a nice breeze so take your time. I really don’t mind.”
I went in and checked out all the new gadgetry just inside the doorway. I picked up the chef’s basket (as advertised on TV). It’s a marvelous contraption that every cook must have to run an efficient kitchen. It’s a wire basket with handles that fits right into a pot and can serve to lift French fries from hot grease or pasta from hot water. Only $14.95. A bargain at double the price. I placed it back on the shelf and moved along to the microfiber rugs that I look at and feel on every visit. I touch the material once again perfunctorily and move along. I admire all the cookware and grimace at some of the prices, thankful that I really don’t need any new pots or pans.
In the kitchen gadgetry section I look for new items and am amazed to find a banana slicer. The package guarantees that this slicer will provide perfectly uniform slices every time. Funny. I never realized that banana slices needed to be uniform. My little dollar paring knife has been slicing bananas pretty well for years, when the occasion arises, so I hang the $12 slicer back on the rack.
I make my way through the store, picking up a candle and sniffing it, feeling the texture of a fleecy blue throw, examining the newest iron on the market, and carefully replacing each item. In the front I check out the sale on barbeque items and move toward the check out counter. After probably an hour of leisurely browsing, I’ve selected a new jelly-roll pan and a set of four small cutting boards.
“This pan is the latest thing for the kitchen,” the cashier tells me. “We just got these in yesterday. It’s a new kind of material that keeps you cake extra moist. These pans are selling like hot cakes.”
Two minutes later, I carry my bag out the door and glance at the chair where I left Larry reading his book. He’s not there. He’s not far away though. Apparently he’s done some browsing of his own and discovered a better chair than the one he started in. Snoring like a chain saw, he is stretched out in an outdoor recliner, his book open on his chest. The mesh recliner obviously allows the air to circulate all around him and provides perfect comfort.
A shopper to be and her spouse walk toward the door and smile as they look at Larry.
“Why don’t you have a seat and wait while I shop?” she asks him.
“There’s only one recliner,” he replies, following her through the door.
“Larry, are you ready to go?” I ask, touching his foot to pull him from his deep sleep.”
He opens his eyes and grins at me. “I’m pretty comfortable. You sure you’re through shopping? We need to buy this chair.”
“How long have you been sleeping?” I ask.
“I don’t know. Once I moved, people came by and talked to me several times. One man said he’d seen you in the store and you said to send in the other credit card. Another one said I obviously enjoyed shopping trips with my wife a lot more than he did with his. Another one said I make a great advertisement for this chair and the store should be paying me.”
We moved on over to Belk’s, but unfortunately, they only had a straight chair for attending husbands. He was wide awake when I came back. Maybe I should go back and purchase that recliner to store in the trunk. Then when I want to shop, he can simply set the recliner up just inside the door of whatever store we’re in.
A waiting area wasn’t a problem at our next stop. He didn’t sit out front and read there. Larry was eager to join me for shopping at Cracker Barrel.