Last week, I made my regular stop to pick up some gas station chicken for supper. The unfriendly, toothless woman no longer works there, the good ol' boy who barked, "That's every man's dream," in response to my request for two breasts and two legs was not on the premises, and the chicken bin was well-stocked. You would think such details would bode well for my chicken pick-up.
I took every man's dream in a box, a large tub of cole slaw, and the ticket to the cashier. She rang it up, took my money, handed back change...and said, "You be really careful, now." She peered earnestly, deeply, into my eyes as the words left her lips.
Well. I was not sure what to make of that. I hauled my fat- and sodium-laden spread to the car. What did she mean? It sounded like a warning. I was so distracted that I barely noticed the little black pickup truck parked all helter-skelter near the front of the building. I went around it, clutching my chicken. That's not foreshadowing. It was just a bad parking job.
The weather was clear. There's no rush hour in my neck of the woods, unless you count the backup at the traffic light when the prison changes shifts. That time had already passed. It was not a holiday. No sirens sounded, no police or firemen raced by. I did not walk under a ladder, see a black cat, break a mirror, spill salt, or get thirteen cents in change.
Nothing happened on the way home. But I couldn't get the image out of my head. That's just inappropriate, to tell somebody to be really careful after you sell them gas station chicken. Who does that woman think she is, anyway? Johnny Smith in The Dead Zone? Did she mean she could see my future of clogged arteries? Would I choke on that tiny, sharp leg bone? Aspirate a cube of diced carrot from the slaw and die a lingering death due to pneumonia? None of those scenarios came to pass. The chicken was tasty, as always.
I am getting a weird vibe from my petroleum/poultry bistro.