A lot of the good stories I have had to share recently have involved visits to the grocery store. I'm not sure what that means, or if it means anything at all, but I am thankful for the blogging material nonetheless. The story I have to share with you today is something that happened this past Saturday at the local Walmart.
The Boss and I had already gathered up into our cart the things we needed, and despite it being past 8:30 on a Saturday night, all the registers had massive lines. We picked one close to the entrance where we parked, and resigned ourselves to wait. Shortly after we got in line, another couple joined in behind us... a little too close behind us.
Being a person who requires a standard amount of personal space, I inched forward with our cart. No sooner had I stopped moving when the couple behind us moved right up close again. This went on a few more times, and with each passing minute I felt my anxiety level rise. They were so close that I could feel the breath of the guy standing behind me each time he sighed impatiently.
For the record, I don't mind sharing close quarters with those I know and are comfortable with, but when it comes to complete strangers, I prefer to keep a polite distance. Not wanting to be rude, I continued to move as far forward as I could without being right on the heels of the person in front of me. The couple behind me moved in closer still. A quick glance over my shoulder showed that there was no one in line behind them, so there was no real reason for them to be so incredibly close to me.
At the time, I was dealing with a considerable amount of congestion from this most recent allergy situation, and having no tissues or anything around to blow my nose into, I was forced to keep sniffing it all back up. Just as I was reaching the end of my patience with the close-quarters couple behind me, I got an idea. An awful, evil idea, but knowing that my congestion is not from a cold, thus no sickness-causing germs to spread, I decided to go for it.
The next time I had to sniff, I exaggerated it greatly and wiped the side of my hand vigorously against my nose. I then coughed violently into my hands. The Boss turned to me, concerned.
"Are you alright?" she asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine." There was a perfect amount of thick congestion blurriness in my voice. I worked up another massive sniff and hacked on the fake phlegm for a minute. "Just this damn flu is all."
The quiet conversation between the couple behind us stopped suddenly. It was then our turn to unload our items onto the conveyor belt, and just before I did, I decided to act out the last phase of my idea.
I coughed again, being sure to make it sound as juicy and gross as I possibly could. I didn't cough into my hands this time, instead choosing to aim into the corner of my left elbow... which I had angled directly at the close-quarters couple.
"I just hope that I'm not contagious anymore. This whole Swine flu thing is really kicking my ass."
The couple exchanged a quick worried glance, and immediately took a few steps backwards. I smiled at them and coughed one last time. A nice hearty, phlegm-y one.
Happy Monday, folks.