Friday, January 9, 2009

The Great Cucumber Caper

We were in Wal-Mart tonight. I stopped by the produce section and got some apples and a cucumber (because the boys love sliced cucumbers with soy sauce) and then headed over to the office supplies to pick up a day planner.

While I was standing there mulling over my choices, apparently Tristan was having his way with the cuke. He'd gnawed off one end and then nibbled a ring around the middle. He smiled at me REALLY BIG with wet cucumber seeds stuck to his chin. How can you be mad at this face?

I was, however, a little bit freaked out at the prospect of going up to the checkout counter with a mangled cucumber and for a moment considered throwing it under the shelving unit and running across the store hoping nobody would notice.

I glanced up and down the aisles and up to the ceiling to see where the surveillance camera was. I was certain any minute now a member of the blue and khaki platoon would race around the corner and start screaming for security to stop the shoplifter. I was trying to remember... isn't there some rule that it's technically not stoplifting until you try to leave the store? Except, half the cucumber at this point was in his belly and likely to stay there. For at least a few hours anyway. Until... well, you know.

So, being a grownup and all I figured the right thing to do was just fess up and go to the checkout as nonchalant as possible. As we sidled up to the counter, Tristan rode the basket like a figurehead on an old ship or perhaps a bit like the two lovebirds on the Titanic. He slices proudly through the air and gently lays the wet and half-masticated cuke onto the conveyor belt.

The Wal-Mart lady looked with a certain amount of disgust at the used produce lying there. I could tell she didn't want to touch it.

I tried to make light of it. "You charge those by the piece not by the pound I hope..." Chuckle, giggle, smile. Ha ha, boy am I really uncomfortable here...

Tight-lipped, she nodded. "We do charge cucumbers by the piece."

"Well, you can charge me for a whole one." Ba dum bum! Ha ha, that's right folks, I'll be here all week!

She didn't think that was as funny as I did.

When I got home the other end of the cucumber had mysteriously vanished. I suppose he ate it, although when I asked him where it was he'd point to different areas in the car. I looked all around the seat, under the seat, in the back. I hope he ate it or else in two or three days my car will be do for an aesthetic overhaul. (Truth be told it could actually use one now.)

I relayed this story to Rob when I got home who promptly became horrified and criticized me for allowing the child to eat an unwashed, waxed cucumber.

The way I look at it... my kid eats sand from the sandbox, so I'm thinking that we're actually making great progress!


The Empty Envelope said...

HAHAHAHAH!! And yes, it's only shoplifting if you try to leave. HAHAHAHA. So cute.

Shannon said...

Love it! Tristan is a man after my own heart. Every time I go to Walmart, I open some package to snack on while I shop! I say it's for the kid, but really, who am I kidding?

Wolfidy said...

I used to work at the grocery store, and yes, it's really not fun to see half eaten items on the belt, but seeing as cucumbers are usually an each item (as you mentioned), you can usually just tell the cashier instead of handing it to them. :D I always tried to be as nice as I could when it happened...'cause kids do that, it really can't be helped sometimes. I never was mad about it, even if I did have to touch it! That's why I had hand sanitizer in my apron.

Love the story! Also think it's really cool that your kids eat cucumbers! Most adults look at me like I'm nuts when I say one of my favorite snacks is sliced cucumbers with salt and pepper.

Wendy said...

Shannon, I try not to do it but when Tristan gets into "madman mode" sometimes I just have to. I figure given the choice people would like a quiet snacking baby than an obnoxious screaming baby.

Wolfidy, I think cukes are a wonder food. You should try them with soy sauce if you haven't. Tasty! Thanks for your interesting perspective from the other side of the conveyor belt!