Submitted by megan on Sun, 03/22/2009 - 22:49
At the Hartmans today, Jennifer needed some sauces and I needed some mushrooms, of both the fresh and dried variety. Shiitake, for the dried, which I thought might be in "ethnic foods," which we all know is code for sauces soy and curry, and taco shells.
I am here to tell you that dried mushrooms have no ethnicity.
The next sensible place to look, J. surmised, was in the "health section" which we all know is code word for "delicate flower" (DF).
"And on the way," I said. "If we see someone, we can ask them."
It's good to ask for what you want.
We hit the DF section before we saw an employee, scanned the shelves, saw no shiitakes. We were about to leave, when I realized that we had just passed an employee who was reading the back of a box of DF mac'n'cheese. I thought maybe he was on break to be doing such a thing, but then thought "Well, he's wearing his uniform and name tag. Fair game." I doubled back.
"Excuse me," I said.
He didn't look up.
"Excuse me," I repeated. "Do you have any dried mushrooms?"
That got me his attention, and a closed-up wary look to boot.
On break I thought. But there was no going back.
"Do you have any dried mushrooms?"
I could see him trying to formulate an answer, and jumped in with what I thought might be helpful information.
"I'm looking for shiitakes, and thought they might be in with the health foods."
He spoke then, "Oh. I don't know. They'd be in produce."
I thanked him. He went back to the DF M'N'C, we went off towards produce. Just out of earshot, I leaned over a bit to Jennifer and said "I think he thought I was asking *him* if he had mushrooms."
"Yeah, I got that feeling too. He was very confused."
"I guess so, I mean, where would he have them, in his pants? Because I do not want to know if he has mushrooms in his pants. Why would some strange girl be asking him about his pants fungus?"
Jennifer snorted and leaned her forehead on my shoulder a moment as we both collapsed into a fit of giggles. "Why," she said, "are we unable to grocery shop together without something hilarious happening?"
Hard to tell if it's the Hartman's, or whether we're hilarious, or whether that poor man really did have mushrooms stuffed in his crotch and was afraid I'd found him out.