Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'll Take Some Words, Minced Please

I frequent a local German butcher. It's nice to step back in time in his shop, where the walls are lined with newspaper clippings, pictures of the old country and other relics that show the long history of the place. He has lots of imported condiments and candy, and can tell you the tricks on how to cook almost anything he sells to perfection.

I'm next in line when my mouth falls open. I hear a sentence that both amuses and disgusts me.

"I was at a wake earlier and we were deciding what to eat for dinner," says the woman on line in front of me to the butcher.

I find that I am really attuned to dialogue, especially in public places. Sometimes words I hear send my thoughts off and running. Take this sentence for example, two very ordinary ideas become completely strange beside each other in the same sentence.

I was at a wake earlier. We were deciding what to eat for dinner. I think, then I smile, laughing in my thoughts.

The owner of this awkward sentence is buying a smoked ham. Her hair is black, arranged in tight curls on her head. She peers through coke-bottle spectacles into the glass meat case, pointing to what she wants. Neither she, nor the butcher is phased by her words. The butcher, in his blood-stained apron, cheerfully suggests side dishes to accompany her ham. He leans over the counter to whisper a secret ingredient for gravy. The woman grins, thanking him, and scribbles a note on a pad she produces from a giant black leather pocketbook on her shoulder.

According to the conversation, this customer has a household full of teenage girls. She rolls her eyes at the butcher, and that's enough to explain the challenge. She's wearing a black summer dress.

Well, of course, I think, she just came from a wake. My eyes travel down to her shoes. I gasp at the sight of brown suede that totally does not go with a summer dress. Both she and the butcher look over at me confused. Her last word, roast, trails off into sound wave oblivion as they look in my direction. I smile meekly.

"Just thought I locked my keys in the car, but no, they're right here." I smile again, jiggling the keys that have never left my hand.

My petty thoughts pick up where they left off as their conversation resumes. Imagine brown suede before Labor Day!

I frown, thinking: Somebody call the fashion police!

Then I mentally scold myself. Stop judging people Loren. She probably just grabbed any shoes in her closet, being late for the wake and having no idea what to pick up for dinner.

Back to the sentence game. I think. Let me try one. I was on vacation at Disney World and I was writing my will. Nah, too extreme.

"Can I help you Miss?" I don't hear the butcher at first because my silly thoughts are too loud and he calls me Miss. I no longer picture myself as a Miss, but that's good if he thinks so. The lady is carrying out her ham, waving goodbye as the door jingles behind her.

"Oh, yes. Hi. I'll take two pounds of pork loin please."

The butcher nods and asks, "What are you planning to make?"

"Pulled pork in the crock pot." I say.

"Oh, Well, then you need this for that." He says, pointing to a round piece of meat packaged in white wax paper. The words "PORK BUTT" are written across it in black marker.

"Oh, OK. I laugh. Can I ask you a question?"

Here comes my stab at the ridiculous sentence game.

"I was just resetting my watch," I begin, slowly, "and I was wondering how to marinate a pork butt." I smile, very satisfied with my weird sentence.

The butcher answers me without skipping a beat.

"Well, sure. You just add your favorite barbecue sauce and a half a cup of water to the crock pot with the meat. "

"Cool. Thanks." I say. He has no idea why I'm laughing out loud right now.


Milk Man said...

I've always dreamed of consuming PORK BUTT!!!

Loren Christie said...

Oh, good! Your dream will be realized tonight at dinner.

caitysparkles said...

Loren, I love you. You are so awesome. I always look so forward to your entries. I think that our minds work very similarly a lot of the time. I can see myself doing something like this, as well.

Oh, and you won the sentence game, by the way. :)

Loren Christie said...

Thanks Caity. :)

Sandy said...

Cool post, great blog.

He's right, pork butt is the way to go. Was it good?

BPOTW said...

Definitely random! It's funny how our minds work!

Loren Christie said...

Sandy, The butt was awesome for pulled pork! That may be the oddest sentence I've ever written.

Putz said...

oh shoot, i dina win HAIR ZWING

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

Well done! I always have random thoughts like this when I am stuck behind someone in line, but you made it seem really interesting.

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


Loren Christie

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