Friday, November 23, 2007

March of the Penguin

My mother may be coming down here to tend to me following the surgery on my arm. So to thank her, I thought I'd share this beautiful childhood memory...

A day was not complete without a trip to the Acme grocery store. It was next to the high school football field and across the street from Brotman's Fabrics whose sign had eroded to read "Erotnan's" at some point. I spent approximately 50% of my childhood sitting in our little yellow Toyota in the parking lot of the Acme. You know, back when it was legal to leave children in parked cars. But I guess when I was really young, my mother brought me in the store with her, most likely with a great deal of complaining on my part. One afternoon when I was about seven, I was very annoyed with my mother for dragging me into the Acme. She had picked up a gallon of whole milk and a box of Twinkies already (ah, the healthy 70s) and was arguing with me as she rounded the corner at the head of an aisle. I decided I had had just about enough of this and stuck my foot out. It got tangled in her feet and the next thing I know, my mother is shooting down the grocery store aisle on her stomach, holding the gallon of milk up under her left arm and the box of Twinkies up under her right. Her glasses had flown off her face and were racing her down the aisle, about a foot ahead. As I told my father for years to come, she looked like a penguin gliding down a snowbank. If we had been playing shuffleboard, I think I had a good shot at winning. I sent that woman all the way down the aisle! I remember some other store patrons trying to help her up as I stood at the other end of the aisle in terror. She brushed them all off because she was mortified and attempting to act like nothing had happened. That was the last thing I remembered until I was about nine.

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