Friday, November 05, 2004

Simply the best

In the store, a Friday afternoon, buying groceries before the weekend crowds. A man wearing a badge saying "Maurice" is packing my paper bags. I come closer and peak quickly inside one of the bags. It is arranged to the centimeter. Everything just so. I'm impressed and tell him: "This is art, not grocery bagging!". Maurice is pleased but does not seem at all surprised. "I'm the best", he boasts, "just ask around you. I'm just the best bagger there is."
That's much is clear. His work is fast and perfect. Everything seems to fit as if I had bought the bag of beans for that only reason; so that it could fill the small space between the mineral water and the bananas.
Maurice soon calls his boss and asks me to repeat my compliments. I'm happy to oblige. In fact I do it twice, once in English and one in French as it is very clear from the accent that Maurice's boss speaks French.
The boss congratulates Maurice who is delighted by the attention. His co-workers are less so. I ask Maurice if I put him in some sort of trouble. "Not at all, " he says, " they're just jealous.
He is the best bagger in the store after all.


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