Saturday, August 06, 2005

The wise one

I'm in the Italian store in Cleveland Park that sells the best everything Italian you ever want. I'm here to pick up some pizza dough before heading out to a movie. The place is completely packed and the wait seems to be quite long. "How fast is the line?" I turns around to see who asked me the question and see a woman about 50/60 years old, holding a large paper bag.
I shrug "Define fast" I answer with a smile. I've not moved for the 2 minutes I've been in the store but by Italian standard, this is normal. "The time it would take for what is in the bag to melt". The place has no AC and a small ceiling fan is the only device brassing the air. It's really hot.
I point toward the freezer containing the stuff that they sell. "Why don't you put your stuff in there while you're waiting?" I suggest. The woman is beyond herself with relief. "This is an excellent idea!" she shouts while opening the door of one of the closest freezer and stashing her bag in there. "Oh! Please keep that door opened! It feels so good." It's a young man, with a shy smile. "What is in the bag, anyway?" I ask the woman. She smiles guiltily "Dove ice cream". "Well yeah, these melt fast" says the young man. They start to talk about the different kinds of Dove ice creams. Apparently there are "ice cream bites". "You can pop one or two" when you're back home from work, she is saying. "One or two?" the young man answers, "I'd need several of those! Probably more like 8". He is so skinny I'm not sure where he could put 8 ice creams. Even bite size ones. The line is progressing and the young man disappears to order pizza. Soon it is my turn. As I am paying, the woman reaches the cashier on my left and is ordering what sounds like "spinach agnolini". The cashier seems to know her for she asks "No pizza today?" As she declines, I turn around to say "They even know you here! Are you a regular?" The woman smiles and says "Well, indeed they know me. Maybe I'll order the pizza after all". I feel she wants to do it as a proof of her loyalty to the shop.
As I am ready to leave, she wave at me "Bye, the wise one!".
No one ever called me that before. Wisdom dispensed for a bag of Dove ice cream bars.


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