When the jar of salsa slid from my grip at the checkout counter, I braced myself for the inevitable result. “Crash!” went the jar as it hit the ground with gusto and shot chunky shards of glass through the air.
“Oh, no!” I shrieked, while watching the spicy concoction splatter over the floor. “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” I kept repeating to the beleaguered checkout clerk.
“That’s okay,” he replied as he cleaned up the saucy remnants of my clumsy accident. He couldn’t have been more gracious in response to my extreme embarrassment, and refused to charge me for the damage.
As embarrassing moments go, that recent one at the Giant Eagle in the Virginia Manor Shopping Center surely qualifies for my top 10 list and makes me recall other such moments during my 36 years of grocery shopping there.
Several years ago I slipped and fell in the produce department, knocking over a crate of oranges as I performed a pirouette that would have made Rudolph Nureyev proud in my attempt to avoid injurious contact with the hard floor. Shoppers and produce clerks rushed over to assist me, but luckily I wasn’t hurt—only mortified.
And the salsa jar, I admit sheepishly, was not the first item I ever broke in the checkout line. Awhile back, I dropped a jar of pickles, and if you think the salsa spill was sloppy, you should have seen the wet pickles floating across the supermarket’s floor as they swam in their greenish pool of juice sprinkled with glass fragments. How long did the dill pickle smell linger in that checkout aisle, I wonder?
Assuredly, the pickle jar incident was worse than when I dropped a gallon of milk in the parking lot—don’t cry now—and cracked the container open. When the milk exploded over the car and oozed onto the asphalt, at least I was outside and there were fewer onlookers to witness my klutziness.
The Giant Eagle parking lot has been the scene of other memorable shopping escapades, like the time I was pushing my overloaded shopping cart to my car and three two-liter bottles of pop fell out and played “Merrily We Roll Along” on the concrete. Abandoning my cart, I chased after those bottles as fast as a 50-something woman could—which truly wasn’t fast—but they raced like reckless bowling balls tearing down the lane, ending up way under a huge delivery truck and out of my reach.
Another time I absent-mindedly locked my keys in the car after I unloaded the groceries. Fortunately, my son remembered that we had taped an extra car key somewhere beneath the car as a precaution. Down we crawled on our hands and knees searching under the vehicle to find the hidden key. I don’t know what passersby thought as we poked our heads underneath the fenders and the side doors and inspected the areas around the tires. Perhaps they assumed we were a mother-and-son auto mechanic team.
Is there any help for bungling folks like me? Possibly a local chapter of Klutzes Anonymous?
If not, perhaps the Giant Eagle could sponsor one in Virginia Manor. I’d be the first to join.
(Pass the salsa, please.)