It’s a new year and so with full heart and empty stomach, I decided it was time to settle the score with my old nemesis, the Korean Bagel Lady. There’s little that can’t be solved over a delicious BLT on a cheese bagel.
I was nearly blinded on approach by the high beam smiles of Mr. and Mrs. Korean Bagel Lady last week. How lovely I thought, they missed me (or at least my bagel and coffee revenues). I tried not to appear deflated as I learned the true source of their smiles – this was their last week in the building! It's no wonder they both looked as shiny as melted butter!
They’d decided to fold up shop, head for Panama (look out Canal!) for a couple of weeks vacation and then ease their way into retirement. I congratulated them on their news and they told me to be sure and return at the end of the week for a free bagel.
I did return but more in the hope of parting shots than a free bagel. KBL’s final conspiratorial warning was “be careful next week if you want bagel, new people I train not seem clean, I worry for customers”. I told her I doubted she’d be worried while she was on a beach and she cackled back “Yes, I worry only for the snowstorms you stuck in when I have no problem!” Mr. KBL chimed in with “I worry about having too much fun” as he made a motion like swinging a baseball bat. I asked “will you be playing baseball?” “No! It’s golf!” I told him I was worried too. We all shook hands and parted.
Under other circumstances, I might have felt sad but relief took its place knowing that I'd already found a replacement for KBL over the Christmas holidays. I went in to the convenience store (conveniently located) near my house to pick up a few things and the crotchety Asian counter lady there stole my heart.
I was in line behind a messy looking woman at the counter who was hemming and hawing over which of the multitude of scratch lottery tickets to buy. The Asian counter lady was regarding her with thinly veiled disgust while shaking her head and she waved me forward with my purchases.
As I came up to the counter beside her, the lottery lady turned and snorted at me ‘Hey! She’s serving me here, wait your turn’. The crotchety owner said to her “I don’t have time to wait for you!” and started ringing me up. This incensed the lotto lady. “I was about to buy a Bingo ticket honey but now I don’t know if I will!” The clerk said “Big deal, you take too long, get over it!” She turned back to me smiling as sweetly as she could and said “You have a nice day sir and Happy New Year!”. I smirked away from the counter while the lottery lady continued to rail on about convenience store protocol and turned in time to see my new heroine roll her eyes using her whole head.
I’m home again.
Prologue: Wrapped in a Wholesome Kind of Misery
18 hours ago