Inhuman Swill : you had to be there

"Those are HUGE!"

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So, on the way home from the art fair yesterday, Laura and I stopped at our local Trader Joe's to pick up a few necessities. The store has recently been remodeled, and everything's been moved around. We couldn't find the bread aisle, so when we rounded a corner and saw a couple of young men in Trader Joe's vests chatting, we stopped and asked them for directions.

Laura's arms were folded. Suddenly one of the guys pointed toward her chest and exclaimed, "Those are huge!"

All of stared at him in confusion, including the guy's buddy. I couldn't for the life of me imagine what he was talking about.

"Those are HUGE!" "Your bracelets?" the guy said. "You know."

"Ohhhh!" Laura said, holding up her left arm and the two chunky plastic bracelets she wore on it. "You mean these."

"Yes. They're huge."

"Darn," said Laura matter-of-factly, "I thought you were talking about something else. I'm a little disappointed. I wore my push-up bra today and everything. I was going to say thanks for noticing."

The guy turned bright red, made a sort of choking sound, and started stammering. His buddy literally spun in a circle, ending up over at the end of the next aisle, even redder, grimacing, shaking, bent over at the waist with both hands pressed to his forehead.

"Oh, my God," said the guy, "I didn't mean, I mean it didn't even occur to me, what it—"

Ten years ago, I probably would have executed the same maneuver as the buddy. As it was, I stood by laughing and shaking my head while Laura smoothed things over with the poor party of the first part. I've come a long way since that time Laura stuck an M&M up my nose in the gift shop at the Kitt Peak Observatory.

Oh, by the way, the buddy hurried over a minute or so later to make sure we found our way to the bread aisle. Trader Joe's employees do appear to enjoy their jobs.

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