Wednesday, November 1

Buying Groceries

We went to American Grocery to pick up a few things this evening. And the lines were outrageously long. All the checkers were working -- with at least 20 people in almost every line -- many with two carts overflowing with rice and canned goods.

"What's going on?" I asked Cheryl, "maybe there's a typhoon on the way."

Then we spotted one checker with only a single customer in line.

We pulled the 10 items from our cart, abandoning it in the gridlocked aisle, and excused our way through the crowd to the more desirable cash register line.

When it was our turn I asked the checker why her line was so short.

"It's broken," she said.

"Broken?"

"Yes, the machine that reads the food stamps doesn't work at this cash register."

Ah, the light-bulbs simultaneously jolted on in our aging brains -- the first of the month!

And if it weren't for a technology failure we'd still be standing in line.

Of course, the fact that tomorrow is a holiday for much of Guam -- "All Souls Day" -- probably added to the chaos. People will be off work and school. Families will go to mass to pray for their dead relatives, visit the cemeteries, and then gather in homes -- to eat -- food -- lots and lots of food.

In the future we'll probably try to avoid shopping on the 1st -- especially November 1st.
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