Check Out Lane

She was cute, the kind of cute owned by 75 year olds with knit caps and flower pins. Sparkly eyes suggesting she used to be trouble (like after-hours trouble). Her elbows on the shopping cart that held a small loaf of white bread, two bananas, some kind on canned soup. Smooth dark skin, only the hands and dental work testifying to the actual decades under her brown plastic belt.

I decided she could use a warming chat, here in the middle of a cloud-built winter's day at Marc's discount store, us both standing in the check out lane. So I played the weather card.

Yes, she agreed, it was too bad that we lost last week's taste of Spring, the April-ish fifty-plus degrees. Tossing off a "must have been a stretch of global warming" quip, I resumed staring at Catatonic Carol, the deservedly underpaid check-out chick. But Ms. Sparkle continued, "But you know what's interesting?"

She told me that she was watching PBS last night and a show about the weather came on. She was convinced that this whole global warming thing was hooey, and she had suspected it already. It seems the earth's atmosphere has been heatin' and coolin' in crazy ways for a long long time. It has to do with the winds, show's scientists made it clear. Well, I opined knee-jerkedly, it has to have something to do with bad acting, earth destroying mankind.

But she wasn't having none of it, and she called my assumption bet and raised it a God, "God is the only one who controls the universe and all the atmosphere too." But what about scientists supporting Al Gore?

With a deft rebuff slicing sideways through the party line she guffawed, "That man should've never even won that Nobel Prize." Game, set, match. Time to take my pineapple juice and Tostito's home. Maybe tune in some PBS.

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