I was making chit chat with a customer at my favorite grocery store on North Main the other day and of course, the weather was casually mentioned by me. We both agreed it was hot and summer had arrived. The lady suffered from DVM - defective voice modulation and was talking real loud and I didn't realize she could be heard at the far end of the aisle. She was also hard of hearing and repeated the word "humidity" a number of times. She walked away and I proceeded to shop.
We were in the cold food section and when I first spotted HER, she was neck deep in the burrito case and as I perused the various frigid delicacies, I couldn't help but notice she remained frozen in place. I pretended to take an interest in the plethora of fish stick options as I obliquely observed her. Her dress was rather large and loose-fitting and she was wearing those old school thick brown nylons and heavy boots.
I couldn't stick around too long, or she might suspect I was doing something nefarious. I imagine a woman dressed like she was, suspects she attracts a certain amount of lewd glances. As if a premonition took her, she jerked her head out and facing me, gave me an icy glare. Now normally, I would have looked away and shuffled past, but as she pulled her head out of the frosty case, she had a package of frozen taquitos stuck to her forehead.
Being a responsible Baytonian and a past State certified emergency care attendant, I did the only thing I knew to do and that is laugh. Well as the frosty package fell away from her head, she deftly snatched it mid-air and like Otis Thorpe in his prime, she slammed it home with the other tasty treats.
"You can have your humidity any day of the week," she said and pointed a bony ring-clad finger at me. I found it peculiar that the knuckle on my side of the ring was at least twice as big as the jewelry.
Holy smokes, this lady was not a fan of humidity! Is anyone a fan of humidity? The more she talked, the more I envisioned the wicked witch of the west when Dorothy threw water on her. Mind you, the sweating woman looked nothing like the gorgeous Margaret Hamilton... this lady was blond and missing her front teeth. "My humidity?" was all I could muster. I am usually pretty quick on my feet and back in the day, when it came to fast responses, I could go all night like a lumberjack.
"Yea, your danged humidity! I plan to move somewhere that I won't be sweating like this and do it soon!" With that, she opened the case and snatched two 3-pound packages of beef and bean burritos and put one under each arm. This effectively not only repulsed me, because I like bean burritos, but drove home her point astoundingly well.
"Ma'am, with all due respect, I happen to have a keen interest in our weather and checked it on the Interweb (I used this phrase to gain advantage and most likely convince her that I was indeed educated - possibly past her own level of study) before I left home. The humidity is low today at 48% because the wind is coming out of the north." I had just about decided the woman was afflicted with that aging virus women get somewhere in their 40's and attempted to deftly maneuver past her.
I guess my grin was taken wrong and she stuck her brown size 12 brogan out and blocked my buggy. "So you say. My great uncle was a radio weatherman and he always got the weather right and it runs in our family!" She drove home her point by raising her voice an octave and 10 decibels.
Well, I've never been one to turn down a sound argument and I explained to her that I spent 2 years in the tropics and "this is really not that bad!"
With that, she opened the chilled case and with skills Tony Romo would admire, she launched them 2 bean and tortilla-wrapped projectiles back with solidly impressive impact. I could see it in her eyes. The lady was heat stoned! I looked around for a manager and indeed I saw 2, but both of them had been observing the heated exchange and they took off like they were on a water slide.
Now I have quite a bit of grappling experience, but this was clearly a case of fight or flight and the person in front of me was beginning to assume charge mode. When a person drops into a 3-point stance and places their knuckles on the floor, it is a sound bet, they plan to go for it. I've seen hormone-imbalanced women get this same look and everyone knows how unpredictable and violent they get.
She lunged and I side-stepped and she went down and such was her launch at me, that she slid a good 10 feet before piling up in front of the frozen pizza cases. The last thing I heard her yell as I zoomed my cart toward the check-out line was "I'm moving back to god's country... Channelview!"