“I have no idea what’s awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing.”
― Albert Camus, The Plague
The pandemic has taken so much from us. Much that it has taken may never come back.
One thing that I miss very much is the rectangular plastic bar at the grocery store that you put on the moving belt between your groceries and the person in front of you. That piece of smooth plastic doesn’t seem to be very dangerous to me, but I guess other people, strangers, do touch it – so it has to go.
I miss it. I liked to watch the checker slide it down the little channel so the next person in line can wall off their purchases. I miss that.
The other day I had a list of groceries to pick up so I stopped by one of the local establishments (we do not live in a food desert – there are at least five grocery stores from several different cultures and styles of food within an easy bike ride from my house). The place was crowded, with several folks lined up placing stuff from their baskets onto the belt.
From the busy checkout line one over, behind me, I heard a woman say, clearly, “I stop at the bananas.”
I stop at the bananas.
What a cool phrase. How useful.
“Yes, I know there is a sale on papayas, but I stop at the bananas.”
“Sorry I’m late but on the way over here I saw a fruit stand. I stop at the bananas.”
“Apples…. not Cucumbers, I stop at the Bananas.”
“She’s a lunatic, not me, I stop at the bananas.”
“Every morning, I make a smoothie. There are lots of different kinds, but I stop at the bananas.”
Or, as it was today, a simple tip to the checker where the boundary was. It was right after the bananas.
“Danger’s over, Banana Breakfast is saved.”
― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow