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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)

TITLE: Vanished into Thin . . . Mints
By Lori Dixon


As I get older, Iím not as sharp as I used to be, but Iíd like to believe I am a smart cookie nonetheless. Lately, however, my memory plays tricks on me and I spend a great deal of time looking for stuff. Itís not like I lose things, as that would mean they are . . . lost, but rather I just misplace things . . . temporarily.

Like my husband.

No, Iím not insinuating that he loses things. I lost him. For over twenty minutes. In one average-sized Safeway.

As we headed to the checkout, I realized that I needed to use the washroom before venturing home. I reminded my dear husband of certain sale prices that he needed to watch for as they rang up the groceries. Being a man who holds three degrees, I knew he could handle the job.

Exiting the washroom a few minutes later, I walked back and forth across the front of the store checking each till. Now, I must confess that in a vain attempt to deny my age, I had left my glasses in the car. Itís not like Iím blind, I only require them for distance . . . like when I am driving, watching moviesóor clearly, finding my man in a grocery store.

Finally spotting him in the far end of the produce section, I muttered to myself, wondering what he was adding to the basket. Squinting, I motioned to him as I slowly approached. A woman was chatting him up and they were looking far too friendly for my liking. A few feet away, he finally came into focus. This was not my husband. Blushing and aware of my flirtatious wave and motions given only seconds before, I ducked behind the closest display.

Thatís when I caught a glimpse of him; I saw his back just as he turned the far end of the cereal aisle. My shoes slid across the polished floor as I skid towards him, being sure to not lose sight of my target. He was motoring and clearly looking for me as he did not stop; the Mario Andretti of the grocery store. For a moment, I eyed a can of black beans and thought about winging it in his direction.

Huffing and puffing, I finally got up behind him. Thank God he turned around just as I was about to grab his shoulder. To occupy my awkward hovering hand, I contemplated grabbing a bag of Depends on display right next to him, but instead pretended to wave to someone a few feet away.

A kind and clearly flattered silver-haired-fox waved back.

Sauntering back to the checkout aisles, I looked up and down the store one last time, straining my eyes and nervously grinning in sheer desperation. Who would have thought that dozens of grey-haired men spent their Sunday afternoons walking around Safeway stores in dark jackets? Whatever happened to a nice game of golf . . . or lawn darts?

I was done. I had smiled at so many strange men, I wasnít sure if I was about to be picked up or adopted.

What was the rule when lost? Was it wise to stay put so you can be found? Or is it more prudent to keep moving and actively search? But wait! Was I lost? Or was he?

Looking at the customer service desk, the thought occurred to me that public humiliation may be necessary. I could have them put out an announcement of a lost boy. As funny as that would be, it was a long walk back to the house; especially since we shop in the United States and live in Canada. Traveling across the border also renders our cell phones inoperable.

When in doubt, go to a logical place to be found.

Shrugging my shoulders I departed the store. Some miniature cookie thugs accosted me and strong-armed me into buying a box of Thin Mints. I told them that if a grey-haired gentleman came out and was looking a bit confused; to please send him to the coffee house next door.

I had cookies. I had caffeine. Now it didn't matter to me how long it took for us to find each other. I may not have three degrees like my husband, but I manage, even when we're 180 degrees off course.

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This article has been read 661 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 03/14/13

Oh my heavens! This was painstakingly funny. I loved it from start to finish, and especially cracked up when she "pretended to wave" when the gentleman turned around with her hand hovering! I roared and howled with laughter. This was too too funny. This reminded me of Erma Bombeck's writings that I loved so much. I think she read this in the "Heavenly Gazette" and enjoyed it as much as I did!

Loved it!

God bless~
Linda Berg 03/16/13
I laughed all the way through this.

What a delightful story that many of us of mature age can relate too.

Thanks for the laughs.

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/20/13
I absolutely positively love this piece. You're sense of humor and timing is spot on. I really think this is a brilliant piece of writing. You had me chuckling in just the right places and I loved the unique take on the topic. I hope this story does well because I think it is one of my all time favorites.
Christina Banks 03/21/13
Delightful piece. Congratulations on your EC!
lynn gipson 03/21/13
THIS IS PRICELESS! Sounds like something I have done before. Absolutely wonderful

Congratulations on your win. Well deserved and then some!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/21/13
Congratulations!!! HAPPY DANCE!!
Loni Bowden-Horn 03/21/13
This was such hilarous writing. It had me in stitches. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

Congratulations on being in the top ten in the Editors Choice.
Lillian Rhoades 03/21/13
Title, story, ending...all come together to make a great piece o'writin'. Brombeck like for sure.

Congratulations on placing third!!
Lori Dixon03/21/13
Thanks everyone for your kind words! Please 'Like' with the Facebook link above and/or share my blog with your friends.

Looking forward to meeting as many of you as we can at the conference . . . you're all going . . . RIGHT? :)
Linda Buskirk03/21/13
I love humor and have discovered through some attempts for the Writing Challenge, that it's really tricky to do well. This piece was done well! It was so real, with descriptions that helped me identify over and over and so chuckle over and over. I Ioved the line: "I wasnít sure if I was about to be picked up or adopted." I think being able to express humor well is truly a gift from God, and you have it!
Cheryl Harrison03/21/13
Lori - This is priceless. So funny. Love the title. Congratulations on your 3rd place win! Keep up the good writing.
Cheryl Harrison03/21/13
Oops... hit submit before I was finished. Congrats on your EC as well :o).
Judith Gayle Smith03/22/13
Congratulations and hurrahs for a most delightful, witty, hysterical and sigh - true to this gal's life story! I wish you had "thrown a brick" so more could have enjoyed it . . .
Virgil Youngblood 03/22/13
Thanks for sharing from your merry heart. Definitely a fun read. And congratulations on your EC.
Bea Edwards 03/22/13
Ah such a delightful illustration of the foibles of getting older. Just priceless!!!!
Bonnie Bowden 03/25/13
Congratulations on your 9th place EC award. It was one of the funniest pieces I've ever read. If you are as good at speaking as you are at writing, you should try to be a stand up comediene.