When our community gym closed indefinitely, I decided that my man-cave would have to double as my personal gym so I went shopping for a weight bench and a pair of heavier dumb bells.  (I had lighter ones.)  At the back of a big-box sports store, I found what I needed, negotiated a discount, and told the clerk (who was 3” taller than I and half my age) who’d been helping me that I was ready to check out.  He asked if he could help carry my stuff to the counter in front.  “Please!” I said.  He grabbed the bench and walked away, leaving me to carry the two dumbbells (each one, much heavier than the bench) through the length of the store.  

He set the bench down near the checker, walked away, and watched me lift the dumbbells onto the counter.  (These were heavy buggers but I refused to even flinch, just on general principles.) By then, I was scratching my head but remembered that this was actually the point; I was buying these things so I could lift them.  (Hadn’t planned to lift them that way or that high.)  After I paid my bill, the clerk walked over and offered to help me carry my stuff to the car.  “That would be great!” I responded.  Again, he grabbed the bench and walked out the glass door so I picked up my weights and followed.  He was already in the parking lot when he saw me approaching the door with a weight in each hand—trying to figure out how I would get it open.  He came back and opened it for me, mumbling something about not wanting me to accidently break the glass with my weights. (Actually, by then, if I had broken the glass door, it wouldn’t have been by accident.)

After we’d loaded my car, the clerk started telling me about the shoppers he’d just seen lined up to check out at a nearby grocery store.  Since I appeared to be one of only two customers in the sporting goods store, I asked him how they were doing during this crisis.  “Great!” he said.  For the last few days he told me, the guns had been “flying of the shelves.”  And they were completely out of ammo, “at least the relevant kind—the 9mm stuff.”  When I asked why that was happening, he responded, “People are preparing to defend their toilet paper.”  

After this trip to the store, I think I’m going to self-isolate.  You probably shouldn’t come over to our house at this point, but if you must, please BYOTP.  

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