(Thanks, The Midwest TV Guys!)
This morning, I went to return some plastic bottles at the Stop ‘N Shop about a half mile or so walk away (there are many closer places, but it’s good exercise for me) and stumbled across a rather interesting exercise in capitalism taking place. On the way to the store, there’s a hospital complex made up of a few buildings spread over a few blocks and at the kidney dialysis building, I noticed two tall stacks of red containers marked BIOHAZARD a few feet apart and someone standing between and slightly to the rear of them. I was across the street waiting for the light to change, so I merely thought that person was a hospital worker waiting for that hazardous material to be retrieved by whatever company collected it. As I waited for the light, a woman walked up to the man and quickly handed him something, whereupon something else was quickly exchanged and she walked off back the way she came.
Yes, I was a bit more than a little curious at this. So I crossed the street in stealth mode. hoping to sneak a closer peek when suddenly, another person walked up and quickly passed what looked like cash to the man, whereupon they were handed and walked away with a small plastic-encased item. Did they just both just buy an organ or some other icky flesh waste? Was it homemade Soylent Green? Was there a secret society of vampires or zombie keepers in the Bronx I had no idea existed who came out during the daytime? As got closer, I saw that it was just plastic boxes of mixed fruit being quickly traded and there were two or three other people who were either taking cash or distributing fruit boxes as they were paid for. I guess Midge didn’t like the mixed fruit on the menu, or something. A few Midges actually, from the look of things.
Passing the people conducting their business, I stopped about 15 or so feet away, turned around, stepped to the right and watched for a bit. It seemed that the guys doing the sales worked in the hospital and were making a few bucks on the side selling that fruit. From what I gathered, these seemed to be low-level staff workers with a few regular customers, giving the speed of the transactions. After about two minutes, I tuned and headed to the store. It was hot out and those plastic bottles weren’t going to return themselves. This was a mystery for some other day. I did hope that those red containers weren’t full or at least clean and just used to block passersby from seeing from afar what was going on, or those fruit cases would be a total fruit surprise for the buyers soon enough.
The supermarket trip went fine, save for a few not too bright ones that tried to enter the rather huge store either mask-less or partially wearing one below the nose or under the chin. There are a few signs that say one needs to wear that face covering as there’s no way we’re through what this virus is doing. Or rather, that virus isn’t through with us, no matter what factually squeaky noises are spun up by the government. At my much closer local supermarket last week, a woman who was a regular customer tried to convince the manager who stepped up to her and asked nicely that she and her kid please wear their masks in the store (she wore hers under her chin). She pointed out that she “wasn’t going to be talking to anybody!” (she noted, talking to the manager, by the way). Both she and her kid eventually wore their masks after about a minute of cajoling, but when I was in the produce section poking at apples a few minutes later, both she and her daughter were chatting away with the deli guy about an order with their masks down.
I recently met an old woman in the elevator here who called people like that “life thieves” and I laughed aloud because she also noted “We all HATE wearing masks!” right after that. This is all too true, particularly when you wear glasses and you get the fog machine going every breath you take. If you don’t wear glasses, you’re in luck, unless you’re that person I saw complaining about his own bad breath while masked up. The person with him noted “Yeah, you need to do something about that.” and I almost fell over laughing because he just set that obvious and snarky response right up on a giant tee and his partner hit it for an eagle.
Well, it was even funnier because just then my glasses fogged up from holding in a laugh and my foot hit a spot on the sidewalk that caused me to stumble, which got me a few spare seconds to catch myself and laugh as both of them watched (and tried not to laugh). I caught myself and still laughing, blamed the mask and glasses combo for fogging up my vision. Gotta love it when you get that sort of luck and don’t fall on your face in the process. Or get beat up, for that matter. That guy looked like a he could break a tree in two. Or a laughing guy on the street for that matter.
Wear a mask, people. Especially if you’re buying food from a legally dubious but otherwise trusty vendor.