Adventures Life

Supermarket Fights

Before parting ways at the Metro North Station, my homegirl and I detoured to PathMark on 125th Street in Harlem USA to pick up a few items. That store is always busy. We meandered around... neither one of us planning to do any major grocery shopping. As we stood near the meat cases at the back of the store, I entertained questions from her son. He asked me why there was blood in the package of the pot roast he picked up, I told him it was because it used to be a live animal. "What animal?" he asked. He already knew but I told him it came from a cow. He proceeded to pick up rump roasts and leg of lamb, asking me what they once were. What a comedian! He kept cracking me up, as he'd done much of the day.

We met up with my girl in the dairy aisle. After a 10-minute discussion about yogurt, we decided to make our way to the checkout. Throngs of people were snaked down the front of the store, attempting to stay in line and out of the way of incoming shoppers. My friend paused near an end-cap filled with detergent (on sale) as we headed to the express lanes. Her son was behind her and I trailed behind him. Slightly above the supermarket noises, we heard a gentleman (I use the term loosely) say to another man: “Stop touching my basket.”

Although the store was abuzz with activity, there was something in his tone that made people in the immediate area quiet down. The basket he spoke of was one of those plastic grocery baskets with the handles. I can’t say who lunged first but next thing we knew, baskets were swinging, food flying and dudes were engaged in an all out scuffle! I stepped backwards down an aisle and my friend went down the next. I called for her son but thankfully, he was with her in the next aisle. Security came and asked what happened. Yo. He told him to stop touching his basket, didn’t he? It was very strange, over as suddenly as it had begun. Almost like a fast moving thunderstorm. Thank God.

My friend and I reunited mid aisle, looking incredulously at the aftermath of the melee. Smashed bread and boxed items here and there. A red-faced man stood huffing and spitting while security tried to calm him. We agreed it was time to GO. As we tried to figure out which line belonged to which register, people began talking about what happened. I wondered briefly how many people would tell their family and friends what had happened on that fateful night in PathMark. How narrowly we dodged mortal injury (like being hit in the head by a box of crackers).

We found a line and ended up behind a talkative Caucasian woman who told us all about flavors of ice cream she enjoys. I shot my friend several “she’s loco” looks but she is definitely more tolerant and less suspicious of strange folks. Probably because she’s a social worker. The woman, after telling us which flavors were the absolute best, left the line briefly and asked us to hold her place. I figured she would come back with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen-Dasz or something. Homegirl returned with 3 half gallons of Edy’s ice cream – various flavors – and some frozen yogurt.

I concluded she was neurotic or just really, really, really loves ice cream. We left peacefully.

Originally Written: December 12, 2004


Hi. I'm Valerie. Glad you're here – come on in and sit a spell. I've never put so much of my writing online but I share my personal experiences in hopes that I help someone in some way. I hope you find something you read thought-provoking, amusing or encouraging. Reach out or comment if you like. Please forgive the typos, grammar and cussing. Thanks for stopping by.

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