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.

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