grocery gunslingers

We stared down the aisle of jarred spaghetti sauces. "Well, if you don't mind my asking, what does squashing insects have to do with whether or not you cook dinner?" We exchanged looks—I, the look of blinding obviousness; he, the look of complete confusion—for a few moments before comprehension dawned.

"Oh. You mean squashing bugs in code. Ok, I get you now."

I stared at the cart full of mundane grocery items—fruit, vegetables, kool-aid, pastas—and Jeff stared blankly at the equivalent of the Great Wall Of Pasta Sauces."Do you have a favorite?"

I scanned, looking for the particular brand of alfredo sauce that fed me during many a study night in college. Not finding it, I stared blankly at the rows of labeled jars, trying to remember if I even had any preferences about brands of jarred spaghetti sauce. Damned if I knew…but I had this splendid little idea for a subroutine if I could just keep it in mind long enough to get home and write it down…

"I don't see the one I like, so I guess we'll just have to guess or something."

"We'll just go with the cheapest or something."

Jeff picked up a jar, read the label, and put it back. Grabbed another, read the label, shrugged, and said, "Well, this one's supposedly flavored with onions and mushrooms and garlic. Pretty hard to go wrong with that, and it's cheap too."

We took our bounty to the grocery gunslingers, then hauled it out to the car. Home, then; Jeff appeased the piteously-hungry felines while I put the perishable groceries away. Halfway through, Jeff turned on the television and accidentally found the Henman-Hewitt semifinal match at Wimbledon.

Unfortunately for him, I'm a bit of a tennis fan. There went his dreams of a quiet holiday Friday watching television; instead, his dotty wife took over the living room to slake her bizarre fascination with tennis. Not to mention enduring (for approximately the fortieth time) my attempts to explain the scoring system in tennis.

Finally, he turned to me and said, "Look, you've tried to explain this to me before, and I just forget it all before you try to explain it to me again. Don't worry about it—"

"Henman, you idiot, if you're going to hit shots like that you don't deserve—oh, did you say something?"