Crunchatize Me Cap'n!) reminded me of my own staring contest I once held with Tony the Tiger at a grocery store.
JB and I were going to visit Julie who was recovering from lady surgery. On the way to the hospital we stopped at our neighborhood Kroger to pick up an obligatory flower arrangement.
Kroger shoppers know every market has it's own nickname which is determined not by Kroger marketing wizards, but democratically by the shopping public. So when referring to which Kroger you're shopping at, you'd say "Disco Kroger", "Kosher Kroger", "Murder Kroger", or – as in this case – "Gay Kroger".
As we were entering our Gay Kroger, I noticed Tony the Tiger dancing around in the parking lot. No, I wasn't having hyperglycemic hallucinations. There was actually a person wearing a costume of the famous cereal mascot engaging the public and handing out samples.
I assumed it was some sort of a promotional event. That seemed more likely than just some random perv indulging his furry fetish by handing out free cereal.
While JB picked out some nice flowers for Julie, I found a large, helium-filled "Get Well!" balloon I liked. But JB said the flowers were enough, so I put the balloon back and we checked out. Upon exiting the supermarket, the ferociously friendly feline pounced.
"Hey there!" Tony growled as he held out a tiny box containing two tenths of a complete breakfast. "Are you buying flowers for your wife?"
This is where I would cue that needle-scratching-across-the-record sound if I could. Because I swore I heard it right then. I stopped face-to-face with the presumptuous puss, blinking in disbelief.
Target knows women are pregnant before they even tell anyone? Yet Kellogg's sent this poor tiger blind to Gay Kroger without so much as an "Oh, FYI..."
I blinked again, looked at JB for a second, then back at the orange stripped critter still holding the miniature cereal box in his outstretched paw. At this point I'm sure he had to suspect something was amiss. Probably by the look in my eyes which said, "You're in my jungle now, bitch."
"I don't have a wife, this is my partner. I'm gay," I informed him. "The flowers are for my hag. She just had her uterus removed and we're visiting her in the hospital."
"Ohmygosh... " Tony squeaked, abandoning his rehearsed baritone growl. I caught a glimpse of eyeballs inside the grinning mouth. "Tell her I hope she feels better soon!" And with that he pivoted to unload his cereal on the next shopper. Walking toward the car I overheard the large, hairy man compliment Tony's red kerchief.
"I told you we should have got the balloon," I said to JB who was wiping away those tears he gets when tries real hard not to laugh. And when we got to the hospital, we conveyed Tony the Tiger's get-well wish to Julie. This is where I learned it's not universally true that laughter is the best medicine. Especially when it comes to hysterectomies.