The little old man behind the counter was, like so many across the country and the globe, watching the Katrina Debacle on the telley. He clearly needs new glasses, as he carded me (bless his withered heart) when I approached him to purchase the wine.
He squinted at my ID, saw the state, scrutinized closer, saw that I come from New Orleans, and gulped, froze and became suddenly very sheepish. Then (this is the punch line. Ready?) he actually leaned over and turned the volume down on the thrillhappy journalist on the television!
I started laughing. I couldn't help it. It was that horrible, awkward laughter, made worse for trying to keep it in. Like a sneeze that wouldn't be born.
"You have a real nice day," he said, giving me my change and a healthy dose of the hairy eyeball.