After walking by the TV station, I can now see that the giant plastic candy bar costumed characters roaming up and down the street are indeed handing out samples. I would like to receive a sample but for some reason do not say anything aloud to my co-worker, who is walking alongside me.
Just as we walk up the intersection, we’re stuck behind a large group of conventioneers walking to the convention center. One of the giant plastic candy bar people is standing to the left of me. I determine that I will move slightly left to get the attention of the candy bar character standing at this street corner.
“Yuck, it’s coconut” mutters my co-worker. This makes me hesitate. In this second of hesitation, a man steps in front of me to ask the women donning the giant plastic candy bar if she can give him directions to the convention center. I’d like to admonish this man not only for rudely stepping in my way but also for not realizing you can clearly see the convention center from the street corner.
Finally I stammer out a response to my co-worker of “but I like coconut”. Just then the light changes and I’m surrounded by the large group of conventioneers. I have no choice but to move north with the group to the next street corner. It’s too late now to claim my free coconut treat. Meanwhile, the man asking for directions runs to catch up and still ends up in front of me.
“Can you believe that? That man is a teacher,” my co-worker mutters. She was paying attention to the details of his words while I was looking longingly at a sample of coconut goodness. “Doesn’t he know how to figure out where he is going? Isn’t this big group headed to the same place? Ugh, please tell me he isn’t a high school teacher. High school teachers should be able to figure out directions.”
At the next street corner, there is a man wearing a yellow plastic candy bar costume. His samples look smaller than the coconut bars but his samples are coated in chocolate. “Oh,chocolate, good thing we waited to get a sample here” my co-worker says aloud. Meanwhile, I’m standing and staring back across the street, thinking that I’d rather have a coconut bar that is twice the size of this paltry sample. I look forward and see the high school teacher still in front of me, the one that thwarted my plans for the coconut bar.
Just then, I feel small round wheels running all down my chest and back. I look down and realize the wires that hold the clasp to my necklace have come undone and the shiny purplish beads are spilling out all over the street in front of us. The light is changing and no one seems to notice what feels like hundreds of beads falling all over the place. Figures that my birthday gift I decided to wear for the first time today would break.
The light changes and we’re crossing again. I can’t even stop to pick up the beads to try and salvage what is left of the necklace. I’d have to stop in the middle of traffic, in the middle of the group. I don’t want to be noticed.
“I mean, he should have asked for directions before leaving his hotel. Ugh, I hope my son doesn’t end up with a teacher like that”. My co-worker is still annoyed by the man in front of me and is so focused on his lack of common sense that she either doesn’t notice that I’ve lost my jewelry or is being nice by ignoring the scenario. Meanwhile, I’m concentrating on the tone of her voice, ready to alert her if I believe her mutterings might become audible to the man in front of me. I want to push past everyone, especially the teacher but continue to walk at a normal pace.
Later, after I’ve crossed the street and sat down to eat lunch while perusing the paper, I dig out that sample from my pocket. My co-worker is already munching on her sample.“Oh, it’s a nutritional bar” I state in a matter of fact manner. Already disappointed that I’m stuck with the chocolate bar instead of coconut, I’m now doubly disappointed that it was a nutritional bar and not a candy bar. It had the consistency of a rice cake but the density of a brownie. I take a bite. It is… a bit chalky. I want to spit out the bite but I just gulp it down and decided not to finish the sample.
“It doesn’t taste very good, does it?” I hadn’t noticed but my co-worker had already tasted hers and learned of the disappointing taste before I took a bite.
“No, no it doesn’t. Good thing it is just a sample. I suppose its better I didn’t get the coconut bar. I doubt it would taste much better than this.”
I stand up and five more beads fall out from the collar of my blouse, making loud clinking noises as they hit the concrete. My co-worker continues to stare at the entertainment section of the newspaper.
It’s just another 2012 day in the PHX.