I saw him in my favorite store – he entered half past nine,
He peaked my interest when he ran his cart right into mine!
He seemed oblivious to me, he didn’t say a word,
No “pardon me”, no “sorry ma’am” … it left me quite perturbed!
I watched him barrel down the aisle, amazed by what he saw;
He searched for different items, and appeared to be in awe;
It must have been his first time here, I mumbled to myself,
He looked as though he’d never seen such items on a shelf.
This wasn’t just your average store – no, it was very rare,
It stocked a different product line than anything elsewhere;
It sold emotions, attitudes and dreams that some might seek …
Oh yes, this was a special place … it really was unique!
It looked just like a grocery store, and boasted several aisles,
The packaging was colorful and came in many styles;
Upon the shelves were vast arrays of boxes, jars and bags,
Promoting traits and fantasies … all itemized with tags.
I’d come myself, to stock up on some “Happiness” and “Hope” …
A little boost replenishing some things to help me cope;
I scanned the shelves to find what different products I might see,
When all at once, I heard a crash! It came from Aisle 3!
I moved around the corner, past displays of “Fame” and “Wealth”,
And peeked down Aisle 3, where they sold “Fitness”, “Strength” and “Health”;
The man I’d seen a while ago, had made an awful mess …
I saw him grab a box and run … then much to my distress …
He flew around the corner, to the next aisle in a row,
But as I turned to follow him, a clerk showed up in tow;
I felt embarrassed, looked at her, and said, “It wasn’t me!”
She sighed and spoke into her mike … “Clean up in Aisle 3!”
My cheeks went red, I got my cart and moved along my way,
But as I turned around the bend, I saw to my dismay …
On tippy-toes, the man was reaching high beyond himself …
He lost his balance … fell back down … along with half the shelf!
He grabbed the box he wanted, threw it in his cart and fled,
While I turned back to see the clerk … my face a crimson red;
She looked at me - I protested … then looked around the floor;
She blew into her mike and hollered, “Clean up! Aisle 4!”
Well, just as you’d imagine, this continued to the end,
From Aisle 5, to Aisle 6 … it simply formed a trend!
I followed him … she followed me … we seemed to form a line,
Till thankfully, we reached the end … “Clean up in Aisle 9!”
I moved toward the register, and gave a little groan,
The only customers in line, were him and me, alone;
Another clerk took care of him, she rang up all his things,
But when she reached the end, I heard some pops and bells and pings.
The register spit out a list, the clerk then turned and said,
“Did you not read the fine print sir?” He simply shook his head.
“We’ve got a little problem,” she continued to explain,
“With every package that you buy, the rules are rather plain.”
“The traits and dreams you’ve chosen, must be purchased as a pair,”
“You can’t have one without another – It would not be fair.”
“With “Wealth” you must buy “Charity”. It’s right here in fine print.”
The man looked at the box and I could see him try to squint.
She carried on her list, and noted all that he had bought,
“I’m sorry sir, but it’s the rules, let’s see what else you’ve got.”
“With “Fame” you need “Obscurity”, that’s down in Aisle 3,”
“And here, you’ve got a box of “Pride” … you’ll need “Humility.”
“Success” … well, that’s a special one - go down to Aisle 2,”
“You’ll have to pick up several jars of “Failure” … just a few;”
“I see you’ve got some “Happiness”, you’ll need some “Sorrow” sir.”
“You can’t have one without the other. Wouldn’t you concur?”
“Well, that is just ridiculous!” He said, “It cannot be!”
“I’ve got the money … ring this in!” He shrieked insistently.
I held onto my box of “Patience”, watching this ensue,
Beside me, in my cart, “Intolerance” was in my view.
The clerk was looking flustered, so I spoke to him instead,
I chose my words quite carefully, and simply shook my head;
“I think you’ll find,” I said to him, “A special in Aisle 4 …”
“Reality’s” on sale, and you could use a little more.”
“You’re living in a fantasy. You need some balance, friend.”
“The opposites in life are something you cannot contend.”
“If you took all these products, and ignored the consequence,”
“You’d lose perspective quickly, and the cost would be immense.”
“Be grateful for the highs and lows … the dreams and truths you find,”
“Be thankful for the ups and downs that give you strength of mind,”
“Be gracious as you walk through life - it’s not just you alone … “
“Be conscious of your actions, sir … you’ll reap what you have sown.”
I handed him a package then, it’s label said “Respect”,
“I think you need this more than me.” I said in circumspect;
He looked defeated, gave a smile, and changed his attitude;
“I’m sorry ladies.” He replied, “I really have been rude.”
He filled his cart, moved back toward the aisles and said to me …
“I have a jar of “Arrogance” … now where would “Humble” be?”