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The Slice

They walk among us

You can't tell just from looking at them.

And, in fact, many of them are probably perfectly nice -- when they are somewhere else.

But in one particular place, certain indivduals become...The Creatures In Line Ahead Of You At The Deli Counter. They regard the clerk's "OK, will there be anything else?" as an enticing invitation to survey the exciting world of cheeses and mull meats of every kind. At length.

Sure, the person ahead of you has an absolute right to purchase whatever he or she desires. No question. Want three kinds of potato salad and a slew of slaw? Go for it.

But it's one thing to wait behind someone who is going from a list, physical or mental. That speaks of orderliness. It suggests a plan. It hints that maybe we'll all get out of this store one day.

However, when the person being served responds to every "Anything else?" as if being asked to unwrap a birthday present, the clock pretty much stands still. It's like being forced to watch improv theater. And you have no choice but to wonder if you have slipped through a rift in the space-time continuum.

You just have to pray that you don't hear the fateful words that mean it is time to surrender all hope: "Oh, I just can't decide."

Fortunately, at most of the Spokane food stores with which I am familiar, there's usually more than one person working behind the deli counter.

So be strong. Help is on the way.

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The Slice

The online home for Paul Turner's musings and interactions with disciples of The Slice.