When your picture is in the newspaper 300 times a year, a few people are going to recognize you in public.
That doesn’t mean they admire your work. That does not prove they actually know who you are. It just means your face is vaguely familiar.
One place this happens is in the grocery checkout lane. Here, in no particular order, are the Top 15 looks.
1. Aren’t you a high-profile sex offender? (At least these folks tend not to crowd you as you put your stuff on the conveyor belt.)
2. I cannot pinpoint who you are, but I think I dislike you. (To be fair, that might be the 24/7 default expression for those people.)
3. You remind me of my ex-husband. (It ain’t me, babe.)
4. I am such a fan of your column that I would invite you to take all sorts of randy liberties with me. (To be fair, that one might be partly a product of my imagination.)
5. You don’t seem very zany in person. Not at all wacky. (There’s a reason for that.)
6. We’ve never met, but you once printed something I sent in. (Please speak up.)
7. Why are you buying those particular 16 items? (It can be unnerving to be judged on the basis of your groceries.)
8. Your head seems abnormally large. (Maybe that’s because you are accustomed to seeing the 1-inch version.)
9. I would not talk to you in a house. I would not talk to you with a mouse. (OK. Have a nice day.)
10. I saw you 20 years ago in this very same store and your hair has gotten a lot more gray since then. (Guilty as charged.)
11. I could do your job so much better than you. (Maybe you could.)
12. My husband says your column is jejune. (That’s his right. Just keep buying the paper.)
13. I’d say something to you, but I don’t want to wind up in The Slice. (Always a possibility.)
14. Jeans and a sweatshirt? You sure aren’t very dressed up to be out in public. (Hey, I’m on a grocery run. Give me a break.)
15. You are taller than I imagined. (My mug shot makes me look shorter.)
Today’s Slice question: What happened when you struck up a conversation in a grocery checkout lane?