I was at the grocery store this morning and made one of those mistakes where you round the corner absent-mindedly and end up in an aisle that has nothing to do with you. Rather than ending up in the baby food or feminine sanitary products aisles, though, I stumbled into the weight loss section.
I won’t pretend I never tried the Slim Fast diet, but I was curious to see if they at least had any new flavors now, since the time I tried it Slim Fast came in Chalk, Strawberry Chalk, and Chocolate Chalk. (I used to refer to that last flavor as Chalkolate, but that implies a mingling of flavors.) Things really have changed on that aisle now. There are two different flavors of chocolate, some sort of high protein one, and one that was bizarrely labeled “Low Carb Diet”, as if the whole aisle isn’t diet.
While I was standing there a strange lady walked by and did another one of those things that never happened to me in the North: I made eye contact and she felt the need to speak. In New York, no one talked to a stranger in public unless they wanted something. No one struck up random chat over vegetables or at the gas pump or in line at the movies, unless they wanted to give you a flyer or ask you for change. Here, all you have to do is look at someone and you made a friend.
So there I am in front of the wall of Slim Fast, and I’ve just made eye contact with a lady on church day, and she feels the need to say, “You know, you’ll lose more weight with diet and exercise. I know,” and then she walks away. Since it’s the South, I just say, “Thanks”, rather than, “What the fuck business is it of yours?” but really, from a logical standpoint, if I could handle a steady regimen of diet and exercise I wouldn’t need to be standing in the Slim Fast aisle, now, would I lady?
I thought about buying a case of it just to spite her, but she was already gone by then.