warmed by the hot sauce
Thursday, January 10 2013
This morning Gretchen and I went into town mostly so I could get a passport photo taken at the new Uptown CVS. I asked Gretchen why people don't just snap their own passport photos, and she said that most people don't know all the rules that govern passport photos and so it's easiest to trust professionals. The people in CVS might be professionals, but on this particular day they were behaving more like kids trying to run a car wash. An older employee snapped my photo but then didn't do anything with it for a half hour, attending to customers in line instead. Meanwhile Gretchen, who I'd dropped off at our bank on Hurley Avenue, showed up, and we went around the CVS looking for things that will be useful when we eventually do fly to the Caribbean. Gretchen asked the guy who was supposed to be processing my passport picture if the store sold any of those little three ounce containers that airline passengers have had to use to divvy up their carry-on fluids since a foiled liquid explosives plot back in 2006. (It's just a matter of time before a terrorist hides a bomb in a laptop computer battery, and once that happens we'll all have to buy laptops — or perhaps just the batteries — at our destinations.) But the employee didn't know of any such containers. It was only after the arrival of no-nonsense CVS employee who wasn't even on the clock (but happened by) that we found out that CVS does indeed sell empty three ounce travel containers in two different aisles. She was also instrumental in getting my passport photo printed out, but not before it was retaken (because of the possibility that my glasses had invalidated it). By this point another on-clock employee was handling my photo needs, and though she seemed much more competent, she didn't use the special passport cutter device until we specifically asked her to, and even then acted as though it was an imposition. (Passport photos have to be cut to size before being mailed; it's one of the many rules that CVS employees are just supposed to know.)
After that ordeal, Gretchen and I went to Sissy's, her new favorite Uptown café. There she ordered a blackbean burger and I had the tempeh bacon sandwich (which is what I had the only other time I'd eaten there) along with a bowl of curry soup (to which I had to add a lot of salt and hot sauce). We also had coffee, which is good at Sissy's. While there, a young court police officer came in and got a cup of coffee to go. He was hipper-looking than your usual policeman, something that, given the uniformity conferred by his uniform, could really only be expressed by his non-jarhead haircut. Somewhat ironically, the blend he chose was the one called "Uprising."
We went back to the car to get the dogs and walked them to the post office. Gretchen went inside to mail my passport stuff while I stayed with the dogs outside. It was a beautiful sunny day. Though there was still plenty of snow on the ground, the air was mild (in the upper 40s perhaps) and it was comfortable for me to sit in the shade. Part of that comfort was from all that hot sauce I'd added to my curry soup.
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