don’t need a sign to point me in the right direction. I can smell donuts, especially the chocolate variety. Pastries seem to call my name.
Last night our family went to Hy-Vee, the employee-owned grocery store where, as their slogan says, “there is a helpful smile in every aisle.” Due to an impending snow storm, we were there to buy bananas. Who can keep calm during a blizzard when there is a banana emergency at home?
Isaac loves Hy-Vee and its automatic doors. The routine is almost always the same. He enters, watches the doors, places his body in the path of the sensors so the doors open and close, puts away carts, and finally chooses a cart for our use. Then he heads to the bakery, which happens to be near the bathrooms. According to Isaac, the bathroom doors at Hy-Vee also are entertaining, as are the sounds of the flushing toilets.
I was standing in the bakery area, waiting for Isaac and Chris to leave the men’s restroom. It was a bit later in the evening. All of the $1.99 containers of donut holes had been purchased. There were no more donuts in the
display case. Noah and Henry were chatting about multi-verse theorem (the possibility of another universe existing where things are slightly different), when Henry pointed to the sign and smiled. He read it aloud and laughed. I don’t remember ever having seen it before.
A moment later, a helpful smile in every aisle approached me from behind the bakery counter. “Are you finding everything okay?” he asked. He was walking towards the bakery case, so he could wipe it down.
“Yes, I’m waiting for my husband and son. My 8-year-old was laughing at the sign.”
The employee looked confused. “What sign is that?” he asked.
“Oh, the one directly above the donut case,” I explained, as I pointed and smiled.
A big smile spread across the man’s face and he laughed. “Believe it or not, I’ve never noticed that sign before,” he said. We watched from afar as he showed a co-worker. They both looked surprised. We smiled and waved. He smiled back.
Henry asked, “Do you think I can go to the bakery and get a free cookie?”
“After finding the error, maybe you should get a free box of donuts,” I said. Unfortunately, they were all sold out.
I imagined a woman creating the sign. Like me, she was often deep in thought about sugar. Perhaps she was in a sugar coma? Donuts & bagels & pastries & cookies & brownies & pie . . . there is only so much room on the sign and in the display case. Something had to give.
She probably knew that most people don’t read bakery signs anyway.