“Hi! Dr. Phillips, right?” I said recognizing a woman at the grocery self check-out. Growing up with a forgettable name, (and face for that matter) I’ve always been good with remembering other people’s names. I had met Dr. Phillips a couple of months ago at a local event. She’s a prestigious forensics expert or something.
“Ever notice how really smart people have no common sense?” Dr. Phillips said, apparently in the middle of a conversation with herself.
“I think I read Einstein sometimes forgot to put on his pants. But that could have been fake news.” I said laughing, but inwardly cringing as she put a six pack of Dr. Pepper on top of her bread.
“I’m sure it’s true. Take my husband for instance. He’s a rocket scientist but he has no-” She was saying as she attempted to swipe her driver’s license through the credit card reader.
“That’s your driver’s lice-” I began, but she caught her mistake and began swiping the credit card, upside down at first, before flipping it right.
“So, Dave is really a rocket scientist?” I asked starting to scan my groceries at the next checkout. “I thought that was just a joke.”
“What’s funny about being a rocket scientist?” She asked seriously.
“Well, nothing if you are one. I just thought it was, you know, one of those kinds of jokes where you say you’re something you’re not.”
“That’s not how jokes work.” She said looking at me like I was a complete idiot. “There are rules of comedy. Just like there are rules of science. To laugh is to cry.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that somewhere.” I agreed.
“I read it in your blog.”
“Oh, you read my blog?” I asked, flattered.
“I was told it was going to be funny.” She responded irritably.
“My comedy writing is rather tragic.” I said hoping she would throw me a bone of encouragement.
“You should try ESL stories. Those don’t have to be good.” She suggested instead.
“What were you saying about your husband not having common sense?” I said innocently bringing her back to the original conversation.
“Must not have been important. I try only to remember useful information. Goodbye.” She said taking her receipt and pushing her empty cart towards the exit, her groceries still at the checkout.
I couldn’t believe it. She didn’t remember what knuckle headed thing her husband had done, but she remembered something I’d written in a blog! I walked out of the store encouraged that my education as a college drop out had gleaned me common sense and an ability to write memorable content. At least until I got to my car and realized I left my purse at the checkout.