Shopping With Satan: Grocery Store Evangelists

“Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste. I’ve been around for a long, long year, stole many a mans soul and faith.” – The Rolling Stones

Mobility issues make it obvious that I am disabled, which sometimes make me a target for mission-minded evangelicals – especially in the grocery store. If you think being approached by these people in the grocery store is rare, then you need to spend some time in my world. In fact, one day you should borrow a wheelchair (don’t use the ones the store provides) and go grocery shopping. The grocery store it is a favorite venue for the local mission-minded evangelicals to “go fishing for men,” and when the spot a cripple, well you’d think they just had a spontaneous orgasm…

Cleanup On Aisle Six…

So, I was in Kroger the other day, riding around in the handicap scooter, happily searching for a few things to bridge the gap until our regular shopping day. It was pretty late at night, and I was in the wine aisle looking for a bottle of Moscato when a woman approached me and asked me if I knew Jesus. I really wasn’t in the mood to have this conversation at midnight, so I politely told her I was an atheist, but thanks for asking.

Of course, she couldn’t let it go. She asked me if I knew who Jesus is. Biting my tongue at her totally improper use of a third-person singular present indicative of “be,” I politely told her that I am very familiar with Christianity, and having spent a considerable number of years as a Christian, decided that it just wasn’t for me. I chose my wine and rolled on to the bread aisle.

We’re On A Mission From God…

While contemplating whether or not I wanted to test the waters of Buttermilk bread (there was a great sale, a dollar a loaf), I noticed Ms. Church Lady rounding the corner between the doughnuts and the enticing display of Entenmann’s cakes. I guess she couldn’t resist, because she headed straight toward me – as if she was on a mission… Imagine that.

The sad thing is I had a pretty good idea of what she was going to say. Turns out I was spot on. I’ve written a lot about my disabilities in the past, and how the religious usually approach the subject of my condition once they find out that I am not only an atheist, but also a former believer.

Ms. Church Lady did not disappoint, and had apparently spent the time between the wine aisle and the bread isle rehearsing her spiel. Unbeknownst to her, there are very few things in my life that incense me more than a believer telling me that my disability is a punishment from god. This, combined with the fact that grocery store evangelicals are one rung below door-to-door evangelists on my ladder of the most annoyingly invasive people in the known universe, was a sure sign that the impending conversation was not going to go very well. Not for her, anyway.

Ms. Church Lady felt it totally appropriate to tell me, a complete stranger, that God is punishing me or has allowed the symptoms of my disability to continue to ravage my body to “get my attention” so that I may once again place my faith in him and allow him to “heal me” so that I may be a testimony to his awesome greatness, blah, blah, blah… I was not amused.

Same Old Song And Dance…

This is, by far, not the first time that a local evangelical has made a correlation between my disabilities and my lack of faith. Usually, though, they know who I am. I had initially thought she recognized me because I’ve been in the local news a lot this past week. However, she gave no indication at all that she had any clue as to who I was. This only served to piss me off more, and not due to vanity, but because it takes a special set of balls for someone to approach a total stranger in a wheelchair whom they know nothing about, and upon finding out that they are not one of the brainwashed battalion, to proceed to diagnose their illness as a divine bitch slap.

My politeness was quickly slipping away as this woman spiraled deeper down the rabbit hole of redundant batshittery in her insinuation that I bear responsibility for being a cripple because I turned my back on god, who caused my illnesses as a punishment for abandoning my faith because I was mad at God for allowing me to be a cripple, which I brought on myself because I had turned my back on God.

I stared at this woman, mouth agape a la David Silverman, wondering how the hell she managed to get through life without winning a gold medal for Olympian mental gymnastics, along with a special ribbon (complete with a shiny gold seal) for excellence in ignorance of her offer to pray for me to “see the light” and “come home to Jesus” so that I may be healed.

As I said, I was in no mood for this shit at midnight, in Kroger. I seriously considered de-corking my Moscato and emptying the entire bottle down my gullet before I offered her a hale and hardy “fuck off,” but thought it useless given the difficulty to hear anything when your ears are blocked off by the walls of your own anus.

Normally, I would have lit into her with one of my famous Hitchenesque diatribes about her religious ignorance toward the disabled and how Christian doctrine has been a detriment to medical research. I considered pointing out the ridiculousness of thinking that someone can be angry at a being they do not acknowledge to even exist, and how childish it is to believe in magic. I contemplated telling her exactly what I thought about her condemnations and judgments and wondered if I were able to recall Dr. Dawkins’ description of God being,

“…arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

Not Tonight, Dear…

But I wasn’t in the mood, having been preoccupied with the rumblings in my stomach. So, I resorted to holding my tongue and told her it was nice chatting with her but I had to be rolling on. She insisted on giving me a tract, which had the name of the church she was evangelizing for. I happily traded her for one of my “Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc.” business cards, which after reading she said, and I quote, “Oh, my! You’re one of Satan’s henchmen!” She turned away, I grabbed my loaf of Buttermilk bread and headed for the self-checkout line.

I went home and enjoyed a few slices of toasted buttermilk bread, topped with some bleu cheese and a glass of wine, chuckling to myself at the likelihood that on Sunday morning Ms. Church Lady will give her testimony about how she did battle with a genuine demon in the bread aisle of Kroger, barely making it out alive, but managing to get the word of God (in the form of a Chick tract) into the hands of Satan, himself.

  62 comments for “Shopping With Satan: Grocery Store Evangelists

  1. alexandra14c
    January 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything more infuriating. I’m getting weepy thinking about the fact that people can be that douchey and believe that what they are doing is good.

  2. DaveL
    January 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    That’s right lady, you came face to face with one of Satan’s minions.

    At Kroger. Buying buttermilk bread. Because that’s how they roll.

    • Al Stefanelli
      January 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Everyone knows that buttermilk bread is made in Satan’s own factories. It’s the flames that give that special flavoring.

      • January 26, 2012 at 11:09 am

        It’s also well-known that Kroger has the best roasted baby.

        In the deli counter. Next to the braunschweiger.

        • ansisruhk
          January 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm

          Awww, man. there are no Krogers where I live. What am I supposed to eat now?

        • Bruce
          January 28, 2012 at 10:37 am

          I like babies, but I can’t eat a whole one.

  3. Alverant
    January 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    That is just messed up! Harassing people in the grocery store, or anywhere else for that matter, is just wrong. I didn’t know trolls existed in real life and one would have the nerve to call another person “Satan’s henchman”.

    I suppose there’s little chance Kroger stopping customers from harassing each other. Though on two occasions I have seen managers ask prostlizers to leave the parking lot.

    • Al Stefanelli
      January 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Kroger is pretty good at that, but the town I live in has no shortage of evangelists…

      • steve oberski
        January 25, 2012 at 8:14 pm

        I think there’s a place for those people on the rack were they put all the reduced price stale dated produce. Sorry, no air miles.

  4. shouldbeworking
    January 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    It’s shocking how many gawdists think the ‘No Soliciting’ signs doesn’t apply to them.

    I was approached by a couple like that at a grocery store. I glanced at their tract and responded that it was blasphemy because the authors did not use Gawd’s True Holey Book (KJV). Just before I started my tirade they left. Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.

  5. January 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Gosh, I hope that wasn’t my sister who lives in the Atlanta area – it sounds like the type things she would say (as she’s said them all to me at one time or another).

    BTW: thanks for putting the idea of Buttermilk Bread in my head – will bake some today and send it to my sister with a wee note explaining where I got the idea.

  6. January 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Perhaps if, instead of buttermilk breead, you had picked up some Ezekial 4:9 she wouldn’t have bothered you.

  7. January 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I always have fun with folks like that.

    “I’m sorry, I’m in a bit of a hurry. I should already be skyclad by now.”

    “Do you honestly think that it’s physically possible to live in America and not be familiar with the majority religion? Especially with people like you pushing it on the rest of us?”

    “Have you heard the news about the great Lord Xenu?”

    “Yes, although I believe he pronounces it ‘Hay-zoose’ ”

    “I hate to interrupt when you’re having such a wonderful time, but what kind of wine do you think would go best with a freshly sacrificed lamb?”

    @shouldbeworking: also a good response, btw. Although you should never forget to add that it was the only version “breathed out by God”

    • steve oberski
      January 25, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      “Yes, although I believe he pronounces it ‘Hay-zoose’ ”

      Which reminds me of that old chestnut – if Jesus was Jewish why did he a Puerto Rican name ?

      • abear
        January 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm

        He used to be named Josh Christopher but decided to go ethnic around the same time Jerry Rivers became reborn as Geraldo Rivera (another well known Puerto Rican of jewish background).

  8. a miasma of incandescent plasma
    January 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Blah blah blah… whatever. What I really want to know is what deals they had on baby human and how did you prepare it before putting it on your sandwich?

    • bbgunn
      January 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      Personally, I love to dip bread in sweet baby au jus.

  9. Blue Duck
    January 25, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    You know, this post made me laugh out loud and angry at the same time. Nobody wants to be hassled at the grocery store – most folks just want to get in and out as quickly and hassle free as possible. That woman was incredibly invasive, nosy and rude. And the hell of it is, indeed she will think of herself as a good and noble Christian who did ‘battle’ against one of ‘Satan’s henchman’. Yup, I am sure Madame Fruitloop Evangelist will milk this incident as one grand tesitmony at her church, so all her church lady friends can admire her bravery. Ack.

    Me, being nondisabled and living in NorCal (which seems to have a lot less in your face Xtian evangelism than many other parts of the country) this has never happened thank goodness.

    Sometimes the local Jehovah’s Witnesses go thru the neighborhoods leaving tracts on the doors. I do recall one 4th of July I was walking with my daughter downtown, so we could go see the town parade. A pair of JWs were handing out tracts – I was amused. Since they don’t believe in celebrating any holidays (God is one bigass kill joy who hates parties, or something. LOL) they were being fluffing up their own egos by showing what super speshul JWs they were by tracting on a (gasp!) holiday. At least they weren’t at the parade.

  10. daffodil
    January 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    The clerk at the local grocery store here made some comment to me about my (then) infant daughter, who has a V-P shunt in her head and her scar from the surgery was clearly visible. I had been friendly with the clerk previously but I didn’t know that she was an Evangelical xtian. She therefore knew that I wasn’t married my daughter’s father from previous combinations, and although I can’t remember the comment, she insinuated that my child’s problems were because god didn’t approve of babies born out of wedlock! I was too dumbfounded to say anything at the time, but I did write to management. I never went back there, and fortunately moved out of town shortly thereafter, so I don’t know if/how they dealt with her. Some people should not be dealing with the public.

  11. HumanisticJones
    January 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    A part of me thinks that the best answer to “Do you know Jesus?” is to turn to whoever is sitting next to you and grumble “Eight-year-olds, Dude.”

    • lordshipmayhem
      January 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      “Do you know Jesus?”
      “Why, has he run away from home again?’

  12. January 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    After having a child born with severe handicaps that died three months after it was born and two more children commit suicide, I feel your pain. I don’t hide these facts from anyone and am preached to a lot! Everyone thinks I lost my faith because of these things. Just wasn’t outspoken till I was constantly admonished for my responsibility in these events. Dumbasses

    • Christopher Gates
      January 26, 2012 at 2:10 am

      Those are terrible, awful things to happen to you and yours. May my kind thoughts and best wishes be with you. For the Haters… nothing. Hollowness suits them well.

  13. evilDoug
    January 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Perhaps she though you were buying the blood of Christ and the body of Christ.
    Yeesh! Here in the Frozen North, I’ve never seen anything even remotely like that. The closest was a little old lady standing silently outside the door of a store, holding up a copy of Awake or The Watchtower.

    • ambassadorfromverdammt
      January 29, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      That’s all you are likely to see, ever since the SCOC ruled that the law prohibiting public solicitation by prostitutes also applies to public solicitation by religious prosyletizers.

  14. bodie425
    January 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I think I would have immediately went to the manager and complained; that would have been the best course of action. But, that’s rational and that’s not me when I’m being accosted by xtians. I would have cussed her up one side and down the other! I’ve already decided the next time a JW comes to my door with a child in tow, I’m going to immediately look down at the child and tell him his/her parent is lying and there is no god. I’m not going to kowtow to these kooks any more. I also make a point of telling the door to door JC salespersons to “kick the dust off their heels when they go!”

    • January 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      I like it! None has ever come to my door with a child but I’ve taken to telling them that religion is a giant “gypsy curse” scam to make them think they need to pay and obey to be “cured.”

    • January 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      Rather than addressing the child, I have many times told the adult that they should be ashamed to be using a child the way they do. One was at the door in the middle of the afternoon and I told her the child (~ 10) should be in school larning something useful instead of the garbage she was trying to sell.

  15. jacobfromlost
    January 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I used to work in middle management for a chain now owned by Kroger–it was a grocery/retail combo. On Christmas Eve once, the store was an insane asylum as usual, but there was a line of about 10 people at the deli waiting to get their “Christmas Dinners” (who buys their Christmas Dinner’s from the deli? on Christmas eve? an hour before closing time? *shrugs*).

    Anyway, the deli people were rushing in every direction at once trying to get these orders done, and when this particular old woman–she had to have been at least 75–finally got to the front of the line, she told the young girl behind the counter, “You’re so f-cking slow!”

    What astonished me more than the woman’s age and the profanity was that the girl behind the counter was actually moving at LIGHTNING SPEED! Everyone in the deli was. Every employee in the WHOLE FREAKIN’ STORE was! (We had to in order to keep up with the onslaught of customers.)

    Merry freakin’ Christmas. (And stay in school, kids. Customer service is for the birds.)

  16. January 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Hey! Satan’s minion! Yeah, you, Al! Don’t forget about my party for all my employees down here! It’s going to be a wild bash! And, I’d be very happy to accept an offering of that bread! I’ll leave the flames on high.

    RJ Evans
    American Heathen®

  17. marko
    January 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Interestingly, and leaving on a slight tangent from the main topic, I have had some experience of the wheelchair thing. My partner was pregnant and suffered a foot injury, so for a couple of weeks we were using the loan wheelchairs in supermarkets etc. I could be wrong, but I don’t believe there was any obvious indication that she wasn’t permanently in a wheelchair. I was genuinely shocked by the reactions of some people, “Oh aren’t you lucky, getting pushed around”, and “you should carry a bell” were two of the most memorable comments.

  18. January 25, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Hell on wheels eh?

  19. glenmorangie10
    January 25, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    “Henchperson Ma’am. The boss knows your guy corners market on rigid gender roles.”

  20. Happy Camper
    January 25, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I would have asked her if she was naturally an moronic Asshole or does she have to work hard at it!

  21. JJ7212
    January 25, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I know it’s not really funny, but when you tell a story like that, Mr. Stefanelli, I can’t help but laugh out loud! All of the Japanese staff in our teacher’s lounge kept looking at me and were wondering what was so funny while I was reading your article! They have no idea about how bad religious proselytizing is in America… I don’t think I could begin to explain it in Japanese! Religion is a non existant subject on a daily basis here. It’s uninteresting to most Japanese. One might say that I’m in an atheist’s heaven!

  22. Richard Simons
    January 25, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    If you wanted to create a scene you could have politely asked her to leave you alone a couple of times, then yelled “Help! Security!” – although I would more likely have suffered through it.

    Regarding wheelchairs – my mother and grandmother both used them at airports and other places to avoid lengthy walks and periods of standing, and both commented that many people treated them as being mentally defective and only spoke to the person pushing the wheelchair.

  23. January 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    “Fuck off and die!” works pretty well on old guys on the street trying to get over-friendly but I probably wouldn’t unloose it in a store.

  24. N. Nescio
    January 25, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I admire your self-restraint. Upon reading this, I wished for the superpower of mentally punching people in the face. No soap.
    You sir, are a better man than I.

    That said, this incident has given me an idea for a terrific two-person trolling act. As follows:

    1. Borrow wheelchair.
    2. Visit place most likely to result in uninvited proselytizing.
    3. Be approached by a random Jackass for Jesus.
    4. Listen to spiel, pretending to have zero knowledge of Jesus OR Christianity. Become utterly convinced. Get enthusiastically saved on the spot. Ask for them to pray with you for healing. Struggle to stand up out of wheelchair. Fail. Struggle harder, fail again.
    5. Become extremely upset, tearfully ask WHY won’t God heal you?!!
    6. Person 2 approaches, pretends to stumble upon scene. Reacts in shock that they’re praying to YHWH when they should instead be praying to [insert decidedly unfavorable being here – Satan perhaps?]
    7. Pray to [whatever] for healing. Person 1 struggles even harder to get up out of wheelchair. Stands up. Both people are ‘shocked’ and jubilant about the miracle that just occurred right before their very eyes!!1 Possibly there is dancing and excessive praise of non-Christian deity.
    8. ???
    9. Hopefully you just mind-fucked somebody stupid enough to think that disabled people want to be approached by strangers offering religion.

    • HumanisticJones
      January 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      Must try this… it sounds hilarious. Now I just have to figure out which one of my friends has enough misanthropy built up to do this with me.

  25. F
    January 26, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Had you considered the, “Lady, you’ve got nothing. Do you know what I used to do for a living?” retort? If you’ve got it, consider flaunting it on occasion. 😉

  26. Robert B.
    January 26, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Wait, no, I’ve got it worked out. God knew in advance that you were going to lose your faith, you see, because he knows everything. So he punished you for what you were going to do in the future. And being mad about that punishment is what made you lose your faith, which is what you were being punished for in the first place. It all makes sense if you suppose that she believes in an omnipotent, omniscient asshole, who would punish you for doing something he knowingly caused you to do.

    Whenever I encounter Christian thought, I like to entertain myself with the question “which leg of theodicy is going to fail this time?”

    • January 26, 2012 at 2:59 am

      It seems we shared a similar response to this story! Your analysis of the situation is spot on. The problem the christians have is that their deity has this troublesome infinite knowledge that inevitably leads to the utter destruction of their cherished “free will” idea. Since their deity knows all and is infinitely powerful, it seems pretty clear that this skydaddy created each of us knowing what we would choose. That is, he created each of us expressly to make such a choices and so we were brought into this world intentionally to suffer eternal torment for the choices he intended us to make! But he loves us?? This is such total bullshit, it’s astonishing that anyone is stupid enough to swallow it!

  27. January 26, 2012 at 2:50 am

    This absolutely made my evening – I literally was laughing out loud at the colossal effrontery of this self-righteous bitch! I certainly can understand why you might be upset with the notion that your physical disabilities are an omnipotent deity’s way of getting your attention, but your restraint in the face of such ludicrous provocation is astonishing. I assume it’s because of past experience. I thought of many different ways I might respond to her if I were in such a situation, but your way of dealing with it was quite appropriate. You have my thanks for sharing a story both hilarious and illustrative of the challenge we have in dealing with a world full of believers of diverse sorts!

  28. Aliasalpha
    January 26, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Since you get it so often, maybe you should build a soundboard with the… punchline I suppose you’d call it to all the most common religo comments. That way when one of them starts up on their rehearsed spiel and you spot which one it’ll be, you can just press the button for “you’re just angry at god” or whatever and cut them off with the end of their own argument

  29. coragyps
    January 26, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Great!

    But I have to know – which Chick tract?

    • Al Stefanelli
      January 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      “Apes, Lies & Ms. Henn”

      • Coragyps
        January 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm

        Ah, a classic!!

  30. Irreverend Bastard
    January 26, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    “One of Satan’s henchmen!”

    T-shirt worthy.

    • lordshipmayhem
      January 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Ah, you evil little thing! 😉

  31. January 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Play Evangelist Bingo!
    In front of them.
    With a card they can clearly see.

    Yell BINGO at the top of your lungs.

  32. Philip
    January 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    You have reminded me of my days working at Kroger in my youth. I was handed many bible tracts over the years,one woman in particular always had the sourest look on her face as she passed it to me silently. How I would have loved to have been free to respond as you did!

  33. lordshipmayhem
    January 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    You should have offered her a suitable wine in return. Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush, for example.

  34. Vic Webster
    January 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I stumbled across your site just now. You are a hero Al – America needs gutsy people like you. And in Georgia too! – that takes real guts.
    I’ve written a few columns for exchristian.net, for example:
    http://new.exchristian.net/2010/05/letter-to-evangelical.html

    Love your site and will pass on the joyful tidings.

  35. Lurker111
    January 26, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Two days late, I’ve come up with what I might have said in the same situation: “Lady, my body’s in this wheelchair. It’s too bad you can’t put your _brain_ in a wheelchair.”

    BUT–

    I have thought a bit about such a rejoinder, and I wonder whether deliberately hurting a person who is demonstrably already damaged does her any good, or even me any good. Why spread spite in a situation where nothing is attained? It’s not like she’s an evangelical leader or institution deserving of placards, protests and criticism.

  36. January 26, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Wow Al that is unbelievable.

    I know I shouldn’t be shocked, but for some reason I am. I can’t imagine anything in the world short of ten tabs of LSD and a bottle of vodka that would possess me to approach a disabled stranger and lecture them about their disability. I just…. wtf? What kind of a person does that?

    And the fact that this happens to you repeatedly. Maybe you should make your own “chick tracts” explaining the virtues of common courtesy and hand them to these clueless assholes.

  37. Randomfactor
    January 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Why, yes, I DO have a personal relationship with Jesus–but I’m just using him for gay sex.

  38. pyrobryan
    January 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    “Do you know Jesus?”
    “You mean this guy?”

    • pyrobryan
      January 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      “Do you know Jesus?”
      “You mean this guy?”
      [gesture to the invisible man standing next to you]
      [continue the conversation, allowing pauses for your invisible, inaudible friend to speak]
      [chastise the woman for interrupting our lord and savior]
      [mock her for having such weak faith that she cannot see or hear God when He is standing right in front of her]

  39. Robster
    January 28, 2012 at 1:08 am

    I’ve heard that they’ve all been told to spread what they call “the good news”. They do have a habit of guilding the lily with inventive names. They all seem to do it and at really strange times and places. Didn’t the bible thingy say that women should shut up or something?

  40. 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 28, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    The thing that always amazes me about those folks is they think we’ve never, in our entire lives, ever heard of Jesus.

  41. Steve
    January 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    It’s incredibly insulting for someone to ask “Have you ever heard of Jesus.” You’d have to be living in a cave your entire life not to have heard of him. Apparently they think many of us are complete imbeciles.

  42. pedantik
    February 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    My wife had a similar experience yesterday in a clothing shop. She has a progressive neurological disorder that requires her to use a walker. She was approached by a rather elderly woman who brazenly asked her why she needed the walker. After explaining her condition, the woman laid her hands on my wife and began praying loudly for healing. (It didn’t work, if you were wondering). Had this been a younger person, my wife wouldn’t have tolerated this, but she humored the lady, thanked her, and went on with her shopping.

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