The clerk at Wal-Mart was a guy about my age. He rang up a can of WD-40.
“I use this stuff to oil up my fishing reels,” he said.
I started to respond when he launched into a story about needing to replace one of the tires on his boat trailer then swerved to a story about a bass he caught last year while fishing with a buddy at a Tennessee state park while fishing for crappie before coming back to the trailer, which he apparently got from his brother-in-law in some kind of a trade. Details of the deal weren’t revealed but the brother-in-law was sorry that he got rid of his boat trailer but he didn’t really need to be sorry because he could use it anytime he wanted all he had to do was ask.
He scanned a package of ground beef and a 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes.
“Making chili tonight?”
“Got it on a Roadrunner.”
“Got what on a Roadrunner?”
He looked up from the scanner. “That big bass I caught while crappie fishing.”
He scanned a can of black beans.
“You put these in chili?”
“I’d use real chili beans. You don’t want to use too much of that stuff on your reel.”
I’ll be careful.”
He sacked the rest of my items and I paid the bill. The story continued.
“I really like those Roadrunners for crappie. I like white. They sell ’em back in sporting goods. That’s what I caught the bass on. I catch a lot of crappie but not to many bass. Not much of a bass fisherman. Never really done it much.”
The lady behind me was growing visibly impatient.
“Well, good luck,” I said, as an exit strategy.
“Don’t need luck for that. I always catch fish.”