Verbosity21's Blog
Short Stories by Ralph Proenza– mostly Fiction, but some based on true events

* The Supermarket Incident


[Anecdote Based On True Events]

When my wife and I were young parents, one of the highlights of our week was going to the supermarket and observing our little daughter Sherri, then a toddler.  She would sit gleefully in the grocery cart seat and gape at the incredible array of colorful items that loomed on either side of the aisle.  Each turn of the corner brought a new kaleidoscope of visual entertainment.

On occasion, in her excitement to grab a familiar item, she would attempt standing up in the little seat.  Thus, either my wife or I would always keep vigil at the cart.

One shopping day caught my wife sick in bed and Sherri and I having to go for groceries.  It was in the fourth aisle that, as a kindly elderly lady passed by and admired her cuteness, that Sherri spotted her beloved Cheerios.

Looking  back, it all seemed to have happened in a blink of an eye, as she swiftly stood up on both feet.  Forgetting to release the grocery cart handlebar, it served as a trapeze swing and made her perform a perfect forward summersault.  Her small body plummetted toward the unforgiving tile floor as my adrenalin went to work.  Without thinking — as if we had rehearsed it for a circus act — my hand found the small of her back in mid-air.  Sherri’s arms, legs, and head gently bobbed in the air like a rubber doll, and with one smooth miraculous movement I had her back in the seat.

Catching my breath I moved the cart along, deciding as an after-thought to look behind me hoping no one had seen the near-catastrophe.  But there, quietly leaning against the shelves with a hand clutched to her chest stood our witness–the sweet little old lady, her mouth ajar, speechless, and eyes bulging!

I swiftly turned around and casually moved the cart and child away, surreptitiously side-glancing to the lady, hoping I would not have to use my knowledge of CPR.

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3 Responses to “* The Supermarket Incident”

  1. You can’t leave us hanging! Did the old lady say anything? I would have said, “nice catch”! 🙂

    • Ha! Actually, I was too embarrased to say anything so I non-challantly rolled the cart away — hoping we weren’t the cause of a heartattack on a bystandard.

  2. OK OK…..I gave the story a last sentence for closure 🙂


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