Benny in the Supermarket

It happened in the supermarket.

Benny lost his shopping list –
knew that peppers were
the showcase ingredient
for the stew he’s gonna
make for the gang;
but couldn’t remember what colors:
red, green, yellow, orange,

Nah, there aren’t purple peppers,
only eggplant.

Did he need eggplant?

And he couldn’t remember the status
of peppers on the Dirty Dozen;
important information when
organic is three bucks a pound more
than conventional.

Didn’t want to poison the guys,
but buying conventional
would leave enough cash
for a higher quality beer.

Where had his memory gone?

Sure, he could still recite
the lyrics to “Desolation Row”
with 90% accuracy,
conjure the formula for when
Easter Sunday occurs;
remember the cinematographer
of his ten favorite movies,
even when his top ten
constantly changes;
recall the succession of albums

released by the Beatles,
Stones, Doors,
Miles and Dylan before the umpteen bootlegs
were officially issued.

But where he parked his car,
put his keys, the names of
his best friend’s kids,
the optimum
temperature and time
for roasted potatoes
that he cooks every week,
names of people
he is being introduced to,
or his last errand after the supermarket –


He grabs the ingredients
he thinks he remembers
and heads
for the check out counter.

If he’s missing something,
hell, he’ll just fake it.

The line is long, so Benny
scans the tabloids,
hunting for news he could share
at dinner,
and finds inordinate comfort
in the knowledge that
J.F.K. is still alive,
living blissfully with
Marilyn Monroe
in Havana.

8 thoughts on “Benny in the Supermarket

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