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Lucky Peas

A few green lights and some empty aisles are amusement enough

Published: Saturday, June 29, 2013 7:00 a.m. CST

I should have bought a lottery ticket Sunday. I had such a string of luck like I’ve never had before.

My wife sent me to the grocery store, which was not so lucky; and because she needed a specific brand of peas, I had to go all the way across town to the Big-Mart, which is even less lucky on a Sunday afternoon.

But, and here’s where the luck begins.

I made it all the way across town without hitting a red light. There are seven stop lights between my house and the Big-Mart. Hitting them all green during daylight hours is almost unheard of.

I went to the far side of the parking lot hoping to find an empty slot. I was about to turn down the aisle when a car cut me off and then four more cars zoomed in front of me. There were now five vehicles vying for any open slot in that aisle — the aisle most likely to have a slot in the jam-packed parking lot.

That turned out to be luckier for me than one might imagine.

Knowing I wouldn’t find a slot there, I continued on to the front of the lot. As I did, a truck backed out of a slot right in front of the main door leaving it open for me. This has never happened before.

I went in the front door, and the greeter was busy with someone else, so I didn’t have to make any awkward small talk. The place was full, but nobody was buying peas. All my aisles were virtually empty. It was like Moses parting the sea.

I zipped along and found everything on my list except light bulbs, which I decided we could live without. We only use them half the time, anyway. The other half of the time, we use sunlight.

Now, for the real test. I made the dreaded trip to the front of the store where one can typically expect to find long lines at the three open counters among 59 closed counters. I saw a couple of lighted counter numbers and gingerly peaked around the rack of magazines that were shouting about everything from Justin Bieber’s driving habits to some cup owned by a guy named Stanley.

To my shock and awe, both aisles were empty. It was like I was in a dream.

I got right through the line; and you’re not going to believe what’s next. Despite filling five bags and having two items too large to bag, the total came to less than $50. It must have been a mistake, but I took the receipt and ran with it.

To top it all off, I made it all the way back home again without hitting a red light. I know you think I’m lying about this one, but I swear it. Twice in the same day! It was like the Twilight Zone.

I almost stopped for a lottery ticket, but I didn’t want to press my luck. I made it home, walked in and collapsed on the bed so I could bask in the glory of the day. And I thought, “Gosh, I need a hobby.”

Some days, it just doesn’t take that much to amuse me.


@2013 by David Porter who can be reached at Despite my good fortune, I still don’t care much for peas.

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