People Note:
Facereader
18 December 2018

ΒΆ To be honest, “facereader” isn’t right, because I didn’t really get a good look at the woman’s face. “Voicereader” would have been better, but “facereader” is what came out when the checkout clerk asked me if I was a mindreader.

At the Schaller & Weber counter, I was being taken care of when a petite woman of a certain age (older or younger? I couldn’t tell) sidled alongside me. Her hair was too dark and too curly, and from the corner of my eye I noticed an assertive lipstick. After she sampled a piece of ham or turkey that the counterman had handed to her, she pointed to a stack of loaves directly in front of me and asked what kind of bread they were.

They were not bread; they were stollen, which is of course bread basically but too larded with sweets for anything but breakfast. And the loaves were priced at $30. I had decided, while being taken care of, that $30 was too rich for me.

The counterman told the woman that the loaves were cake. She didn’t seem to hear this. She didn’t seem to hear anything that she didn’t want to hear. There was some inarticulate fussing. The stollen had caught her eye, and she had to have it. Her order complete, she pulled a loaf from the countertop and headed for the checkout desk. I could tell that she did not bother to check out the price.

My order complete, I quickly followed her. I heard her say “oh,” and watched as she carefully set the stollen loaf to one side, indicating that she didn’t want it after all. She had seen the price. She paid for everything else, and left the shop.

“I knew that she wasn’t going to buy it,” I told the checkout clerk. Whereupon she asked me if I was a mindreader, and out came my dimwitted reply.

Yes, bought the stollen. 

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