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The Missing Baggers

I attended a memorial service at the Novitiate in the morning, then had lunch at Rob afterwards with Eugene and the Litel Gel. It was past twelve when I finally got to the supermarket to get a few cans of beer for the fridge before going home.

I was at the cashier’s in no time at all, hurrying as I was for an afternoon nap. There were only four other people at the queue ahead of me, but the cashier was also doubling as bagger. Makupad ang ineng

I thought about moving tables, so my eyes scanned the other queues. Mine was the shortest. There were also no baggers at the other tables.

Ah-ah… Nagtitipid ang Rob…

The queue I was in curved slightly to the right because there was a rack of goods in the way. A woman and her child had already lined up behind me, but the two apparently forgot something and left the queue.

Soon after, a plump middle-aged woman arrived to stand beside rather than behind me. Ah-ah ang aleh… Manggugulang pa

I had earlier laid my plastic basket down on the floor ahead of me, so I gently nudged it forward with my shoes closer to the tall gentleman ahead of me. Then, I took a step forward to discretely warn the lady off.

I silently prayed that the gentleman would not suddenly take a step backwards…

It’s funny how effectively we can communicate without actually saying a word. The woman quickly understood what I meant and fell in line behind me like a good girl.

Alangan naman…

When it was my turn at the cashier’s, I just had to ask the lady, “Bakit wala kang bagger?” The girl didn’t even answer and just smiled at me. Walâ ‘ata dilâ

Right after I asked the question, as if on cue, a bagger arrived from behind me. I was totally taken by surprise… Magic!!!

In fact, the other baggers started to arrive at the other tables. Lunch break pala

[This story was first published on Facebook on 5 October 2008.]

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