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Not All Trips to the Supermarket Are Boring

By John Addyman       Email:

My son and I made a quick stop at our local supermarket. I zipped in and out with a bottle of soy sauce and a big plastic jar of mayonnaise.

When we jumped back into the car, I put the mayonnaise between my legs and parked the soy sauce next to me on the seat and started the car. It’s a sports car, and doesn’t have a lot of room.

“You’re not going to drive through town with a jar of mayonnaise between your legs, are you?” my son asked. His name is Mike. He’s 41.

“Sure I am. Why?”

“Isn’t that against the law?” Mike asked.

“Of course not,” I said.

“But you don’t see people driving around with jars of mayonnaise between their legs,” he said.


“Do you?” he pressed.

“Of course you do,” I told him as we pulled out of the supermarket parking lot. “Look out there at the other cars. I bet lots of those drivers are either going home with a jar of mayonnaise between their legs or wishing they had remembered to buy mayonnaise.”

Mike was looking at the cars going by and considering.

“I don’t think anyone out here is driving with a jar of mayonnaise between their legs,” he said. “Except you. I’m sure I’m right.”

“Nah,” I told him. “The chance of someone else out here with a jar of mayonnaise between his or her legs is a lot higher than what’s going on in this car right now.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean there are very, very few people driving out here right now who have BOTH a jar of mayonnaise between their legs and a bottle of soy sauce next to them on the seat.”

“Dad…,” Mike was thinking that this was either a game I was playing with him or that it had finally happened — that his old man had finally lost his marbles.

In point of fact, I knew that’s exactly what he was thinking because A) he’s been my son for a long time and B) he was catching a glimpse of the back of my shirt to see if marbles were rolling out of my ears.

At this point I should point out that I was driving a car with a six-speed manual transmission, shifting as we merrily went along and the jar was moving around pretty tightly in my crotch. The bottle of soy sauce was happily settled where it was.

Oh, and Mike and I had put the top down, something that brought a new concern to my son.

“Dad, people can see us,” he said.


“Well, they can look down into the car and see that you’ve got a jar of mayonnaise between your legs.”

“You don’t think they can see the soy sauce, right?”

“Dad, maybe if they could see the soy sauce this all might make some sense, but no, I don’t think they can see the soy sauce.”

“Should I move the soy sauce to the other side of the seat?” I asked.

Mike made a sudden move and grabbed the soy sauce bottle.

“I’ll take care of this,” he said.

“Aren’t you concerned that people driving by will look down in the car and see that you’re carrying a bottle of soy sauce and wonder what you plan to do with it?” I asked.

Mike was thinking.

Then he put the soy sauce bottle on his lap between his legs.

I looked down at that scene. It was not good.

“Mike,” I advised, “having the top of a bottle of soy sauce stick out from your lap is a lot worse than having a jar of mayonnaise between your legs, know what I mean?”

He looked at me. He looked at the neck of the soy sauce bottle sticking up out of his lap.

“If we get stopped by a state trooper, what are you going to tell him about that bottle? I think the state trooper would ask you, ‘Son, you got a thing for bottles of soy sauce?’”

Mike grabbed the bottle and put it back next to me.

“You’d better take it, Dad,” he said.

“What do you think a state trooper would say to me if we get stopped?” I asked Mike.

“I think he’d ask you how long you’d been away from the home,” Mike said. “And did you really have a license to drive?”

“On the other hand,” I argued reasonably, “I think he’d thank me for reminding him that his wife asked him to bring home some mayonnaise when he’s done work. And we might have a pleasant discussion about our favorite mayonnaise.”

“Nothing about soy sauce?”

“Soy sauce is soy sauce. I’m sure the trooper would agree.”

“Would you get a ticket?”

“Nah,” I said. “We might exchange recipes.”

We drove along quietly, getting closer to home.

“I don’t ever want to do this again, Dad.” Mike said when we pulled into the driveway.