Absentminded

I’ve always thought I was absentminded. It runs in my family. But after what I saw yesterday, I know I’m not the most absentminded person.

Perhaps the most absentminded thing I’ve done in my life is to hang a plastic bag containing bread in the closet. It was some very good tasting bread I had just purchased and when I got home, instead of hanging my coat in the closet, I hang the bag of bread. I must have left the coat somewhere else, maybe on a kitchen chair. For a few days I remember wondering what had happened to the bread. It was bread from the Great Harvest Bread Company, not a bread that I buy every day, but one that I love.  About three days later my wife at the time discovered where I put the bread.shopping cart

Since we are speaking about absent mindedness, I must mention my father, since he was one of the most absent-minded persons I ever met. One problem he had was finding anything, but specially his reading glasses. So we decided to buy him a strap for his glasses so he could wear them around his neck. Well, one day he came up to all of us and stated, “I can’t find my reading glasses. $20 to whomever finds them for me.” My youngest brother, perhaps the one with the most wit, quickly noticed they were hanging from his neck. Well, eventually he lost the strap and we went back to square one where at least once a week no one in the family knew where he had put his glasses.

But now back to the most absent-minded event that I have ever seen. Yesterday at Target, a department store, for those of you who live overseas, I saw a lady throw her shopping cart, with all her groceries, down the electric escalator. My children and I watched in amazement as the shopping cart slid down the escalator, did about three frontward flips crashing down and bouncing off the escalator after each one. This was the regular upward going escalator, hence the somersaults, as the force of gravity pushed the shopping cart downwards and the escalator pushed it upwards. This poor lady thought she was putting the shopping cart in the escalator for shopping carts but was obviously not paying attention. After the shopping cart came to its resting place at the bottom floor, the escalator diligently brought all the groceries upstairs, most of them still in their plastic bags but many of the groceries like the milk container had broken and there was spilled milk and other products on the steps. The lady was rather young so one could not claim senility. She looked about thirty. She exclaimed “Oh, no!” when she realized what she had done.

“That is something I don’t think we will ever forget,” I told my children as we drove back home.

Copyright © 2013 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

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