Yesterday afternoon, while waiting for my new camera battery to charge so I could spend the rest of the day playing with it, we went grocery shopping.
We went to Safeway, actually, the better of two Safeways that are not far from each other in our neighborhood. We like this Safeway because it has a Starbucks inside and cup holders on the cart. We also like their selection of produce and other edible goods. And the fact that it is cleaner and brighter than the other one up the road.
So we were making the rounds, I smelled nectarines and had to have them. James grabbed a couple of pork chops for dinner. We each had a basket about half full when the fire alarm began to go off. We and our fellow shoppers all sort of froze in our tracks and kind of stared at each other, most of us probably with a false alarm experience or two that left us wary of abandoning our baskets and carts and immediately rushing outside. Until a moment later when a voice came over the speaker system to inform us that yes, in fact, there was a fire in the store. Please go outside.
James and I sort of milled around outside for a little bit with the other stalled shoppers, wondering how long it would be before everything was all sorted out and we could go back and retrieve our bell peppers and Cheerios. We heard the sirens approach and watched as a yellow fire truck went screaming around the back of the building. It was followed shortly by a second yellow truck that also went around to the back and an ambulance that parked in front of us. Men began to get out of the truck in front of us and put their fire suits on as one unsuited rescue worker poked his head in the front doors.
We decided to go sit in the car, listen to the radio and see what else would happen.
By the time we actually pulled out of the parking lot to head over to Giant, four more yellow fire trucks were blinking their red lights out front and at least one, maybe two more ambulances. Another siren sang in the distance, and as we looked back, we could see the smokey haze rising from the building.
James was concerned about how we just left our baskets full of perishables on the floor in the cookie aisle, afraid that they would go bad before someone could find them and return them to their proper locations. I assured him that with everything that happened over at Safeway yesterday, a couple of bad pork chops are probably going to be the least of their worries.
Maybe the suburbs aren’t so dull, after all.