Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I had my headphones in and was trying to - methodically - work through a shopping list for this weekend's festivities. Unfortunately, the clever Albert Heijn smartphone app only has the "sort items into route order" for its own supermarkets. Which means when I'm shopping at a their competitor Bas, I  have to mentally sort all the items into their locations on my own. Are balloons or broccoli at the entrance? Is the milk or the marsala midway through the store? And so on.

So there I stood, looking down at my list and trying to figure out what I needed to look for first so I wouldn't have to backtrack down the same aisle more usual. And then I realised someone was talking to me. A small someone, holding up a toy for my inspection. "Look what I have! It's an Ironman toy!" At least, that's what I think the little boy said, since his voice was a semi-muted until I pulled out my headphones. But since I have watched Ironman 1 and 2, I recognised the toy and smiled back at the eager face as he continued, "And there's a button here - this makes him go REALLY FAST!" "Cool! Is it new?" "Yes!"

And then off he wandered, still happily holding his bright red action figure. A lady who I think was his grandmother followed him, and gave me a polite smile. Of course, it could have just been the last person he'd tried to show the toy to. Maybe she hadn't been impressed, or maybe she thought *I* wouldn't be introduced to the beloved Ironman replica.

I've seen plenty of action figures over the years, and plenty of children (not many of them well-behaved) in supermarkets as well. But the happy combination of the two this morning made me smile, and it made the rest of my shopping much more enjoyable, knowing that not everyone was in a hurry or worried about the financial crisis....

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