April 9, 2015

I shop at Aldi—you got a problem with that? Yes, it can take twenty minutes to find that one box of strawberries that might be perfect, and you might bump elbows with some fierce fruit lovers in the process. Aldi shoppers are much more aggressive than are Schnucks shoppers. Schnucks shoppers wear fine gowns and suits and have valets roll their carts for them.

This morning at Aldi, I rooted around for strawberries (slide the top box over and reveal the unmolested box below where the strawberries haven’t been mangled yet) and bananas and a pineapple and some other stuff.

And I hear singing.

I step around to the far aisle, and there is a cute African American woman of thirty-something and her two kids, a boy and a girl sitting in their shopping cart. And they are singing a broccoli song: “Point, point, point-point-point, point that broccoli/Point, point, point-point-point, we love our broccoli!”

Whereupon Mom reaches in the freezer and pulls out a couple of bags of frozen broccoli and pops them into her cart, and the kids are singing like they’re watching Elmo on “Sesame Street,” I mean they are happy, and Mom starts the “point, point” song again and does a 360 dance move. And sees me.

“Oh-oh,” the smiling woman says, rearranging her luxuriant curly hair, “you think I have lost my mind.”

“Not at all,” I say. “I just wish I had known that method when I had little girls that would not eat broccoli. Amazing.”

“We love broccoli, Mister,” the tiny, girl says.

“It works. Turn any problem into a song,” Mom tells me. “Sing it and dance with them.”

Turn any problem into a song. Hear that, Hillary Clinton and “Latino Jeb” Bush (he listed himself as Puerto Rican on his voter registration card), and the boobs at Fox News?

Young parents: Imagine a pooping song, where you dance and sing along. Report back to me.

Be happy. And eat your broccoli.

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: eugenebaldwin.com. I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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