When I was in Columbia, North Carolina last month, I stopped by a local grocery store to pick up some bottled water and some microwave popcorn. The store I found as I was on my way to supper the first night in town was a Piggly Wiggly. I had time, so I did a wide sweep around the store — through produce and in front of the meat counter — before landing in the beverages aisle. I like to see what you can learn about a community by it’s grocery store.
I got my water and popcorn (and Diet Coke, which got added to my list on impulse) and headed to the check out stand. The check-out woman asked me a question which I guessed was about having a Piggly Wiggly card (North Carolina is far more “south” than Florida and I wasn’t listening as well as I should have been when the conversation started).
I responded and then we exchanged the required nice talk before she said with a bit of a laugh, “You’re not from around these parts, are you?”
“No ma’am, I’m not.”
More giggles. “Have you ever even shopped in a Piggly Wiggly before?”
“No ma’am, I have not.”
The grin on her face made me think that she knew something that was amusing about this and that she also knew I apparently did not know what it was. I smiled, ignorant, but enjoying her amusement none the less.
She sent me out into the evening with a standard blessing to “have a good evening” and I was on my way.