A World Without Bean Sprouts

I was going to have a picnic in the park across from my apartment, and one of the dishes I decided to make was ginger noodle salad, which called for bean sprouts. I therefore went to the local grocery store for this and other ingredients.

When I went to the vegetable section, however, I had trouble finding the bean sprouts. There are two or three areas where you can pretty much expect to find them, but they just weren't there, nor were there any signs I could see saying where they might be.

Finally I caught the attention of a passing store employee and asked him where the bean sprouts were. He stood for a moment in thought, then nodded and took me over to one of the bins. He pointed to the radishes, said "There they are," and started walking away.

"Um, those are radishes," I said.

"Wait, what did you want?" he responded.

"Bean sprouts," I said.

"Oh, I thought you said radishes," he said.

He then took me over to a nearby section and started to point to the beets, but caught himself just in time. "Wait, those are beets," he said. "Let me think."

He thought about the problem for a minute or two, then started off with renewed purpose. He took me to a third section of the vegetable section, pointed me to the brussels sprouts, and started off. "Those are brussels sprouts," I said.

He looked at them again and said something like, "Brussels sprouts--I thought that's what you wanted. What did you want again?" "Bean sprouts," I replied. He thought this over for a little while, then announced that he'd have to go out back to see if they knew where they were. He then took off.

This whole experience seemed slightly surreal to me; it was like I was in one of those alternative universes where bean sprouts had never existed. I was by no means certain that my guide to this universe would ever return. But finally he did, and he informed me that the bean sprouts were supposed to be delivered that morning but hadn't been, so they were out. I thanked him and continued my shopping.

As a result of this experience, there is now an inextricable link in my mind between bean sprouts and radishes.


This was something random written by Jacob Haller. To see another random thing, click here. To get a permanent link to this particular random thing, click here.


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