Flash Fiction

26 November: I (Don\’t) Got Jokes

I had a few items in my shopping cart. I didn\’t recognize the two young men at the register — the cashier or the bagger. They quietly joked about something, smiling as they mumbled to one another while I put my things on the conveyor. As it was just after the Thanksgiving holiday, the \’regulars\’ were not working; I only saw one familiar worker as I traversed the market from end to end. Lucky her …After the cashier asked me the required questions (\’Did you find everything you needed today?\’ and \’Do you have your discount card or number?\’ and \’Do you need a bag?\’), my total came to $19.87. I blurted, \’It was a very good year\’, shaking my head at my own wit. I am sure Frank Sinatra would have smacked me for it since I am sure that joke comes round more than he would have appreciated.The cashier replied, \’I don\’t know. I wasn\’t born until 1997\’.I tried not to look as mortified as I felt as I said, \’Oh, you are just a baby!\’ He and his friend who was bagging my few groceries proceeded to mumble to one another again, just below the level of my hearing, about being babies.I tried to make light of it by saying that my son was born in 1995 to make light of the whole thing, but I felt every second of my years as I thanked them and left.Guess I don\’t got jokes.

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