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Friday February 22, 2002, 13:33

While I might be too young to drive a rental car from Hertz, I am apparently young enough to be an authority on hummus.

This morning passed as follows: out of the apartment, down the street to the bank (stopping along the way to take some photographs and gawk at the tour group of students and parents wandering around the campus that I happen to live next to), then up through the park to the grocery store for milk. I wanted cereal, you see, and decided to put in the extra effort and go all out on the morning expedition. My ass had been getting a bit sore from all the sitting that it had been doing.

While at the store and while additionally quite hungry, I decided that I would invest in that staple of single living: hummus and pita. And, seeing as I was attending to the shopping in the middle of the afternoon, they had just re-stocked their tiny selection of hummus and I managed to pick up containers of both garlic and roasted pepper flavors. Well, with my goods in hand, I made my way to the checkout line where the old woman in front of me graciously shooed me ahead of her.

"I only hope that someday someone does the same for me," she said, and smiled.

I smiled back, slightly embarrassed at charging my $10 worth of groceries. The old woman looked at my purchases and looked up at me and gestured down at her own pile of food.

"You're young," she said. "What do you know about this hummus?"

I knew nothing, and stated as such, but motioned over to the dairy aisle and told her about the abundance of hummus that could be found there. Garlic, she told me, was too strong for her, but she was quite pleased when I told her that they had it in original flavor as well.

"Right there," and I pointed to my own container. "It will say 'original' right there."

"Well!" she said, quite pleased with this new information. She thanked me, headed back out of the checkout line and back over to the dairy aisle.

I, having done my good deed for the day, returned home to a nice tall bowl of Cheerios.

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