The Grocery List

by Lubrican & Stormy Weather

Chapters : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6-20 Available On

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Foreword:

I got a very nice email from a reader named George one day, in which he said that he liked my writing so much that he'd probably be quite happy reading my grocery list.]

Now that's just ridiculous ... but it gave me an idea. I happen to be fortunate enough to be friends with another author, by the name of Stormy Weather, and sometimes we flirt a little. I told her what George had said and joked about what kind of grocery list I'd like her to write up, with me in mind. She, of course, being the more practical of the two of us, skated right over the innuendo and said we should explore this grocery list thing seriously.

* sigh *

So we decided to write a story together. This is what we came up with.

Bob

Cast:

Bob Randall, 28, slim, 5'9", 175 pounds, draftsman by trade. Wears glasses, has black shaggy hair, has no tattoos and is uncircumcised. His hobbies are bowling, model making and stained glass. At the time of this story he is concentrating on model making. Bob has never done anything he would characterize as either brave or very interesting. He is a virgin.

Dabney Eugene Randall, (deceased) Bob's grandfather and former beau of Grandma Sparks

Bandit (Bob's dog): Terrier mix, black and white, with a half black and half pink nose. Bandit is an ugly dog, all in all. He's male, not neutered, and humps legs and anything else he can rub against. He's smart, but stubborn. Bandit and his human are in a dysfunctional relationship.

Chris Bryant, 25, voluptuous, 5'9", 140 pounds, romance novelist, mousy-brown hair dyed blonde, hobbies are softball, and collecting post cards. She has been looking for her special man for years, and goes to some odd lengths in an effort to find him. She is a virgin.

Chris's Dad Dave Bryant. Married to Peggy. Raises Golden Retrievers. Has won many dog shows.

Chris's Mom Janey. Divorced Dave when Chris was 15. Owns bookstore with her sister Grace. Is in a May-December relationship with Mark Summers who is Chris's age.

Chris's older sisters - Lacey and Paula married with children. They are of the opinion Chris should be too.

Grandma Sparks, 85, 5'6", 105 pounds, widow, lives in the same house she and her husband bought fifty years ago.

Lady (Chris' dog) Female. Golden Retriever. A well-trained friendly dog. Is well behaved and has amazing instincts when it comes to people. Lady is one of those dogs who obviously understands English.

The men in Chris' life:
Evan - A genius with animals. Not so much with women.

James - Nancy Grayson's sister's boy who has the authority to give speeding tickets -- among other things.

Ed and the boys - A force to reckon with.

John - A new veterinarian in town who gets more than he bargained for.

Chapter One

Thursday afternoon, August 9th {Bob}

It was just a piece of paper, a white looking scrap, blowing across the parking lot as I closed the door of my car and got ready to go into the supermarket. I noticed it only because it was a blur of white movement across my field of vision. To this day I have no idea what possessed me to reach down and pick it up, when a gust of wind brought it to my toes and then died.

The paper lay there staring up at me.

It was a grocery list.

The line across the top caught my eye. It said "Regular Thursday Shopping Trip", as if whoever had written this had "other" shopping trips, and wanted to keep this one separate, for some reason.

I stared at it, bent over. It wasn't like any grocery list I had ever seen before. Maybe that's why I picked it up. Oh, it had the list of things on it, like any grocery list would. But it had extra writing on it too, tiny neat script, and it was the reading of that writing that changed my life.

The script was in flowing, feminine characters, neat, and precise ... easy to read, which suggested that the writer was careful and precise, and paid attention to detail. That someone would take the time to write so clearly, for such a transitory purpose as making a grocery list, told me she had a good mind and knew what she wanted.

Or maybe it was that extra writing that made it obvious she knew what she wanted.

"Ideas to get the attention of a single man" was neatly penned at the top, under the Thursday part, followed by a list. Behind each item, was a description of what she intended to do with the item ... and her single man.

Pizza with meats - to warm him up
Chicken Fried Steak - for in between the times he pleasures me
Sweet wine - to sip together
Olive Oil - for his massage, so I can lick him all over
Fresh Oysters - in case he likes them - also for me
Whipped Cream - to squirt on me, and have him lick it off
Fresh Strawberries - to have him pluck, with his teeth, from my pussy
Chocolate Sauce - for my breasts, and clit
Peanut Butter - for his prick
Black Olives - for me, just in case, after he cums in my mouth
Chocolate Cake with Frosting - to feed each other while we rest
Scented Candles - for ambiance
Lasagna - for our second date

There was a break, and another list. Only two of those items listed, the first two, had any additional information about the woman herself.

Spermacide - you are NOT on the pill, girl!
Topical Anesthetic - it hurts, the first time!
Bath Soap
Blond Hair Coloring Kit
Cheap Cotton Cloths
Napkins
Tampax
Red Licorice
SMALL bag of Ruffles
50# of dog food with additives for joints

Whoever she was, she was organized. Maybe too organized. Still, I was entranced. Such few words, on a scrap of paper, told me a lot about her.

She was a virgin, who was planning on losing that virginity with a stranger. She didn't know if he liked oysters, which meant she hadn't met him yet, or at least hadn't asked him if he liked oysters. She didn't like her current hair color, which seemed odd, because she definitely knew what she wanted out of the first time she had sex. She was young enough to still be menstruating, hence the Tampax, and her hymen was gone, for the same reason. She either knew, or suspected that semen would taste in such a way that she might want to replace that taste, but was obviously willing to taste it.

She was playful. At least she liked to play with food. She was pragmatic. She'd have to clean up during, or after her tryst, and chocolate stains good towels. Cheap cotton cloths could be tossed. She expected pain, but didn't want that to stop her from extended enjoyment. She obviously thought that a topical anesthetic might help with that. Everybody already has bath soap, which suggested she might tease him into the bath or shower with her. A new bar would be needed then. She indulged her own tastes -- that was probably the licorice and potato chips -- but she controlled her desires, which meant she was probably in pretty good shape. And, lastly, she had a dog, probably a big one, or at least one of the working breeds. They need the food with the additives for their hip joints, which she had reminded herself of on the list.

I held the list, and tried to picture her in my mind. I was a single man, and it wasn't at all hard to plug myself in to her list, at least in my mind.

I stuck the paper in my shirt pocket, behind my pocket protector, which was full of pens and pencils. I'm a draftsman. Pocket protectors weren't cool, but then, I wasn't all that cool either. That's probably why I was still a single man, at twenty-eight. I didn't care, though. I'd gotten used to my drab little life. I had my computer games, and a few TV shows I was addicted to, and my own dog, which I was as close to as I probably would be with a human. If I'd have chosen a dog, I'd have gotten a female, but this one chose me, showing up on my porch one day. It would be pretty difficult for a dog to wander into my neighborhood. We have a dog catcher who takes his job way too seriously. That meant somebody had dumped him. I understood why that had happened when I was exposed to some of his personality traits, but we got along okay most of the time. His only embarrassing habit was that he humped everything in sight. He still had his balls, and they worked fine.

I looked for this woman while I did my own shopping, but of course she could have been anybody. Besides, she'd probably dropped the list after she'd done her shopping, and was gone already. Still, I noticed when I passed some of the things on the list. I even bought some strawberries, which I hadn't planned to get. Then I headed for home.

Thursday afternoon, August 9th [Chris]

"Lady, I know you'll find this hard to believe, but I need a keeper."

The look Lady, my Golden Retriever, was giving me left no doubt she was having no trouble believing any such thing.

When you live alone you talk to lots of things, and by the time Dad, who raises and shows dogs, gave Lady to me for my birthday three years ago, I was giving the toaster advice on his relationship with the new electric can opener and asking him what he thought about my split ends. Of course, Lady doesn't make up for not having a man around, and all I get from her is a female perspective, but you work with what you have.

Besides, she knows more about me than anyone else in my life ... including those things no woman would tell a soul. With all the things she knows, she could blackmail me for the rest of my days ... if, of course, she could talk ... not to mention be inclined to be a vengeful bitch, which she isn't. Her disposition is so sweet she seems to always be smiling, which is just what she was doing from her favorite position ... the old cloth covered chair I'd found in Grandma's attic and placed in the corner of my kitchen just for her.

She winked at me and continued to survey the pile of pens, papers, spiral notebooks, tissues, loose change, individually wrapped peppermint candy, hand lotions, and a million other things that not more than ten minutes ago had been in the depths of my purse. It wasn't any ordinary purse. It was a denim bag my older sister Lacey made for me last Christmas. There were pockets of all sorts inside the deep, wide bag, which resembled a small suitcase. I tended to carry my whole life around with me wherever I went. If I couldn't leave home without it, it went inside my bag.

"You would think I'd be able to find one little grocery list in all that muck, wouldn't you?" I asked her as I glared at the stuff on the island in the center of my kitchen.

Swishing her tail, she glanced over at the grocery bags still loaded with canned goods on the counter by the pantry door. Items I'd just carried into the house. I usually shop on Thursdays, for myself. Then, on Friday evenings, I take Grandma Sparks (Mom's mother) shopping. That way I can pick up anything I forgot, and pay attention to her needs. Today was different, though. She called and was all excited because they were running a big sale. She'd told me all about the sale on Monday when she'd heard about it from her friend Nellie Maples, whose daughter is married to the manager of the supermarket. When there's a big sale I don't argue with her. I just make my list, like usual, and know that it will take longer, and that I'll always end up buying way more than I need because Grandma keeps saying, "You never know when you might have unexpected guests or when the market might crash."

In all the excitement of the afternoon, (Grandma losing her glasses, Grandma losing her shopping list, Grandma arguing with a lady over a bag of marshmallows ... they all looked the same to me, but Grandma wanted that particular bag and she'd touched it first) I somehow managed to lose the special list I'd made out just for this trip.

"I did get some of the things on it," I explained to my dog. "But I lost the list and I know I didn't get everything."

The list I was referring to was one I'd made after I read a book I found at the yard sale. It cost me a dime and was titled 101 Ways to Catch a Man and 25 Ways to Keep Him Hooked for Life. I looked at the dog.

"I should have taken my special book with me to the store, huh?"

Lady whimpered and placed her paws over her eyes. I giggled.

"Okay. Okay. So the idea of roller skating in the park didn't go so well. I still say if it hadn't been for that crazy poodle running out in front of me and causing me to land in the pond, I would have met the man destined to be my Prince Charming. Is it my fault the dreamy hunk who rescued me was with his wife?"

She barked once.

"There's just got to be at least one single toad out there waiting to be kissed and rescued from his life of dreary existence. And I probably missed mine today all because I didn't have my list and wasn't in the aisles at the right time to bump into him."

Lady whined.

"I know. But I couldn't shop without my list. I couldn't remember the order I placed the items in and according to the book, it's important to go by the order. It's all in the timing. And speaking of time, it's time for me to change clothes so we can go for our walk."

Thursday evening, August 9th {Bob}

When I got home and took the pocket protector out of my shirt pocket, the list fluttered to the floor. Bandit, my dog, was on it in a heartbeat, and I had to pry it out of his mouth.

"Stupid Dog," I said, roughing the fur on the back of his neck. "It's just paper. I know it has food listed on it, but it's only paper."

He wagged what was left of his tail at me. I'd never been able to tell whether the missing part had been intentionally removed, or was lost in some mishap. Knowing Bandit, though, mishap had the lead. When I turned around to put the list on the counter, he promptly jumped up and started humping my leg.

"Off!" I barked, and he got back down. He looked at me imploringly, like it was my job to get him a bitch to hump, or something. "Tough luck, buster," I said. "I'm working on something for me first. Then maybe we can find you a mate."

I fed Bandit, then got myself something to eat, and sat down to watch Wheel Of Fortune. Vanna was looking good, of course, in a flowing gown that made me want to be the wind blowing it around her body. For a fifty something year old woman, she was in damn good shape. Talk about a MILF!

I munched while I solved puzzles and didn't win anything for it.

I heard things clatter in the kitchen. Bandit was at it again. He was a scrawny thing, some kind of mix between a Terrier and a Boxer, and as ugly as Tammy Faye Baker in the bad years, but he had an endearing quality to him. When he showed up on my porch one January, shivering, I let him in. I hadn't thought I wanted a dog until he fell asleep laying against me. He never did gain a lot of weight.

He could jump, though, and he could jump really high, which meant that I had to keep the counters clean, or he'd be up there sniffing around and exploring what there was to eat. He ate like a goat ... anything he could get in his mouth.

I remembered the list, and dashed for the kitchen.

He stood there, on the counter, his tail between his legs, looking sad. His right front paw was on the list, and the cans of green beans and lima beans and black-eyed peas I'd gotten at the supermarket were lying on their sides, or on the floor.

"What are you doing?" I asked him.

He was smart. He knew exactly what I was talking about, and that he wasn't supposed to be up on the counter. His ears went up, and his tail untucked to wag twice, before it went back between his legs. He jumped down, and then sat, wagging his tail, waiting to be rewarded for doing the right thing ... getting down.

"Bed!" I said, in my "I'm not happy" voice.

He got up and walked to the pad I had in the corner of the living room for him. He lay down and ignored me, like he was pouting. I picked up the grocery list and took it back to the couch. On the way I glanced at the puzzle on display on the TV and solved it. The contestants took four more spins to get it. When they did, I realized I had been talking to them, telling them what losers they were.

That was rich. Here I was, standing in my living room, talking to the TV and my dog, holding a grocery shopping list, written by a woman I didn't know, but had spent all afternoon thinking about how to find.

And I called them losers.

I sat down.

Thursday evening, August 9th [Chris]

The walk we take each evening around the block would go much faster if Lady didn't have a fan club that requires us to stop at almost every house along the way for her to get her ears scratched, or her tummy rubbed, or her tail played with or a combination of all three. Her tail fans are a couple of toddlers who love to wrap their small hand around the long fluffy snake ... that's what they call it. Lady, understanding they don't know better, goes along with their game by lying down on all fours and placing her head on her paws, which encourages them to crawl all over her.

When we stopped for Doc Hinkle to flirt with the both of us, he invited us in for dinner and I accepted. In his seventies, he's been a widower for only a year, and everyone looks out for him ... especially a couple of the widow ladies from his church ... Cora Bates and Amy Jones. They both were doing their best to make the retired doctor their husband and, according to him, had done everything but a strip-tease, which he was expecting any day.

Cora, to my amusement, arrived for dinner a half-hour after Doc invited me to stay. The look on her face when she saw me tossing the salad would have knocked anyone else over dead, but having two older sisters has made me immune to drop-dead looks, and I smiled at her and made polite conversation, which she couldn't ignore. She was a lady, after all.

Doc was getting ready to go on a mission trip with a men's group to Ecuador, and we talked about that as we shared the baked chicken, green bean casserole and salad, which was followed by the apple pie Cora brought.

I figured out early on that Doc had wanted me there so he wouldn't be alone with her (I later learned she'd invited herself over for dinner that afternoon, ) so I hung around after the meal, earning me more shooting daggers from Cora's eyes. I almost laughed several times. She really was fit to be tied. And when she lost at Scrabble her evening was made complete and she announced she needed to be going.

When I didn't make a move to follow her, she gave me the look that's supposed to turn to me into burnt toast and I gave her another of my heart-warming smiles, which she had to return whether it killed her or not.

After her car was out of his drive-way and had turned the corner, Doc gave me a chaste kiss on the cheek, thanked me for rescuing him, and offered to give Lady and me a lift home, which I declined. Lady and I love summer evening walks.

As we made our way home, we discussed how nice it would be if Doc Hinkle was thirty rather than seventy-five. I have nothing against May and December romances. My own mother is involved in one of those. I just can't see myself on that stage. I want someone my own age to grow old and fall apart with at the same time I start to not be as young as I used to be.

When I walked into the kitchen I saw the light blinking on the answering machine located on a table beside my desk in the corner I've made into an office. There was a baseball game featuring Charlie Brown and Snoopy playing on my computer screen and I decided to change the saver while I was listening to my messages.

Unfortunately, none of them were from the toad I was seeking. Instead, I listened to Mom telling me she was in Paris. Her beau Mark Summers had asked her at the last minute to go with him on his business trip. She would be gone until Christmas. The next two messages were from my older sisters ... Lacey and Paula ... giving me the low down on our mother and questioning her sanity.

Most of their comments were the same things they'd been saying since Mom started dating Mark. That was at the first of the year when he'd joined the book club she'd started in The Bookmark, the used book store she and her best friend Grace had opened together ten years ago. I half-way listened to them, already able to quote just about every line. Their main concern is Mark being twenty-five years old, with which I personally see nothing wrong. Of course, I'm twenty-five, myself, and could be slightly prejudiced on that point. I'm also a romantic ... more so than my sisters ... and thought it was wonderful that Mom was having a great time with whomever she chose. Besides, Lady and I were looking forward to being bridesmaids.

The call from Lacey announced we would meet in the morning for breakfast at her house. I'd planned on hanging out at Home Depot, which my book assured me was crammed with gorgeous men with strong hands, and an interest in making the world more beautiful. They also offer classes on redecorating, where you can spend time with some of those men. But I'd have to put that off until another day. If I skipped a called meeting of The Sisters, I'd never hear the end of it.

The final message was from Dad asking me to visit him and Peggy at the farm for the weekend, which was strange because I was there last weekend. I usually make the two hour drive every other week to visit.

He and Mom divorced when I was fifteen and he moved to the country where he could raise his dogs. He met Peggy at one of the dog shows and they got married three months later. They had been together six years, now.

The whole affair gave my sisters vapors. When I pointed out that she was Lacey's age ... twenty-eight at the time ... it went over like a cow in a china shop and they refused to speak to me for a couple of weeks. They couldn't grasp why their full grown father wanted to marry a woman young enough to be his daughter. I'm sure they would have held out longer, but Grandma read them the riot act when she discovered they were ignoring me. I was their baby sister and it was their duty to look out for me and they'd better straighten up and fly right or they would not get the sets of China she was saving for them. She threatened to sell the damn stuff and go on a cruise with a male-stripper young enough to be her grandson. Then, she said calmly, they'd by golly really have something to bitch about.

She'd also pointed out that Dad was old enough to do as he pleased, and his choices were none of their damned business as long as he wasn't doing something harmful or illegal. Oddly enough, she doesn't hold the same opinion when it comes to Mom and Mark. She thinks Mom is just being damned silly. Of course, Mom's her daughter and I guess that makes a difference. Then, again, it could also be that Mom changes boyfriends the same way she buys a new car every year. I'm holding out for things to work with Mark. He's the nicest man she's been with since Dad.

"I bet there's a man Daddy wants me to meet," I said to Lady who was sitting at my feet wagging her tail the way she always does when she hears Dad's voice on the machine.

She gave a short yip.

"Yeah, I know. A beggar shouldn't be choosy. But the last guy he introduced me to turned out to be a bug nut. You should have seen all those dead bugs in collections all over house. Not to mention watching his homemade documentary on newts."

She barked, twice this time.

"Of course, I'm going. I'll give him a call before I get in bed. Right now I want to focus and see if I can make another copy of that grocery list I lost. I had everything so perfect. I just have to give it another shot."

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