23 March 2011

Valley of the Kings

A mummy in the making, covered in balm and bandages and - having just narrowly escaped the ravages of putrefaction - now awaiting a nice sarcophagus, stared blankly at David.

"It's a fricking mummy," he said aloud.  Those were his exact thoughts, in fact.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Honestly, what else do you expect someone to think when he comes face to face with an ancient Egyptian mummy in the making?  More to the point, what does one expect a person to think when he happens upon a workplace for mummification in the ancient Egyptian manner...and happens upon it in the canned goods aisle of a large Midwestern grocery store?  Sure enough, there between the early peas and the button mushroom caps was a priest of Ibis or some or another Egyptian god, cleaning off his braining spoon and about to prepare a mixture of salt and some other naturally-occurring dessicant.

The Egyptian priest turned and looked at David.  "Can I help you?" he asked.

"Ummmm...I was...looking for the..."

"Brain spoon...?" offered the Egyptian priest.

"No," replied David, "I just need some artichoke hearts."

The Egyptian priest moved aside some clay jars and a flask of some aromatic ointment.  David knew it was aromatic ointment because of the label: "Aromatic Ointment" it read, the words scribbled onto a piece of white athletic tape, presumably with a black Sharpie.  The priest reached back behind a few more jars, some perhaps containing hearts of a sort other than those found in artichokes.

"Here you go," said the Egyptian priest.  "Green Giant.  Good enough?"

"Uh huh," replied David, rather in a daze.

"Good to go.  Is there anything else I can help you find?"

"No, " said David.  "Thank you."  He ambled down the aisle, heading toward either the pickled herring, the pomegranate juice or the frozen pizza.  He could not quite remember what other items he had come here for.

The clinking of a metal spoon mixing dessicant powder in a pottery bowl echoed down the canned goods aisle, competing in volume with the sound of the priest's assistant sloshing something back and forth.

David turned the corner just as "Don't Stand So Close to Me" came over the sound system in the store.  A stocker dropped a case of Fruity Pebbles from an hydraulic lift and cursed. David decided that he would go into the office a little later tomorrow morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment