I wish to report a hoarder. And a hero

This has to do with my favorite yoghurt. I’ve named it before in these pages. I will not name it again because of that hoarder.

I buy my yoghurt at Fairway. Two weeks ago (my computer breakdown elided my life for quite a while), I approached the very long shelves where dairy produce is kept. But something wasn’t right. The area where I always find my yoghurt was…empty. A three-foot square hole, in effect.

Around that empty area were multitudes of yoghurts. But not mine. I froze in front of the place where my yoghurt should have been.

A funny little thing about me is I am often asked if I need some help, probably because I wander around thinking about what to buy, what I’ll cook, what I need to do. I don’t know what I look like when I’m offered help, but I’m always amused. “Thank you,” I always say, smiling, “I don’t need help but it seems I always look as if I need help.” Occasionally, if a birthright reference seems appropriate, I’ll add that I was born in New York City and have lived here for most of my life.

So, as I stood helpless and bewildered in front of the yoghurt shelves, I barely noticed a voice behind me. “Can I help you?” The second time he asked the question, saying, “Is there something you’re looking for that you can’t find?” I turned around. It was a young man wearing a Fairway shirt who’d been occupied with crates of produce he was working on.

I told him what the problem was. He said, “I think I can make your day.” I was so grateful I promised him I wouldn’t whine or cry. He said he had a secret stash and went off to the stash.

I stood in place, waiting for him. It took a while but I will wait, well, not forever, but a long time for that yoghurt. He returned with a crate full of the yoghurt. He apologized because the yoghurt he’d found was 2% milkfat rather than the 10% milkfat I adore, to hell with my cholesterol level. I took that 2% and thanked him so much, I almost embarrassed myself. (I believe I called him “saviour,” maybe even “genius.” Like that.)

I wondered why there was no 10%. He said some guy had come in and had bought a crate full of the 10%. Why? I asked, with a touch of venom. My friend wasn’t sure of the why but said he thought this guy had gotten a tip about when the yoghurt was delivered and showed up to buy the whole delivery.

A yoghurt hoarder with selfishness and sneakiness as character flaws. What kind of a man does that?

A few days ago, I went to Fairway and there was my 10% milkfat. I did not buy a crate; I bought one quart.

P.S. While scrolling down my categories list, I saw “Culture.” And that’s what I’m calling it.

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