full moon sunday.

Although my recent trip was filled with adventure, last Sunday I was reminded that you don't have to go far to have an adventure.

It started out simply enough.

Mom had mentioned something about gin & tonics and I thought, I haven't had one of those in forever. Since I'm trying to build an "adult" bar cart, I thought this week would be the perfect time to try some gin & tonics. So on Saturday, I bought the gin.

But I forgot the tonic.

Sunday after church I stopped by my local Wegman's to pick up the much-needed tonic water.

Weggies was its usual Sunday-afternoon madness. If you've never been to a Wegman's on the weekend, know this: it's not a fun experience. It's an overwhelming, maddening one. You can hardly navigate the aisles. The register lines are 10 people deep, even with all 15 lanes open and cashiers going as fast as they can.

I mentally girded myself and walked into Wegman's at the height of the chaos. After snagging a miniature potted rose for $3 (!!!), I wove my way back to the aisle with water and soda.

And that's when I noticed something a little strange.

People were just standing there. In the middle of the aisle. People don't stand in the walkway in between aisles. They move at top speed. But they were just standing. Staring.

But then it got even stranger. As I got closer I heard raised voices.

Standing directly in front of the tonic water were three men mere seconds away from getting in a fist fight. Well, two men and one teenage boy.

Now I have to take a minute and warn some of you: the language is about to get rough but I can't edit and do this story justice so those opposed to four letter words should turn back now.


All 3 of these men were screaming at each other. They were turning red in the face and screaming.

I don't like to rubberneck. It makes me feel uncomfortable. Mostly I worry that I'll get caught and somehow pulled into the wreck. But on this particular Sunday I had no choice. They were standing directly in front of the tonic water. They weren't down the aisle a little bit. There was no way to get a bottle of tonic water without stepping directly between them. And since tonic water was the only thing I came to get, I was somewhat out of options. I really didn't want to drive somewhere else so I stood there, holding my little rose in both hands.

I couldn't really understand what they were screaming at each other. But I could understand every other word. And every other word was a variation on a certain four letter word that begins with an f & ends with a k (although they were frequently adding -ing after the k).

Finally the two older men began to separate. As one of them walked away, the teenage boy followed him. You know how when they're arguing, some men will push their chests out and fling their arms back behind them like a gorilla?? Well this kid was doing that while getting mere inches away from the other older man and shouting "hey fuck you man!" repeatedly.

This nonsense in turn prompted the older man to turn around, look at the teenager's father and repeatedly shout "that's a real nice kid you've got there! Real fucking nice kid!".

Finally the dad started acting like, well, a dad and told the teenager to back off before they got kicked out.

With the threat of fisticuffs gone, I grabbed my tonic water and ran for the register as quickly as I could without actually running.

On my way there, I wound up walking behind a manager, cop, and store employee. The cop & the manager were asking the employee "is that the guy?" while pointing at every man that appeared to be in his 50's.

The employee said something and then trotted off, leaving the cop and manager to wander the registers alone. I was beelining for the express lane since I only had 2 items and the line was super short and they were moving in the same direction, roughly 10 feet in front of me.

That's when I spotted them.

The teenager and his father were standing in line, roughly three registers away. I was on the brink of tapping the manager on the shoulder & pointing them out when they spotted the cop & manager.

And immediately began to defend themselves, both talking animatedly at the exact same moment about how the other guy had started it. Honestly they were hard to follow since they were both talking at full speed over each other. From what I could tell though, the other guy was bumping into people with his cart and the teenager was just defending his father.

Based on what I saw, I didn't buy it for a second. And apparently the cop wasn't that impressed either. They were asked to step out of line and wait while the other party was located.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to hear the end of the conversation.

But that didn't mean that the day had gotten any more normal.

Across the parking lot from my apartment is a tiny little cemetery. There are maybe 10 headstones, dating back to the 1800's.

On this particular Sunday, the gate to the cemetery was wide open and there were people milling about the tombstones.

There were also people standing in the middle of the parking lot. These people were actually older men. Wearing kilts.

The kilt-wearing gentlemen were winding up some flags while others milled around some folding tables in the grass behind some of the cars with bagpipes.

There were no signs, no indication as to who these people were or why they were here. An hour or so later I heard bagpipe music drifting up to my apartment.

It was, in all, a Sunday of mysteries. What caused the fight? What happened to the fighters? Who were those men in the cemetery? Why were they in kilts?

I may never know the answers to those questions.

But I do know this: life in a quiet Maryland suburb isn't always quiet.

Thank God for that.

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