Signs and Portents at the Grocery Store

There's a photo a few posts down of frozen peas. They're located in the cold section of the store that's down the street from Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue here in Los Angeles.

Those particular frozen foodstuffs figure in "Redwoodian" (most people fall in love adjacent to them, per Fair Finley).

The lovely Bess, in the comments, referred to the peas as being on Aisle Six in the book (they're on Aisle Eleven). No biggie. It's a small detail, and if you've read the books, you know they're forearm-deep in small details. I'm forever going back and forth to make sure the minutia matches up.

(My brain? She's full during the writing of a book, a bursting purse with too many zippered pockets.)

So. Then and there I decided that Bess must know that there is something wonderful and Wilfair-related on Aisle Six of this store. And possibly a sign for her future, as well. So I vowed to do the footwork when I returned for zucchini and blue cheese today.

So here's what's on Aisle Six of the grocery store nearest to The Wilfair Hotel. It's mostly wine and greeting cards, two things that aim to delight people, so there you have it, Bess. I hope the desire to delight people is a Wilfairian quality; I know it is a Bessly quality, because you delight me.

(Who else needs a sign from the Overboves' local market? Pick an aisle and I'll publish your special photo here. Serious. You know my love for cheerful tomfoolery, so sending me into a market to search out personal portents, not to mention Wilfair references, is like my dream errand.)

Here are the Wilfair things (and one go-get-'em portent for Bess) found on Aisle Six:

There was also this guy. He doesn't look like any of the guys in the books but I'm powerless not to include him. Intensity! The holding of a rope! On a ship? HAIR! (I mock him not. I am happy to live in a world with this greeting card. More greeting cards should embrace the gusto and the tongue-in-cheek.)

And now an important sign for Bess. This is actually the largest sign on Aisle Six, so clearly it was meant for you. I do believe you will "make their head spin" this year, Bess! You are sure to knock some socks off and wow those needing to be wowed. I know it.


Caitlin said...

Okay, I'll bite, since I also goofed on the reference in a comment and thought it was aisle seven. I'm probably going to regret this and get something inauspicious like toilet paper and trash bags...

Wilfair Book said...

Caitlin? You're on.

Erika said...

Oooohhh.... Aisle 9?

Wilfair Book said...

Done, Erika. I'll turn these out in order. I cannot wait to see what's on your aisle!

Also, I hope no store employee asks me what I'm up to, with the picture-taking, because explaining Aisle Eleven, and the Wilfair world, on the spot, and how it ties into grocery store-based signs and portents for Wilfair readers, may even tax my talky capacities.

(By the by, I'm a former speech-and-debater who competed in impromptu and extemporaneous speaking. So I actually do kind of love to talk at the drop of a hat on nearly any topic. Any other speech and debate people out there? Represent?)

Kelly said...

Just the words impromptu speaking are enough to make me shudder, since they are the backdrop for one of my most embarrassing high school memories (or would be middle school I guess for most of you? I was 13 anyway).

I was put forward for a interform competition since I love debate, and generally enjoy talking about pretty much any topic for an indefinite amount of time. I wasn't worried at all, I though it was a great excuse to miss my afternoon lessons, but something about the pressure of being up on a big stage with lots of people watching got to me, and when the topic "Shopping" was announced I went completely blank and did literally nothing except repeat the word shopping for a full 30 seconds before running off the stage, tripping over as I went!

So looking back now it was pretty funny and not that important, but at the time I very dramatically locked myself in a toilet and refused to come out for 15 minutes because of all the burning shame!

Anyways, mildly traumatising teenage memory diversion aside, what I came her to say was Aisle 3 please!

Wilfair Book said...

Kelly! What a story. I want to hug you and make it all better for your 13yo self.

I give you a blue ribbon today for even *getting* up on the stage at that age.

My first speech competition was harrowing. I was 14 and my extemp topic was the Iran-Contra affair and my impromptu topic was how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The breadth between those two matters was challenging for me to grasp. As Monty Overbove might say, it made my brain hurt with the thinking.

Aisle 3 it is!

I should also note that I think there are like eighteen aisles in all, or maybe twenty. I will check next time I'm there, slyly snapping photos of sausage patties and buttermilk.

Wilfair Book said...

Wait. "Harrowing" is an extreme word. I think "sweat-inducing" might be more accurate.

I get damp-palmed now every time I reach for a jar of peanut butter.

Erika said...

Public speaking is very difficult but some people do it with such aplomb that we don't think about how traumatizing it can be. *shudder*

I was 14 when I was doing a report for history class, just 30 people but who boy was I nervous! I tracked back and forth without meeting anyone's eyes... Lots of foreheads. It was very robotic. Luckily my history teacher was standing behind me and took my partial spins as a great technique. Haha! Sweating bullets. Now I remove my glasses when I have to speak in public. It helps me not to be able to see anything but human colored blobs.

If you get caught please recount the story!

bess said...

What an excellent portent! I'm going to have to work hard to live up to it but it's a good goal. Late New Year's resolution: Do something to make someone's head spin. Thank you for the scouting and fortune telling, Alysia!

wealhtheow said...

When I was in first grade every kid got an award. I got an award for "talking." Even at that tender age I could tell it was a BS award. I mean, my teacher had spent the entire year telling me to STOP talking, and now suddenly I get an award for it? She might as well have said "I have nothing else nice to say about you, kid, you're a total PITA." Le sigh.

Public talking doesn't bother me at all, but making small talk is just the worst. I hate that stage of "friend-dating," and wish we could just jump into profanity and hilarity and margaritas.

wealhtheow said...

Also, a challenge: Aisle 2.

Wilfair Book said...

Erika: I like picturing you doing partial spins. (I can do that, now that we've met in person for realz!) That is actually an actual speech and debate tip -- have a movement or two so you're not perfectly still and unanimated. Something I completely forgot during my first, oh, half dozen tourneys.

bess: You are welcome. I will be happy to read your fortunes at the Farmers Market fruit stand next. Say the word.

wealhtheow: FRIEND-DATING. I love this term. If you ever actually tell me that you're snapping your pic at Wil/Fair, and I come down and LOSE MY BANANAS, I vow we'll skip pretty quickly to the profanity-hilarity portion of the proceedings. (The margaritas can be procured at the museum's bar down the street.)

Kelly said...

wealhtheow my school also did the every kid gets an award thing, and mine was for smiling! There are worse awards to win I guess, but given that almost everyone else's awards were for academic achievements, I was a bit suspicious of mine!

Friend-dating is a great term! I always try to just go straight to the margaritas, and then the profanity-hilarity stage is generally not far behind!

Alysia wow, topics don't come much more varied than the Iran-Contra affair and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! The different modes required for talking about those two things would definitely have made my head spin.

Jamila said...

I want the last aisle, whatever number it is. I'm intrigued by last aisles. Do they stock them with must-have items so that people HAVE to traverse the entire store from beginning to end? Or is it reserved for the weird sundries that people really have to seek out? What's the strategy here? What am I missing out if I decide to check out right after the frozen goods?

I was on the Speech team in high school, but I loathed the debate portion. Please, I'm a Libra, I don't do discord. My specialty was along the Reading of Dramatic Poetry lines. You should've heard me belt out The Congo. (I was heavily influenced by Dead Poets Society, obvs.)

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