The subject of this story will remain anonymous. He gave me permission to share it but I promised to protect the innocent. This occurrence took place several years ago and we are now both retired, but I suspect this story is still being told back in our old staff-room.
My friend was heading into town to run some errands. His wife asked him to stop by the grocery store to pick up a number of things. The list included several seafood items including salmon, scallops, haddock and clams. He happily agreed.
As he was making his way down the list he found himself in front of the fish counter. He found all the items listed except for one. He decided to ask the man behind the counter.
“Excuse me, but do you have goldfish?”
“Goldfish? Are you sure it’s goldfish you are looking for?”
“Yeah, that’s what is says here – salmon, scallops, haddock, clams, goldfish”, my friend replied pointing to his list.
“What are you going to do with goldfish?”
“I don’t know. My wife said to pick some up. She must be making a chowder or something. I know it seems a bit different but maybe she wants to add some colour.”
The grocer hesitated, scratched his head and said , “I think we should ask the manager of this department. Maybe he knows what you are looking for.”
After being paged, the manager arrived. My friend explained the dilemma and showed the manager his list. The manager looked at the list. He looked at my friend. My friend was unsure as to how to interpret the look on the manager’s face.
The manager said, “Come with me.”
My friend followed him through store. He stopped part way down one of the aisles, reached up and pulled down a box of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers.
“Do you suppose this is what she meant?”
My buddy realized that that was exactly what she meant. They had a toddler at home who loved eating “goldfish” as a snack.
When my former colleague arrived home, he explained what had happened. He asked his wife to be a bit more specific in the future and to be careful with her free association lists. After his wife picked herself up off the floor and stopped laughing, she promised she would try to do this in the future.
Now some people would keep such a mistake to themselves. The fact that my friend shared it is testimony to his sense of humour.
It is also one of those stories that you never get tired of hearing.
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