Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Couple of Words to Change the World

The holstered tazer hung no more than two feet in front of Sam's eyes. A revolver was strapped on the opposite hip; the radio with its selector set on channel three separated the two weapons on the wide black belt of the thirty-something RCMP officer waiting stoically ahead of us in line at the 7-11. I was vaguely aware that the line wasn't moving, my attention and thoughts drawn more to the coolness of the air conditioned store as we held our sweating slurpee's in hand. Evangeline began to suck her icy grape/orange concoction into her mouth. There was a lady with a small girl at the cashier that was causing some sort of complication and I could sense impatience setting into the stagnated line. My gaze dropped back to the well armed officer in front of me.

The sleeve of his shirt was stretched taut where his bulging arm emerged. It was a large arm. Large and colorful. A tatooed fish curved around his forearm and lept up over his elbow. Many designs covered what little bare skin was available; two words in plain black ink caught my eye on the inside of his forearm. My attention shifted back to the lady that was now over by the ATM machine in the corner of the store and I noticed her staring incredulously at her receipt.

“I like the two words on your arm,” I commented to the officer.

The line was moving now.

The officer placed his three small bags of candy beside the conspicous pile of goods left on the counter. I barely made out his words as his arm made a vague sweeping motion over all the items. 

“I'll get this too.”

“That's $34.20,” the cashier informed him as he inserted his chip card into the keypad and punched in his passcode.

We placed our selection of slurpee's on the counter just as the lady with the small girl reappeared.  The cashier, scooping the pile in her hands, pushed it towards her.

 “Your items have been paid for.”

“What?” the lady enquired.

“Your items. They're all paid for.”

"That's right!” I said. “The man ahead of me just paid for them!”

“How? How can they be paid for?” she stammered.

“Officer White just paid for your things.” the cashier stated flatly. “They're paid for.”

“That's amazing!” the overwhelmed lady commented as she gathered her things. “I'll have to thank him for this. The bank machine was broken. This is just amazing.”

I left the 7-11 feeling euphoric with hope surging in my soul. Sometimes you witness something so profound you can't help but love the people around you.

“What did you say to that RCMP officer in the store?” Sam inquired.

“He had tattooed 'Grace and Mercy' on his arm. I told him I liked that,” I replied.

Grace and Mercy.

Pretty good words to live by.

Thank you Officer White.

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