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Ron Karcz

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Sugar Snaps
By Ron Karcz
Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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A Tony Costa adventure that begins in the produce department of his favorite supermarket.

Sugar Snaps


Ron Karcz


            Tony Costa had just shut his computer down after searching a couple of online dating sites for a Net Nymph who could possibly be his next ex-Ms. Right.  He had also found a recipe online for what he thought would be an awesome potato salad.  Usually he’d print a recipe out and never use it but this time his mouth was watering for this particular dish.

            Tony made a list of things he needed, quickly grabbed his car keys and made a bee-line for his neighborhood Publix Market that was just up the street.

            He gingerly walked inside the store, grabbed a shopping cart, stopped at the lottery counter and bought two tickets then quickly headed for the produce section of store.

            Costa loved shopping at Publix.  The stores are always clean.  They have a lot of two-for-one items on sale all the time and most of their employees are very friendly except for a one time encounter with a “Greenie” cashier who didn’t like it because Tony wouldn’t buy a green cloth shopping bag.  She went into a rant about the plastic bags Tony had requested and how they endangered the health of her children.  She hasn’t been seen since the episode.  Maybe the Sopranos got her?

            When he reached the produce section he grabbed a bag of Baby Red Skinned potatoes, a couple of Bell Peppers, a Spanish Red Onion, a bag of Celery Hearts and started looking for Sugar Snap Peas.  Tony passed up and down the refrigerated fresh produce bins twice when he noticed a rather nice looking woman in her 50’s talking to herself as she looked at her package of summer squash.  My kind of girl, he thought.

            “Aren’t these prices disgusting?” Tony asked as he approached her.

            “Yes they are,” she responded.  “As a matter of fact, they piss me off!”

            “I know how you feel,” Tony responded as he checked her out, further thinking, She looks to be about 5’5”, 115 pounds, nice legs and looks to be about a 1.7 on the Tony Costa Fox-E-Meter Scale. 

            For those of you who don’t understand what the Tony Costa Fox-E-Meter Scale is, it’s very simple.  A number is derived by dividing a person’s weight by their height in inches.  A 1.6 to a 2.0 was Tony’s desired number.  A 1.7 is awesome!

            “Are you from around here?” she asked.

            “Yes.  I live about a mile from here,” Tony casually replied.

            “My name is Beth.  Beth Granger.  I just moved down here from Delaware.  And you are…” she said extending her hand.

            “Tony.  Tony Costa,” Tony answered somewhat surprised as he extended his hand. “Glad to know you, Beth.”

            Beth Granger had a great handshake…firm and comfortable.

            Beth and Tony talked for about a half hour in the ambience of the beautiful Publix Produce Department.  Tony explained what he was doing there and that he couldn’t find the Sugar Snap Peas.  Beth walked right to the peas that Tony had walked past twice.

            “Well, I’ll be damned,” Tony said.  “I wonder how I missed them, twice.”

            Beth smiled and winked, “Maybe it’s old age, Tony.”

            They talked a little while longer then Tony gave her his business card and told her to call anytime.  It was magical…so to speak.

            On the way home Tony thought to himself, Well, now isn’t this just special?  I actually met a woman in the produce section of a supermarket.  I can’t believe it.  Who needs online dating sites?

            Two days later, Tony got home from his daily trip to the dog park with his dogs.  He had forgotten to take his cell phone with him so he immediately checked for messages he might have.  There was no message but there was a missed call from a number with an area code he didn’t recognize.  He searched the area code online and found it was a Wilmington, Delaware area code.

            Now who the hell do I know there, he thought?

            Then the light came on. 

            I’ll be damned!  I’ll bet it’s that gal, Beth that I met in the produce department at Publix.  I wonder why she didn’t leave a message.

             It wouldn’t be long before that question was answered, as his phone started ringing. He looked at the caller I.D. and picked up.

            “I know who this,” he greeted the caller. “This is my new friend, Beth.”

            “Now how did you know that?” she asked.

            “Your area code,” Tony replied.   “You’re the only person I know from Delaware.”

            “That’s pretty good, old fella,” she jokingly said.

            “So, what’s on your mind?” Tony asked.

            “I was calling to see how your recipe turned out and to see if you had any left,” she answered.

            Costa responded with a chuckle, “Well, the recipe said it would feed ten people and if it was for only two people it would be great leftovers for a week.  It was great!”

            “Was,” she asked in a witty tone?

            “Yup.  I finished it the next day.  It was awesome!  I’m going to make it again sometime,” Tony responded excitedly.

            “I was calling to ask if you’d share some.  I can’t believe you ate it all, you pig,” she jokingly replied with a laugh.

            Don’t you dare,” a little voice in Tony’s head said harshly.  “You’re going to invite her over and try to boink her.  You are such a dog!”

            “Shut up and go back to sleep,” Costa quickly responded.

            “Hey, it’s no big deal.  You can come over and we’ll go get the ‘makin’s’ and do it over again.  It only takes about thirty minutes to do.  We can burn some Brats on the grille and have tater salad.”

            “That would be great,” Beth said.  “Just tell me how to get there and I’ll be on my way.”

            Tony gave directions to his house.  Beth only lived a short distance away.

            As he hung up the little voice started again. 

            “You are unconscionable, Tony Costa. You’re like watching the spider and the fly. When are you going to lose all those ‘urges’ your body has stored up in that geriatric frame of yours?  Huh, when?”

            Tony laughed out loud and said, “You’re going to have to ask someone a hell of a lot older than me that question, you nut case!”

            About fifteen minutes later, Tony’s door bell rang.  He opened the door with a smile and said, “Well hi there.”

             Beth quickly entered.  As he closed the door and turned towards her she wrapped her arms around him and planted a nice kiss on his lips.

            “This is going to be such fun,” she said.  “I can’t believe it.  I’ve never done anything quite like this.”

            The little voice in Tony’s head went off again.

            “Oh, brother!  It sounds like another third rate romance to me.  It’s all over but the screaming and the moaning now.”

            It’s safe to say that Tony’s mind was making dates his body couldn’t keep, but that’s okay.  A good time was had and all because of the simple, incredible, edible, Sugar Snaps.


       Web Site: Sugar Snaps

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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 7/20/2009
enjoyed the read

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