It was an ending that (preternaturally gifted) local grocery store customer Tim McClutch says was never in any doubt.
“You practice all of your life for these moments,” the consummate shopper said, as he methodically bagged his groceries after successfully choosing the fastest line at his local No Frills, sending him triumphantly on his way to yet another championship walk through the parking lot to his car.
“I saw Susie was on checkout number 2, and knowing that she’s been here for years and has all the codes memorized, I held my line, even though they had a zone trap set up in her lane in the form of a person using multiple expired coupons, and a guy who suddenly remembered he needed artichokes.”
It was a dramatic ending, as a teenager picking up a bag of chips and a gatorade threatened to blow past the veteran McClutch by utilizing a self-service kiosk – a recent addition to the game that most shopping purists despise. But when the bar code on the kid’s drink wouldn’t scan, it became clear to the zero people watching that Tim was going to emerge the winner of this round of “Winning Effectively-Meaningless Things.”
McClutch agreed that having seen Toronto Raptor’s star Kawhi Leonard drain the NBA’s first Game 7 winning buzzer beater last night, advancing his team to the conference finals, served as inspiration for Tim’s own superhuman achievement – occurring as it did under similarly super-pressurized circumstances, and the witheringly bright lights of a not-at-all watching world.
“I gave Kawhi a call after the game last night just to see how he was feeling. And by call I mean I looked at the TV and thought about how much like him I am, what with my having moved neighbourhoods last year, and a lot of people talking smack about my abilities to regain my place at the top (in my case in the game Fortnite, where I accidentally deleted my account, which is an objectively greater setback than an injury and subsequent shift to Canada). And I’ve also been catching a lot of flak for wearing New Balances. So we’re effectively the same guy.”
But after a brief PC cola shower in the parking lot to celebrate, McClutch put his game face on, and returned to focussing on what’s next for a man who many feel is among the top 5 lane selectors on his street.
“We’re pretty low on gas and its a Monday, so I’ll likely be taking a trip out to Costco to save 4 cents a litre on the 20 litres it’ll take to get me there,” Tim says, wiping brown soda off of his white t-shirt with what can best be described as awesomely eccentric nonchalance.
“There’s always a line at the Co, so you know you have to bring your A-game when it comes to battling with the taxis and shuttle drivers. Those guys are professional line jockeys, and if you give them even the slightest opening? Bam! You’re out of the playoffs, watching other people gas up from the sidelines.”
Tim paused then, and flipping down his flip-up glasses, climbed into his Chevy Corsica.
“And that shit don’t fly. Not for me and Kawhi.”