Yesterday afternoon at the Farmstand, as I was mopping the back-of-house floor and prepping to close, a thin old man plunked both elbows on the cheese case counter and yelled, "Hey, Lady!" in a gravelly south Philly accent. I gave the mop handle a cathartic squeeze, spun around, and said, "How can I help you, sir?" with the sweetest, most hospitable smile I could muster under the circumstances.
He was disheveled in a stained short-sleeve button-down shirt and his face was very stern as he held up a medium-sized Whole Foods Market bag with one hand.
"Do you like wine?" It was more of an interrogation than a friendly conversation-starter, so I nodded cautiously, waiting for the craziness to rear its head.
"Here. Want some wine glasses?" He placed the bag on the countertop and nudged it towards me. Inside I discovered four Chardonnay glasses wrapped carefully in plastic shopping bags.
When he realized that all I had to offer in return was a vacuous stare, he gave me the slightest smile and said (or, rather, urged), "Go ahead! Take them! My sister-in-law pushed them off on me this morning and told me to go find somebody to give 'em to...so I came to the market and you're the first happy person I've seen all day. They're not crap. Nice stuff. You look like you'd appreciate 'em."
And then he just left. When I yelled a "Thank you, sir!" at his back he gave me a wave of dismissal, leaving me to unwrap the glasses in bewilderment. One had broken during his travels, but the other three were in perfect condition. And when I traced their rims with a wet finger, they harmonized in all their fine crystal glory! Not crap, indeed.