Last week, I was at a local natural foods store and my coupon confused the cashier. She had to call the manager. We had to wait. The cashier apologized to the woman standing behind me in line, who replied, “I don't mind. This gives me a chance to recite my poem.” And she did, too.
It wasn't a poem about an existential crisis, or her intense longing for a lost lover. That would have been weird. It was a poem about vegetables. We were in a grocery store, after all.
This woman could have huffed away to a different register. She could have angrily tapped her toe while giving me the evil eye. She could have whipped out her cell phone and started a conversation in which she apologized because she was going to be late. There are a million different ways she could have passive-aggressively punished me for holding up the check-out line, but where others would see an annoying delay, she saw an opportunity for an impromptu poetry reading.
I'm charmed to live in a city where people do things like this.