HansDat's Saturday Story Time: Close Encounter of the Somewhat Awkward Kind

The guy I talked to in Whole Foods this morning wants to see a Whole Lot more of this in 2011. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Pull up a chair, or a stump, or just set yourself right down on the ground there, 'round the campfire. It's Saturday Story Time, and Hans has a tale from his early run to the grocery store to share with you on this fine October day.

Make the jump for more...

I had to rise early today to get my tires rotated and avoid a long wait at the tire shop, so after that chore was done I scooted on over to the Whole Foods for the usual Saturday grocery run.

As I got out of the car, I noticed a couple in the next row of the mostly empty parking lot, getting out with their baby and kind of goofing around while bundling up Junior in the crisp, cool air. I smiled and threw them a nod to acknowledge my enjoyment of their shared moment of pleasant parent-child interaction, and the husband/father/partner (?) smiled back at me, and then seemed to take an extra moment of consideration of me.

"Hmm," I thought. "Have I gone too far? Maybe that was a bit too intrusive." Little did I know he was processing all the Saints gear on my car (window clings, license plate frames, large helmet magnet on the door) and the 2007 LSU National Champs hat and shirt I was wearing.

Later on in the store, he approached me and asked, "Are you a Saints fan?"

"Why, yes I am," I replied. "I was born in New Orleans and grew up in Covington."

"Covington, Kentucky?" he asked.

"No. Covington, Louisiana," I said. "It's just north of New Orleans, across Lake Pontchartrain."

"Oh. Well, I spent some time down there working for the Corps of Engineers after Katrina," he explained.

"Yeah, I bet you weren't too popular down there," I offered sympathetically.

After an awkward beat or two, and some slow nods, the conversation shifted to safer territory.

"So, you've got a good team this year," said he. "You lost to Green Bay, but have looked better since then."

"Yup. And if we had held onto the ball better on that second play, that game might have turned out better for us," I replied.

"I mean, it's going to be Green Bay and Denver, no doubt," he asserted. "But you guys are right there."

(at this point I hit "unblock" and then secretly engaged the sarcasm font)

"No doubt. (end sarcasm font) I do like our chances, though," I replied.

"I don't know, it just seems like your receivers are always injured," he noted. "And I'm not so sure about Mark Ingram, I've just not been impressed so far."

"Yeah, they're easing him into the offense, but he's good, and he's going to break out soon," said I.

"I hope so. He's on my fantasy team and I need points from him," he stated.

At that point, I resisted the urge to ask him if Ingram is his # 1 running back, and wrapped things up.

"Well, nice talking to you. I'm sure Ingram's going to come through for you. Take care, now."

"Bye."

And we went our separate ways. 

So, as I'm driving home, I'm thinking to myself, "I should write this up for CSC," and began putting together this post mentally.

Then, I thought that maybe I was too quick and harsh with my belittling attitude towards his Denver-GB Super Bowl pick (that I hopefully kept hidden during our exchange).

I don't even know their record, but just have this picture of them as a conservative, boring, painfully slow-occurring train wreck under John Fox. (Fact-check: Broncos are 1-2, with each game decided by 3 points or less, and the lone win coming at home over a hapless Bengals squad. They average 19 points, 76 rushing yards and 210 passing yards per game, while giving up almost 21 points per game, along with 234 passing and 100 rushing yards.) So, I'd just go ahead and say, "Nope. Totally vinificated." I am pretty much as darn dead-on accurate and correct in that blind assessment.

I also thought, "Holy crap. What if that was we're gonna need a bigger boat, and I get totally busted making fun of him in this story?"

I sure hope he wasn't at the Shelbyville Road Whole Foods in Louisville at 8:30 am today. Oh well, too late to pull back now. I'll just cross my fingers and close my eyes until I know for sure.

* * *

OK. With that pretty boring, barely Saints-related story in the books, let's break it down with the telestrator.

I am the king of reviewing conversations after the fact and coming up with "great things I should have said" that would have been clever, funny, and PERFECT for the situation.

What do you think of my story? How do you think I could have handled that differently? Do you agree that I nailed the Broncos' outlook? What would you have done in my place?

WTF with his "your receivers are always injured" comment? Colston is hurt, but I'd hardly characterize our receiving corps in that way.

Am I missing something about the Denver Broncos?

I can't wait to read what you've got for me...

And if it really was you, we're gonna need a bigger boat, I'm sorry.

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