Reaching out to assist

One day I was on the way home from town when my cell phone rang; it was my wife. She wanted me to stop by the grocery store to get a few things. “The list isn’t too long, so I guess I can remember what to get,” I said, then I hung up.

When I go to the grocery store, I usually start at the front of the store and go down every aisle just in case I might see something I need or want. This day, I was stopped in the aisle where the canned tomatoes were. There are a whole lot of different types of canned tomatoes.

There are whole tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, petite diced tomatoes, chili ready tomatoes, sliced tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, and I am sure there are a few more types. And they all come in small, medium and large sizes. It’s a wonder they don’t have the tomato soup here also.

While I was concentrating on looking at the tomatoes, a lady came riding up in a motorized grocery cart. She asked me if I would reach a can of diced tomatoes on the top shelf and hand it to her. I didn’t hear exactly what she asked for the first time she asked. I said, “Excuse me?” so she repeated her request.

But before I could turn around and locate the diced tomatoes she requested, a young man about 16 or 17 years old already had a can of them in his hand. He put it into the lady’s basket.

She said, “Thank you, young man.”

The young man replied, “You’re welcome. If you want, I can follow you around the store and reach things for you. My mother is shopping in the store and she will call me when she is ready to leave.”

The lady replied, “Thank you. I would appreciate the help.”

It is good to know there are still some young people willing to help out whenever they can.

Advocate readers may submit stories of about 500 words to the Human Condition at or The Advocate, EatPlayLive, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810. There is no payment, and stories will be edited.