Writerly inspiration at Walmart?

A pre-Thanksgiving protest from 2013. (Photo credit: Benjamin G. Robinson/Wikimedia Commons)

A pre-Thanksgiving protest from 2013. (Photo credit: Benjamin G. Robinson/Wikimedia Commons)

Not a college class. Not a conference. Not a TED talk.

Character, plot, dialogue. All that inspiration may find you.

Yes, even at one of the dreaded Big Box stores.

Yesterday, my wife and I went through a checkstand at the nearby small-town monopoly. (Or, as other friends call it, “The Company Store.” Think Tennessee Ernie Ford.)

The elderly woman ahead of us talked. And talked. And talked!

However, the cashier just smiled, nodded and smiled some more.

When we had our turn, the blue-vested angel whispered, “There’s so many lonely old people. They just want someone to talk to, even for a minute.”

We nodded in admiration of her patience and compassion.

“Will you have Thanksgiving off?” my wife asked her.

The cashier shrugged. “We had our Thanksgiving early. I’ll be working here that day.”

“For time-and-a-half, I hope!” I added.

The worker shook her head. “I am working a double shift, though. If I can help someone else be with their family, it’s worth it.”

A corporate villain. Adversity. A hero.

All these literary building blocks for free? Yep. Just look and listen.

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