We’ve all had it happen…we’re standing in line at the local grocery store/Target/Wal-Mart, and a complete stranger strikes up a conversation out of the sacred no man’s land known as the check-out line. I mean, how dare they remark upon the long wait, the frustration of someone piling obviously more than 10 items in the express lane, or heaven forbid, ask why you’re purchasing the Shaun the Sheep movie, knee socks with bacon and eggs printed on them, and a bulk-sized jar of Nutella together?
The point is, the level of awkwardness between strangers is compounded in the tight confines of a check-out lane, so…embrace it. Not literally of course- I wouldn’t recommend hugging total strangers. But think of the stories! Think of the gloriously ridiculous reasons WHY someone would be purchasing seemingly unrelated items in one go! And ASK them. Out loud, in person, politely, and with enthusiasm! Yes, you might receive a few odd facial expressions, or silence, or laughter, or be totally ignored…but add all of those details to the story/poem/essay about the human (maybe?) standing in front of you in the check-out line. Trust me, you might just find the exact nugget of inspiration you need for your next piece.