I think I just had a religious experience with the 6’3” African American cashier at Safeway, my local grocery store.
I suddenly started coughing while he was scanning my groceries, and I reached for the Odwalla juice I had been drinking in the store.
“Oh my!” the cashier said, “drink your tea, mama, drink your tea!”
I sipped my non-tea beverage without comment, and the cashier carried on.
“Sounds like you have that nasty bug that’s going around,” he said to me, even though I only coughed because my throat was dry.
“Everyone I know has it,” he continued. “Oh dear, it’s terrible. You should put a Halls cough drop in hot tea as soon as you get home, mama.”
He seemed so genuinely concerned about my well-being that I didn’t want to tell him I wasn’t sick, and I said I would try his suggestion.
He smiled and said, “Alright, you’re perfect!” as he helped load bags into my cart, and then told me I was “perfect” again as he collected payment.
“One last thing you should try,” he said before I walked away, “is putting Vick’s Vapor Rub on the bottom of your feet. It will pull the germs right out of you!”
I again said I would try his suggestion, and he sent me off with the well-wishes of a preacher.
“Blessings, mama! Have a wonderful night! Please be sure to drink lots of tea! I hope you’re feeling better in no time!”
All I have to say about this situation is that it never would have happened in New Jersey.