They didn't even have shoes on.

She had on a kind of dirty-pink - - beige maybe, I don't know -- bathing suit with a little nubble all over it and, what got me, the straps were down.

I stood there with my hand on a box of HiHo crackers trying to remember if I rang it up or not.

Any such willingness vitiates an essential condition internal to any realization of the good of marriage and damages that aspect of ourselves—our human nature—that makes us, to quote Aristotle, conjugal beings. (Aristotle is famous for teaching that the human being is by nature a political animal; what is less often recalled is his teaching that human beings are even more fundamentally conjugal than political.) So it involves a failure to respect that basic human good; so it involves immorality, whether or not one is married or plans to be.

I mean, it was more than pretty.

She'd been watching cash registers forty years and probably never seen a mistake before.

They keep right on going, into the electric eye; the door flies open and they flicker across the lot to their car, Queenie and Plaid and Big Tall Goony-Goony (not that as raw material she was so bad), leaving me with Lengel and a kink in his eyebrow.

Fancy Herring Snacks flashed in her very blue eyes.

Queenie's blush is no sunburn now, and the plump one in plaid, that I liked better from the back -- a really sweet can -- pipes up, "We weren't doing any shopping.

"Girls, I don't want to argue with you.

"We want you decently dressed when you come in here." "We are decent," Queenie says suddenly, her lower lip pushing, getting sore now that she remembers her place, a place from which the crowd that runs the A & P must look pretty crummy.

After this come in here with your shoulders covered.

"But this isn't the beach." His repeating this struck me as funny, as if it hadjust occurred to him, and he had been thinking all these years the A & P was a great big dune and he was the head lifeguard.

It's our policy." He turns his back.

All this while, the customers had been showing up with their carts but, you know, sheep, seeing a scene, they had all bunched up on Stokesie, who shook open a paper bag as gently as peeling a peach, not wanting to miss a word.

Policy is what the kingpins want.

When my parents have somebody over they get lemonade and if it's a real racy affair Schlitz in tall glasses with "They'll Do It Every Time" cartoons stencilled on.

What the others want is juvenile delinquency.

I could feel in the silence everybody getting nervous, most of all Lengel, who asks me, "Sammy, have you rung up this purchase?" I thought and said "No" but it wasn't about that I was thinking.