New Year, New Gage?

By Audrey W.  




December 31,197?

Somewhere in Carson California. . .



John Gage pushed a grocery cart down the aisle of a local supermarket while his partner Roy DeSoto scanned the shelves for items on their list. It was New Years Eve Day and the two paramedics had been assigned the errand of picking up some food for dinner and dessert by their captain, Hank Stanley.


“I tell ya, Roy, I’m done with it. No more pursuing chicks that wanna get married by the third date or go on a ship across the high seas or that have three kids hidin' in the closet.” When he got a strange look from the older man after the last comment, Johnny elaborated with a shrug, “So to speak, Roy.  So to speak. You know what I mean. . .and no more chicks that expect me ta spend eight hundred and forty-nine dollars on ‘em on the first date.”


Roy eyed the items on the shelf to the right as he searched for the canned pineapple. “You can’t count Gloria Truelove. You never actually went out with her.”


“Right. Because she expected me ta spend eight hundred and forty-nine dollars on ‘er on the first date!”


The comment elicited an eye roll as Roy grabbed two cans of pineapple and put them in the cart alongside some meat and bread they’d already selected.


Johnny had started in about New Years resolutions just as they’d arrived at the store in their squad. He’d been thinking over his decision on what goal to set and numerous girl troubles he had in the past brought him to one conclusion. It was time for a change with the dating scene. And though Roy was correct that he hadn’t dated Miss Truelove, Johnny’s over inflated and incorrect credit card bill had given her the impression he was a big spender; she wanted to go out with him until she found out he actually spent under ten dollars on a date. But Gage was forgetting that she turned him down.


Johnny pushed the cart as Roy continued on to the next aisle.


“Nope, I’m done with the crazy chicks, man. D_O_N_E. . .done.”


“Well, that’s good to hear. Maybe now you’ll find a nice normal girl to settle down with.”


“You bet I will,” Johnny said with a snort. “That’s the only kind for me.” After a moment of thought he added, “As long as she’s cute and has a nice figure. . .you know. I don’t wanna get stuck with a dog for the rest of my life. I mean, she doesn’t hafta be like a model. It’d be nice if she was, but. . .”


Roy just half listened while his partner went and on and on as they made their way to the produce section in search of ingredients for a salad.


“So, that’s my New Years resolution, Roy. And this is one I’m not gonna break.”


Just then something caught Johnny’s eye and he stopped the cart, his mouth hanging open as his gaze locked onto the object of his attention. He leaned forward, his forearms resting on the handle of the cart. Roy followed his gaze, wondering what could be so intriguing as to stop his partner in mid-step.


A very pretty gal with shoulder length blonde wavy hair and an average build stood in the produce section. She was wearing a purple wet-look mini skirt and a tight fitting white blouse. Roy guessed her to be in her early twenties.


The young lady was standing in front of the oranges. She’d select one at a time and place it on the scale nearby, then write something on a small note pad after dropping the fruit into a clear plastic bag. After doing the same with three of the oranges, she appeared to count what was on her list and place a total near the bottom.


Roy shook his head as he glanced at Johnny. “I can’t believe what I’m seeing.” He watched as she moved to the apples after placing the bag of oranges in her cart, and started to do the same thing with them. Another glance at his unmoving partner and Roy couldn’t help but sigh.


You won’t even make it till midnight.”


Forcing his eyes off the girl, his mouth still hanging open, Johnny simply asked, “Huh?”


“Your resolution. You’re forgetting about it.”


Johnny looked longingly at the blonde across the way and shook his head. “No I’m not. I said cute.”


“You said normal.”


“But I did say cute. Besides,” he added as he looked at Roy. “What makes you think this chick isn’t normal?”


“She’s weighing her fruit one at a time.”


“Maybe she’s superstitious.”


“Or maybe she just doesn’t know that you’re supposed to weigh fruit of the same kind all together.”


“All the more reason to get to know her, Roy. She needs me.” He stepped away without another word and sauntered up to the girl, a shy grin on his face.


The senior paramedic looked at the abandoned cart, then Johnny and his new found obsession. With a shrug, he took over pushing the cart as he went to get a head of  lettuce.


He smiled slightly and slowly shook his head.  Brand new year, same ‘ol Johnny. . .



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