The young, female worker stocking shelves at Target could tell I had a question as I approached her along a wide aisle. She could also see she would be dealing with someone of mature years, perhaps the kindest euphemism for geezer.
I was searching for diapers for my grandchildren. Make note of that: grandchildren. Some people in the last stages of the “Seven Ages of Man” find themselves in need of such products themselves when they are “sans everything,” as Shakespeare put it.
Putting my question oddly by pure happenstance, instead of asking, “where’s the diapers?” I said, “Am I anywhere near diapers?”
She looked me over for a moment, and then sent me to another part of the store where baby items are located. As I walked away, I was thinking of her missed opportunity. Surely the answer to an older man asking, “Am I anywhere near diapers?” should have been, “That Depends.”
The "should have said" journal of Jim Heffernan