177 Comments

Life is NOT like a box of chocolates. Chocolates have a cheat sheet. Boxes of strawberries do not.

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Got arrested one time in my life. I so admired Rolling Writer pens, that I snatched one in my neighborhood (Tacoma) Safeway. The store was so close to where I lived, I left my wallet and all my identity at home which furthered my problems. After booking, I walked to my apartment on Sheridan Street.Fortunately as an Anglo I was able to have my charges dropped after looking up and writing to several b i g Safeway admins. Such a White thing to do; I can buy all the Rolling Writers I want to now.

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Loved this! You have such a gift for taking us in interesting, unexpected directions, and we are all too willing to follow because of your excellent prose.

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Yes your parents were better people. I’d give them the credit for it. And yes some theologies call for violence and some (some after reformation) don’t. I can be canceled for saying that but data...

Re the thief, of course there can be attenuating circumstances for theft and we’d have to investigate but that’s where we need to stop/ catch him first and then decide. No matter what it’s a moral breach and in this country and these times I really wonder if that’s the only remaining option for anyone?

Moral relativism is costing us a whole lot more - perhaps even this civilization - than just higher consumer prices.

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Great story, Sherman!

“Making food a commodity to be owned was one of the great innovations of our culture. No other culture in history has ever put food under lock and key--and putting it there is the cornerstone of our economy, for if the food wasn't under lock and key, who would work?”

--Daniel Quinn, “Beyond Civilization”

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Good point. I wondered if it was a big rhetoric.

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So good

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I definitely did not see the shoplifting coming and let out a whoop when it did!

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When my kids were little I wouldn't let them "graze" in the produce aisle nor the bulk foods barrels, even though the rich people did it, it's still stealing. My daughter was probably 4 and she knew she'd get in trouble so she shoved both hands full of grapes in her mouth before I could stop her. She then broke out in welts over her hands and mouth which I attributed to the pesticide being sprayed on the grapes and the farmworkers. 🙄

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Nov 29, 2023Liked by Sherman Alexie

Really appreciate your essay, as always, partly because I worked for 13 years in a grocery store. But reason I'm writing is to call your attention to an essay in the November High Country News by Sterling Holywhitemountain. I read this essay closely; I found it moving (I was also a teacher, I also was in awe of Cormac McCarthy after I read The Road but couldn't take any more than one-half of another one). I'm hoping you'll respond to to Holywhitemountain's essay. It's a tribute to Cormac McCarthy, a tribute to the author's high school literature teacher, and an assertion that "there is a rhetoric in the background of American letters now....that requires I acknowledge that McCarthy and HRH...are white Americans, and that I am not, and that...I must reject...them and everything we are told they represent. Or...at least keep their influence to myself. But I can't." The author italicizes certain words in the above passage.

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Nov 29, 2023Liked by Sherman Alexie

I’m glad I’m not the only one who studies shoppers, attaching my own story to accompany their actions and mannerisms!

Great stack. Many thanks.🙏👏✍️

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Okay, I'm sorry, but I just love the way your mind works and works and keeps working. Circling around and around in such a way that forces my mind to do the same. Love: "That’s why I always laugh when writers claim they are “decolonizing” storytelling. Who are they kidding? Writers are the most persistent and ubiquitous colonizers of all. We appropriate other people’s experiences. We appropriate conversations that we’ve eavesdropped. We turn real people into clay figures that we manipulate. And any of you who are friends and family (and enemies) of writers know how much we mine your life for the good stuff. Writers plunder natural resources." Yes. And yes. TY!

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An everyday task of shopping - spilled into a great story ! This was & is an interesting dilemma on ethics.

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Nov 28, 2023Liked by Sherman Alexie

That was my thought. Definitely didn't seem like amateur hour nor was there a whiff of desperation about it.

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Nov 28, 2023Liked by Sherman Alexie

Ah Sherman this is a good one...I just have to wonder...

Was that young man with his healthy vegetables, beautiful strawberries and baguette, walking out of the store:

- to continue walking?

- to jump on his skateboard?

- to get on his bicycle?

- to slide into his BMW?

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I like to sit in cafes with my laptop and write snippets of conversations I hear around me. Not sure if that’s creepy or genius.

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