We called him "Cheese Man" for obvious reasons, but how sad it was that he chose to behave in a manner that led to him being given such an unflattering sobriquet.
We were in the supermarket down by the park and stopped for some deli to make a sandwich. A man ahead of us in line had ordered some cheddar cheese slices, and when the clerk handed him the bag with the cheese in it, he looked and reacted as if she had handed him a bag of floor sweepin's or rotten salami.
"I can't have cheese like this!" he exclaimed. "This is all wrong!"
Well, he got my attention. I love seeing public demonstrations of jackanapery, so I was right there watching.
As he whined and whinged, it turned out that he did not like the way the cheese was sliced. It was too thin and the slices broke in half. Cheddar cheese is like that. That's because it's not like American cheese, which is also suitable for use as spackle, if you're patching a hole in the wall. Cheddar's not all rubbery and bendy.
The lady tried again to slice his cheese...a little thicker ("That's too thick!") and then a little thinner ("But it's breaking in half again!") Finally, he saw a male deli guy up the way by the pizza oven and said, "That guy knows how to slice cheese!" and so "that guy" dropped what he was doing to slice the same cheese in the same way and hand it to Mr Cheese, who then went into an unrequested soliloquy about how important it was for his cheese to be sliced just ever so. And of course, he did not say he was sorry for being so picky. Just slice it my way and do it now, see?
And we can only assume that he was planning to put this cheese on a sandwich and shove it all down his neck, so who cares if the cheese was broken?
After he (mercifully for us) departed, I talked to the women behind the counter. One of them said she was brand new and in training for the deli job, and in her eyes I saw the look that meant she was already hoping to go sell yoga pants somewhere. The other women said that sort of thing happens a lot, and it was suggested that maybe Cheese Man is bossy at work and then brings that with him to the deli line.
Not that it matters, but I have a different slant. This objectionable fellow did not look or dress like the sort of man whom someone had placed in charge of anyone else. Rather, he seemed like the kind of guy who spends his days feeling oppressed because other people keep telling him what to do all day, and he really enjoys stopping for a half a pound of cheddar so he can assert himself and push someone around, as he feels he is.
Of course, I might be wrong, and he might have replaced Ben Carson as chief of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, but then, he wouldn't be likely to be wearing flip flops and shorts on his way home from work, would he now?