About twenty years ago my grandpa and I established that he and I shared at least one unmistakable characteristic. He called it the gift of gab. Some call it annoying. Either way, I imagine I do enough talking for the both of us now that he’s gone.

That being said, I generally don’t strike up casual conversations with strangers unless they approach me. Especially in the grocery store. Which is why I jumped at the opportunity to share some cooking advice yesterday at my new favorite Safeway.

It all began with brief eye contact in the vegetable department with another customer when he and I grabbed the last two packages of half-shucked, plastic-wrapped corn on the cob. A few minutes later, we would up in line at the checkout together. He glanced at my bounty haphazardly tossed on the conveyor belt.

“Hey…” he exclaimed abruptly, pointing the corn.

I worried he was going to tell me he meant to buy both packages and I would have to give it up in the interest of preserving my good karma. But I was mistaken.

“…how do you cook your corn on the grill?”

I was flattered. And anxious to share my method. I quickly rattled off my three-to-five-step process. He smiled. I smiled back—happy that for the first time in at least six months someone asked me a question I could answer definitively.

As he walked away, the checker shifted her attention to me.

“You just gave away your secrets!” she said, looking my direction with her head tilted slightly.

“It’s OK,” I said, trying to play along and pretend that I wasn’t absolutely thrilled to offer a random person a detailed description of my tried and true BBQ methodology.

“I’ll never see him again.”

But she was on to me.

Laughing as she scanned my dinner to be, I had a feeling she too would try my three-to-five-step-corn-on-the-cob-on-the-grill recipe sometime soon.

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