I know I’ve told this story before …

… but I’ve been listening a lot lately to the Gin Blossoms album in question, and it always reminds me of the night I bought it, so here it is again for the 40-gazillionth time.

It’s August 2006. The Gin Blossoms and Nina Gordon have released new albums on the same day, which is excellent news for me. So just after midnight on release day, I drive to Wal-Mart to buy them so I can put them in my iPod and listen to them at work that morning.

So it’s almost 1 a.m. and I’m standing in line at the checkout lane, and the woman in front of me has gathered so many groceries that her cart is straining and sagging. She turns around and looks at me with my two CDs and says, “Please go in front of me. You only have two things, and I bought the entire store.”

“Thank you,” I say. “That’s very sweet.”

(And it really was — a rare bit of thoughtful humanity in the wild world of retail.)

The creepy old man in front of her says, “You can go in front of me, too. It’s going to be a long night.”

He smiles a leering, crazy smile and brandishes his own two items — a Jimmy Buffett concert DVD and a big box of Ex-Lax.

I promise I’ll try to get some new stories. I have a great one about something that happened at Long John Silver’s, but I can only tell you in person because it requires lots of funny voices. And then there’s the “Sheena Queen of the Jungle” flight attendant story from last summer, but that one requires an in-person telling, too.