When a woman sees my blue-and-white "S" -- for (Penn) State -- hat and giddily asks me if I went to Michigan State. I say no, point to the PENN STATE printed in smaller letters on the side, and then ask her what MSU's colors are. She says green and white, then smacks her forehead, as her male companion reaches up and playfully covers her mouth as she tries to explain. I take off the hat again and look at it under the supermarket lights. There was a remote possibility that it could have appeared green in that light, but it was slim.
I replace my hat, shrug, and say, "You were close -- Big Ten and all." To which she and the guy -- both of whom looked at least 10 years older than me -- reply, "No. It's part of the Big Eleven. When they added Penn State, the Big Ten became the Big Eleven." They seemed pretty proud of themselves for this one, despite the fact that it is still -- in fact -- called the Big Ten.
Then the guy tells me I look an awful lot like the person he gave a cigarette to earlier in the day. I could've told him I don't smoke -- or no, you need your eyes checked -- but instead, I told him that being a college graduate, I was old enough to buy cigarettes if I wanted any. At which point I also look in the guy's red-red face and down at the six pack of beer in his hand and realize: Bad sunburn + Very drunk = Inane conversation in the check-out line.