100-word story: the BAGuette (get it?)

Sometimes I catch myself saying something totally contrary to my own feelings just to assert my Japanese. Today I went into a bakery near my train station to buy a baguette. As the cashier rang up my total, she swung her arm forward — in my mind — very elaborately and dramatically, to point to the price lit up on the register screen facing me. This infuriated me. In that probably-mindless gesture I saw her conviction that I understood not a word of Japanese and certainly not the price she just reported to me verbally. Seething, I fumbled for the necessary coins as she packaged up my baguette. And I noticed her slip something small in the bag as she did this. Before my brain even registered what it was, without even being aware of what I was doing, I wrenched it out of the bag and proclaimed, in Japanese, “I don’t need this.” Sheepishly, she took the item back, as my brain finally registered that it was a neat little plastic bag, folded up delicately and tied with a gold twist-tie, used to keep the baguette fresh. And my last thought as I walked away, feeling both bitter and misguidedly triumphant, was “oh what a cool idea — I could use that.”

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