Last week, John of Book Mine Set reviewed this story. His review peeked my curiosity. I read one thing by Updike in Jr. High School. I can’t even remember what it was and haven’t read anything since.

Sammy, the narrator of the story is a 18 year old check-out clerk at A & P Grocery Store. One summer day three teenage girls walk into the store with nothing but bathing suits on. No cover-up and no shoes. As he observes them, as any teenage boy would, he finds it hard to concentrate on ringing out a customer’s purchases. Did he ring in the Hi Ho crackers already?

Sammy describes the girls in detail. I could picture how he might tell his friends about what happened. Toward the end of the story the manger comes to Sammy’s check out, where the girls end up and tells them that they must be dressed to come into the store. He allows them to make their purchase but is quite insistent that they will not be able to shop there again if they are not fully clothed.

Sammy disagrees with the manager and tells him so after the girls leave. He takes action but also think about the consequences of that action after.

Not a lot happens in this short story but it is quite engaging. This is a really nice coming-of-age story with the theme of consequences to one’s choices. I think it is also about anti-establishment. This story was originally written back in the 60’s when the younger generation were starting to question the establishment and authority.


Also reviewed by:
The Book Mine Set

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