An area woman had planned to make a quick stop at the North Pointe Kroger grocery store for a few winter storm necessities on Wednesday, when she encountered an unexpected obstacle. The woman, who would only give the name "Storchy," claimed that a Durham fire and rescue worker of unknown identity insisted on getting in her way everywhere she went.
“At first I thought he was deliberately harassing me,” said Storchy. “But then I realized that he just had his head up his ass.”
Storchy, 36, first encountered the fire and rescue worker in the soup aisle. “He was just standing there in the middle of the aisle, staring at the top shelf with his mouth hanging open. Then he calls out to his buddy, he says, ‘Hey, where’s the chicken noodle at?’” said Storchy.
“If he’d been any closer to that chicken noodle it would have poked him in the eye,” Storchy added.
Storchy attempted to walk past the fire and rescue worker, but could not. “He just kept wandering from one side of the aisle to the other, and he was swinging his arms all over the place,” Storchy said. “I was like, what is with this guy?”
Storchy said that she gave up trying to walk around the fire and rescue worker, and instead walked back down the aisle the way she had come.
“It took longer to get to the pickles that way, but I figured it was faster than waiting for the guy to realize that he wasn’t the only person in the store.”
Storchy had a near miss with the fire and rescue worker in the baking/spice aisle. “I’d just started walking down there when I saw the guy wandering around in circles near the cupcake sprinkles,” Storchy said. “I decided I didn’t need popcorn salt that bad and I high-tailed it on out of there.”
Storchy later collided with the fire and rescue worker when she turned down the cereal aisle. “You know how the aisles sort of have those traffic flow lanes like when you’re driving? Except in the grocery store you can’t see them but you know they’re there, right? Well, he was coming down the up side when I came around the corner and we just smacked right into each other,” Storchy said. “There was no way I could have avoided him.”
Several witnesses at the scene of the collision confirmed that the fire and rescue worker was entirely at fault.
Storchy later encountered the fire and rescue worker in the bread aisle. “I just wanted to grab some hot dog buns and go home. But there the guy was in the bread aisle,” Storchy said. “I thought about leaving the store right then, but I really needed those buns.”
Storchy tried to predict where the fire and rescue worker might walk next, but said it was impossible. “He just kept picking up random loaves of bread and squeezing them,” Storchy said. “He’d put a loaf of wheat bread in his basket, and then a few seconds later he’d put it back and grab rye instead.”
Storchy added, “He sniffed one of them. I don’t know what in the hell that was all about.”
At this point, Storchy decided she’d had enough. “I just remember saying, ‘Christ, this guy’s a fire hazard,’” Storchy said. “It was out of my mouth before I knew it.”
When asked whether she had the authority to declare someone a fire hazard, Storchy admitted that she did not.
“I felt so powerless. I guess I just panicked,” Storchy said. “I just wanted to get my hot dog buns and go home, you know? Something had to be done.”
“Anyhow, I don’t think anyone heard me,” Storchy added.
The Durham fire and rescue worker could not be located for comment.