Summer came unexpectedly this year

I was at the salad bar at Whole Foods the other day, when the store stereo caught my ear.

“Ooooo… love to love ya, ba-by…”

No way, I thought. I quickly looked at the people around me. Typical noontime supermarket crowd. Mostly office workers, mostly women, mostly older. They politely made their salads. Then I heard it again, sped up a little.

“Ooooo, love to love ya, ba-by…”

No way. Not here. Not now. I glanced around the salad bar again. Probably aunts and grandmothers, the lot of them. Church-going, ice tea-drinking, crossword-doing, discount at Penny’s-buying, Friday night pop-drinking sweetness. This moment couldn’t be happening. But I heard it again, more drawn out.

“Ooooooooooo… love to love ya, bay-bey…”

Could they really be playing Donna Summer at the supermarket? Could they really be playing “Love to Love You, Baby” while I’m scooping croutons? “MacArthur Park” or “She Works Hard for the Money” would be understandable. “Hot Stuff” or “Bad Girls” might even work. But this song. This song! I knew what came next.


The moan had begun. Drawn out, throaty and — thanks to the store stereo — very, very loud. The moan continued. One of disco’s most famous sounds of, as Iron Mike Tyson would say, fornication.


The first moan turned into a second and a third. Around the salad bar, people paused, tongs in mid-air. Those who didn’t raised a few eyebrows. In an instant, the volume shot down on the store stereo and the general sounds of the supermarket took over.

The salad making continued, eyebrows lowered. Two minutes later the music resumed, with a different song playing. The moment was history. Donna Summer, disco diva and moan expert, had come and gone.

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