Well, let me tell you now before I even launch into the tale: if you ever find yourself in San Francisco, you've got to hit up this place.
We walked in and were immediately greeted by four chickens who were scampering around the wooden floor. There was a fifty-something man - not to be all "New York" about it, but he looked like the kind of dude who'd be playing a ukulele in a top hat on the A train - carving something at a woodworking station set up in the middle of the store. He barely looked up at us.
Sarah went to pick up the chickens (both males were named "Edward," we were told; both females, "Henrietta") while Andrew and I approached the counter, where there were jars of three different kinds of honey sticks: blueberry, sage and a third kind I can't remember.
I asked the man which of the three flavors was his favorite, and he grimaced. "I don't have a favorite." He looked at us with apparent disdain. "By the way, 'blueberry' doesn't mean they taste like blueberries. It means that's what those bees ate..." Andrew bought three blueberry sticks for the three of us.
Because I was in that kind of mood and it was that kind of store, I asked the man if he had ever seen "Bee Movie." He smiled, I think; it was hard to tell because of his white beard.
"No, I don't see movies like that," he said. "So many factual errors. I wouldn't be able to stand it."
"Do you like bee puns?" I asked.
You would have thought I'd asked him if he was OK with murder. "No."
"There's so many though..." I said, almost tauntingly (I'm not really sure what I was going for). "'Honey, I shrunk the kids...,' 'Bee-utiful'..."
He looked up at me from his carving apparatus.
"Once someone lost a wallet here so two police officers showed up," he said. "They spent a good five minutes making bee puns before getting down to business..." He looked off into space.
We took some pictures with our iPhones of Sarah holding the chickens. (When I asked him why there were chickens in a honey store, he said, "they keep me company.")
We bought three more honey sticks -- this time, sage.
"These aren't as sweet," Andrew said, slurping the honey out of the plastic casing.
"Sage is really bringing me down," I said.
"Isn't that a Joni Mitchell song?" the storekeeper quipped. And this time I was certain he was smiling.