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Grocery store cashier inspires with jokes and juggling


Dan Kelly smiles while scanning groceries at his till, never imagining he’d have such a forward-facing day job, after growing-up such a shy kid.

“I was very quiet. Kept to myself,” Dan says. “Very introverted.”

Dan relished spending time alone, teaching himself how to juggle.

“The more I practiced juggling,” Dan smiles. “The more I found it was my calling.”

After high school, Dan earned enough money from performing juggling and making balloon animals to pay for three years of college to study computer programming.

Although he worked full-time as a programmer and freelance juggler, he recently moved out west to care for his aging grandma and ailing mom, and got a gig as a grocery story cashier.

Dan says he started "juggling people’s food" at his till, beginning with apples and avocados, then moving on to eggs and other items. “Tofu was a tough one," he adds.

After management suggested he stop juggling food, just in case something went splat, Dan started juggling the receipt tape.

“It‘s definitely a mission to make people happy,” Dan smiles.

While Dan performs at parties part-time through the company Balloon Bros, he works full-time at the Country Grocer in Esquimalt.

He now brings his professional juggling balls to work at his till, along with a bunch of new jokes every day.

“Why did the grapes stop in the middle of the aisle?” Dan asks a customer. “Because they ran out of juice!”

After the customer laughs, Dan places a loaf of bread in their bag: “You know I’m not loafing around, right?”

When he scans a bunch of bananas for another customer, Dan proclaims, “I’m just going bananas here!”

“Everybody loves him,” one costumer smiles while watching Dan juggle. “He has a huge line-up here even though other cashiers are available.”

While the grocery-related guffaws keep the locals frequenting Dan’s till, other customers say they drive across town to shop here because of how entertaining Dan is.

“I don’t want to foil your plans,” Dan smiles while place a box of aluminum foil in a paper bag.

“It’s a good thing,” a customer smiles. “To see someone smiling and laughing.”

“What did the grape say when he fell on the floor?” Dan asks. “Nothing. It just let out a little wine.”

Customer after customer, Dan transforms their chores with a chuckle.

“That was great!” a first-time customer smiles. “I needed a good laugh. Everyone does!”

While every one of his customers is buying food for sustenance, Dan is focused on providing nourishment for their well-being.

“There’s a lot of suffering and pain in the world these days,” Dan says. “If I can make someone laugh, even briefly, my mission's accomplished.” Top Stories

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