January 19, 2010

Not Sin.

(But disturbingly close for my tastes.)

Anyway, got Cat from Grandmom’s, got home, unloaded, got some stuff out for supper, and was just about to get out of my work clothes when I noticed the answering machine flashing away. My medicine was ready at the CVS at the foot of the hill, so I got on a pair of jeans and my trusty Auburn sweatshirt, told Cat I’d be right back, and headed back out.

“Hmm,” I thought, which is usually what I think, and then I thought while I was out I would also get us some meat to go in the meatless fettuccine and sauce I’d been contemplating for supper, so I went on past the drug store and parked at the Food World, and strode in with the express purpose of getting some Italian sausage.

After several minutes trying to figure out where the Italian sausage was kept (by the ground beef, silly!) I snagged a pack, decided to get a pack of ground beef since it was conveniently nearby, and headed for the checkout.

Along with everyone else in town.

Must have been a memo about going to the store.

I stood there patiently along with eleventy-dozen other shoppers in three lines, and finally another line opened up, and in a nice turn of events managed to snag the number two spot behind a twenty-something odd couple made of a hyperactive Federlinesque goober and a stunningly well-packed lass, equally devoid of motor control and notions of societal constraints.

And joy of joy! The cashier was the sour old wart of a woman I usually get when I’m in a hurry! She seems stymied by any technology invented after the rotary telephone, and is resistant to logic when it comes to fixing things. I’ve stood there patiently (for some reason) in times past while she nearly destroyed the coupon-thing that spits out coupons for things you don’t want. She’s always somewhere else mentally, and gets perturbed when you point out that you only got two boxes of something, rather than 20. She’ll sigh, and have to figure out how to work the microphone to summon a manager, then fiddle with the key to try to crank up the override, and then go back to mindlessly scanning things with not so much as a grunt of consolation for having made a mistake.

Anywho, she’s gonna be my cashier. Right before I got to the conveyor, I spied a display of hot Italian bread, so I scooted over and got a loaf and put it on the belt with my two packs of meat. She gave the perfunctory greeting “heyhowreyout’night” without even the affect of a question mark at the end, scanned my stuff, gave me my total, and started putting the items in a bag.

I swiped my card, entered my PIN, pressed “yes” for the total, looked around, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but Ye Olde Cashier holding (nay, cradling) my just-purchased loaf of hot Italian bread gently--ever so gently--to her nose, her eyes closed in rapture, deeply quaffing the aroma of the bread into her vacant cranium.

“That smells good.”

Well, yes, I’m sure it does. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I bought it. But after I’ve bought it, I would appreciate it if you’d KEEP YOUR OLFACTORY RECEPTORS OFF OF IT!

Yes, I know--in the greater scheme of things this ranks no higher on the scale of minor indignities than when you take your car in for service and the mechanic feels duty-bound to readjust the seat, the radio, and the A/C controls because he was in the driver’s seat for about five seconds--but still, is there not some level of common sense that would make a person not act that way!? I guess the answer is obvious, but it nonetheless still surprises me when it happens to me.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at January 19, 2010 10:07 PM

In this day of antibacterial hand goop everywhere you look, having somebody place their face close to your fresh buns, ummm ... bread, can be somewhat disquieting. The first thing I thought of when reading of your travail: please don't squeeze the Charmin! Mr. Whipple has gone to the great beyond, so there's no stoppin' Charmin squeezers now.

You'd think a grocery store would have friendly-competent people at the checkout line, where the sale is finalized and people get their last impression of the store. A local chain here has the checkout people yell "Welcome to Food Lion" when you enter the store. While I'm tempted to ignore them (after I get over being startled and thinking about what I want and how much I want to spend), I suppose a gracious person acknowledges their greeting.

Don't know if you have Moe's Southwest Grill by you, but it's the same thing after you open the door and go in - welcome to moes! It gets annoying if you're in there trying to choke down one of their burrito monstrosities and hear it for the tenth time.

Posted by: Marc V at January 20, 2010 11:38 PM

Just checked moes.com, and it looks like you do have a few in your neck of the woods. We have only been there once. I'm not a fan of humungous burritos and flour tortillas, and the ingredients did not impress me either. They had a nice fresh salsa bar, though it all seemed a little pricey for simple Mexican fare.

Posted by: Marc V at January 20, 2010 11:46 PM

Yes, we have a Moe's. It's okay, but I'm just not a fan of forced conviviality--it'd be better if they were just told to treat people nicely and say hello and stuff. No need to welcome me to the facility by name--I know where I am. Another thing I don't like about Moe's are the names of the foods--characters from defunct teevee shows just doesn't make me want to eat a burrito. Especially if one of them is called "Ugly Naked Guy."

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 21, 2010 09:46 AM