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  1. #1
    No One of Consequence wilomn's Avatar
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    Fun in the Grocery Checkout

    Lorna Doones are one of the best shortbread cookies ever made. I have a fondness for them. On occasion this fondness causes me distress. You see, in order to satisfy the desire this fondness has engenderd I must take myself and my desire to a local grocery market; there to do battle with broad-bottom battleaxes from throughout the Eastern Block, seasoned veterans of vegetable stands and street corner butchers with freshly rendered meats of all sizes, jackboot clad hair dyed no colour found in nature, making the endearment 'muffin top' something both heinous and disgusting, speaking/shouting in voices meant to be heard across village squares at rush hour, there to do battle with these matrons of mangled avocados, satisfying the desire created by my fondness for those most inestimatable of cookies, Lorna Doones.

    Having survived the landmines and grocery carts, stealthily sliding my way, aisle by aisle, row by row, diaper by eyeliner by potato chip, searching diligently for cookie sign. Picking up along the way other comestibles to carry me over the next few days. Bread is no problem, only had to squeeze between a couple of confused husbands and an old lady with a cart too large for her to drive. No doubt here was the Caddy parked in three spaces out front. Strawberries piled high near the fresh fish posed no problem for one so stealthy as I. Butter and OJ a more difficult score but obtained with naught but a skinned elbow, I persevered in the search for my shortbread delight.

    At last, there on the topmost shelf, high above the lowly oreo, raised above even the wondrous Chessmen of Pepperridge Farm, success was mine, target achieved, bullseye center punched, I had my Doones. That brilliant yellow box with its sweet tasty treasure protectively wrapped in home made goodness was mine. Now all I had to do was make it to the checkout stand.

    Glancing about, checking upwind and down aisles grown strangely silent, I prepared myself for the harrowing end to this quest for tastebud titillation. I had make it, I had to.

    Darting around the bottled water, quickwalking past plastic wrapped cheeses, olives and meats of various natures, I saw the finish line, the winners circle, the last hurdle of this most daring of races to egress and eventual satisfaction, at last, not without a deeply held breath or two, I made it, I unloaded my treasures and prepared to escape once I had paid my fee.

    And there I waited. Patiently. Why wait otherwise? The checker was moving quickly, efficiently. The woman ahead of me had her card ready to swipe, she was not wasting anyones time. There was no reason to not be patient.

    There I was. Large bald man, juice, bread, strawberries and my Doones on the conveyor, waiting, thinking to myself that as long as this was taking there really wasn't anything I could do to speed things up so I may as well just exercise control. It's not that difficult. I actually thought those thoughts as I was standing there.

    Being the ultraobservant alpha male that I am, I had no problem seeing the woman, shaped rather like a pear with legs, plop herself in front of me, cutting right in line, and hearing her tell the clerk in a voice that Natasha of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame would have been proud, "I am goink to retoorn these groceries. The whchole cart. I kan note keep them."

    Okay...... So, what the heck, it can't take more than a few seconds to handle this rude es problem, I'll just stand here, letting her take cuts in front of me and the people behind me because I am just not looking for crap. Why waste my time explaining something so simple to this broad?

    Until, oh yes, there's an until, the story is about to get interesting, until she hands the receipt to the checker who then turns around to his manager who is working the register next door, and asks for an override for the refund. Here it comes, here's where I had enough, here's where my rope of patience unraveled like a dandelion caught in the wind.

    The manager tells him, "hold on a second, she got 15 of those items at a 10% discount."

    I wonder if I'm the only one who heard the alarm bells that had suddenly started to clang.

    We've all bought groceries. We've all been over charged, we've all used coupons. I certainly have no problem waiting my turn while those before me have theirs. It's a part of everyday life.

    However, cutting in front of me like you own the damn store, taking a SECOND turn at the checker AFTER deciding you don't WANT the groceries you PAID for ten minutes ago and then expecting ME, and those behind me who had also had you steal a place in line, WAIT on YOU while they figure out which items were discounted and which weren't, was too much.

    So I spoke up.

    "You know what lady," I said. "Just because you changed your mind about the groceries you bought does not give you the right to cut in front of me so that you can return your groceries. Go to the back of the line. Now. Move. You had your turn."

    Naturally she starts trying to explain, " I am do ink what they have said, I have so many problems at home I can..." at which point I speak up again.

    "I don't care about your problems at home, I don't want to hear it. You have no right to cut in line, get to the back," I say to her again, gesturing with my thumb the direction in which she will find the END of the line, which she is so obviously oblivious to.

    "You haf a problem sir," she says. "You don't need to treat me like a street person. I am just," at which point I have had enough and say to her, calmly and coolly, "lady, shhhh, quiet, say nothing, do not speak. We are done, go away, end of the line, heya, mush, quiet," and then, with several additional shushes which she pretended most expertly to not hear at all, which may be plausible given the rising volume of her harpiesque bray, I replied, "then don't act like a street person, don't take cuts in line,"

    The checker, both amused and irritated, told the woman behind me that she would probably get through quicker at the stand next door, that he would take care of me and then refund the nice lady from the eastern block. Well, I've taken some poetic liberties with dialogue here but it's what he wished he could have said.

    Naturally, I knew it was coming, the charmster thought she would zing me by saying, get the last word in, insult the big bad man who didn't let her cut in front of him, braying to all and sundry, there had to be at least 5 people in hearing distance, that I had a "very big problem."

    Yup, this overstuffed pair of capris crammed full like a cheap sausage with all the lovelyness any man ever desire, had handed me that line.

    I had had it with her, her rudeness and just her attitude in general. As if it were I who were out of place, as if it were I who had done something I knew was wrong and had been publicly shamed for it, as if I should be the embarrassed idiot. As if. And so, being the kind and gentle soul that I am, I said to her, directly to her, so directly that even someone as rude and narcissistic as she could not possibly miss my double entendre', in a voice both melodic and pleasant, soothing even, I said to her, directly, "Yes. A BIG problem. Very BIG. BIG problem."

    I know she understood. Her silence confirmed it. Until what passed for a brain in that vast expanse of emptiness between her ears dropped another mouse on the wheel and she took one more shot at me, using as a harpoon, which I found amusing giving that her blouse could be made into a sail for a moderately sized sailboat, "kchew kan note tell kme whaat too doo."

    "I CAN tell you," I replied, "but you won't listen. I doubt you ever do. Now shhh, go away, say nothing, shhhhh, silence, end of the line. Begone."

    Ignoring her completely from that second, I paid for my Doones, took my cart full of tasty delights, and left.

    Rude people just piss me off sometimes. Usually I just let it go, figuring it'll take care of itself. Usually. Today I took care of it.

    Line cutters suck.
    I may not be very smart, but what if I am?
    Stinky says, "Women should be obscene but not heard." Stinky is one smart man.

  2. #2
    Registered User Amon Ra Reptiles's Avatar
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    New Concord, Ohio
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    Love this!!! This has to be one of the funniest short stories I have read.

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