Move It, You Old Bags!
I realize that I’ve complained about grocery shopping many, many times before, and although I honestly try not to go to the well too many times, I find myself doing it anyway. This is because people are inconsiderate fucking pricks that make me want to lunge at their genitals with a long and powerful cattle prod. Case in point, the two fucking old bags in front of me at the grocery store this afternoon.
Because I am health-conscious (when I’m not guzzling beer from fifty gallon containers), I try to eat things like salad for lunch. This, actually, isn’t much of a sacrifice on my part. I love salad. LOVE it. People look at me when I’m buying a salad and say, “Well, you sure have self-control!” Yeah, lots of self-control, that’s me. Now let’s go celebrate this witty conversation you’ve started with 42 beers and a couple of bumps of bath salts. Maybe later, I’ll snack on your face if this salad hasn’t filled me up too much.
Anyway, because salad doesn’t keep well in the refrigerator, I find my self running to the grocery store across the street from my office at least twice a week. Usually this trip takes me under five minutes, and I can be back at my desk, eating salad and watching Bavarian donkey porn until lunch is over and I have to go back to work (writing code while watching Bavarian donkey porn). But today my efforts were stymied by two women who looked like this:
After gathering up my groceries, I headed for the register to find that the regular lane was full of people buying entire carts of groceries. The express lane, on the other hand had just these two kind old ladies buying four things, and so I got into line behind them. Here’s how that went:
Cashier: Hi, how are you today?
Old Bag #1: Wait! Those tangerines cost way too much! They are fifty cents a pound!
Cashier: (looking at the monitor) No… You must have misread that. They are fifty cents each.
Old Bag #2: No, they most certainly are not! CAN YOU CHECK THE PRICE?
And so, at this point, the cashier called Herb in produce over the grocery store hotline to ask for a price check. Herb walked over to inform everyone that the stated price of tangerines was fifty cents each. At this point I was patiently waiting my turn, unaware that the Tangerine Incident would be a harbinger of controversial grocery store purchases to come, something Bag #1 rectified immediately:
Old Bag #1: Well, you should change the wording on that. It’s very confusing.
Herb: Ma’am, I can bring the sign over here. It clearly says “50 cents each”.
Old Bag #1: I know! Fifty cents each what? How am I supposed to know what that means?
Cashier: I will speak to the store manager about this as soon as I can, ma’am. Do you still want the tangerines?
Old Bags #1 & 2: (in unison) NO THANK YOU!
At this point I was nervously glancing at the conveyor belt to see how many purchases they had. Luckily, or so I thought, they only had three more before they went to Andy Griffith’s wake, or wherever the fuck it is they were going. The next item up was a bottle of Tide detergent.
Old Bag #2: Oh, wait! I have a coupon for that Tide. (to the other old bag) A whole bottle of Tide for $2.00. What a coupon!
Register: (farty noise)
Cashier: Hmmm… Ok, this coupon is for Tide Travel Size, and you’ve got the 100 ounce bottle. Also, the coupon expired last year.
Old Bag #1: NO! That is WRONG!
Cashier: Here, let me show you…
This is when I knew I was fucked. The other lane was still full, and no other registers were open. I was going to have to stand behind these fucking idiots, furiously trying to throw daggers at them from my eyes, until they finished their purchase or they died of sheer stupidity, whichever came first.
Cashier: …and you can see right here on the bottle that this is the 100 ounce size.
Old Bag #1: Well, I don’t agree with this.
Old Bag #2: Oh, wait!
Me: (just under my breath) Yeah, let’s wait. That’s what we need to do: Go slower.
Old Bag #2: You have to get the right one! We got a different kind!
Old Bag #1: No we didn’t! WE GOT TIDE!
Old Bag #2: Hmmm, you’re right.
Cashier: (glancing at me and wishing she’d brought a cyanide capsule with her to work) I’m sorry, I can’t honor this coupon. Do you still want the Tide?
Old Bags #1 & 2: (in unison) NO THANK YOU!
Note that by now we’ve spent well over five minutes on zero purchases. Their grocery bill at that point was the same as it was before they decided to elude their ward attendant and go on an unauthorized shopping trip away from whatever psych ward housed them: Zero.
Old Bag #1: Don’t we have a coupon for this toilet paper?
Old Bag #2: I think so!
They then brought out a coupon organizer the size of the Hoover Fucking Dam and proceeded to go through each coupon, one by one, until they found the coupon they were looking for. By this point, I had opened a can of club soda I was going to purchase and swigged at it while thinking that if things got any worse, I’d be able to go to the liquor department so I could mix some whiskey in.
Old Bag #1: Here it is!
Cashier: Ok, thank you.
Register: (farty noise)
Cashier: Oh my. (looks over at me with sad eyes and mouths, “I’m sorry”.) Ok, let’s see here… Ah, yes. This coupon has expired.
Old Bag #1: No it hasn’t.
Cashier: Sorry, yes it has. See right here? September, 2010.
Old Bag #1: Right, September! This is… What month is this?
Old Bag #1: (eyeing me suspiciously) Yes… July. And this is good until September.
Cashier: Right, September 2010. Two years ago.
Old Bag #2: Well, I don’t know what to say.
Seriously. They were arguing over the calendar now. This is when I knew that they were just trying to scam Safeway out of a few pennies. The way Old Bag #1 fixed me with her eyes as she made her asinine argument spoke volumes. “I’m trying to do this, see, and you’d better keep your nose out of our business or you’ll be sorry, Bub!”
Cashier: I’m sorry. Do you still want the two packages of toilet paper?
Old Bags #1 & 2: (in unison) JUST ONE!
One item to go. A simple bottle of salad dressing.
Old Bag #2: (sounding honestly worried) Wait! Does that contain dairy?
Cashier: I don’t know.
Old Bag #1: (eyeing the ingredients) HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO READ THIS?
Old Bag #2: Potassium Sorbate? Is that cheese? Because I can’t eat cheese.
Old Bag #1: I think it is.
Old Bag #2: Well, I can’t have that.
Cashier: (wishing she were dead) Do you want the…
Old Bags #1 & 2: (in unison) NO THANK YOU!
Cashier: Ok, your total comes to $4.93.
Old Bag #2: I’m going to write a check.
The fact that I am writing this from the comfort of my home rather than as part of a confession in a homicide holding cell is a testament to the self-control that I jokingly claimed I lacked earlier. I should have strangled those two witches on general principles alone. I spent fifteen minutes listening to their bullshit.
Cashier: Hi, sir. I apologize for the long wait.
Me: Haha, I was going to go get some beer to enjoy the show, but the coupon I have is expired. Haha.
Cashier: I’d honor it. You deserve it.
And just like that, Safeway kept me as a customer.
I seem to find those people every time I go to Wal-Mart. I just about lose it every time I go in there.
Hehe, I could see how Wal-Mart would have a higher incidence of these people.
This is why we don’t do checks that much in Australia.
That and we are a country of convicts – we don’t trust any fucker
Mental note: Cancel bogus check cashing spree in Australia.
As usual, you have me rolling on the floor. One of the best things about India is that I no longer have to go to the grocery store. We have small fruit/vegetable vendors and small storefronts that sell everything. No lines, and no coupons. It’s excellent. This article is why I will never, ever work in any service related job. I just wouldn’t have the self control to not stab people with shrimp forks.
Agreed. I am a pretty agreeable person, but idiocy like that makes me want to gut people with a weed wacker.
Oooh! I now have options. Shrimp forks to the eyeballs or weed wacker to the gut. Yes!
I have been known to question a price or two, because often the “special” price has not been entered to the scanner thingy. The only thing I hate more than grocery shopping is paying more than I have to.
That being said, if anyone in front of me in line starts querying ingredients at the checkout, I will promptly mow them down with my trolley.
I don’t mind checking a price or two, but challenging every single item that goes through? Not understanding the concept of an expiring coupon? Not knowing the difference between the trial size and 100 ounces? Those morons should have been deported, if only to dramatically increase the national IQ.
Oh…Thanks for the chuckle again!
No charge… If you have a non-expired coupon.
Coupons aren’t such a big deal here so I’ve never had that happen. When you started, I thought you were going to say the old bags pulled up with an entire trolley to the ’12 Items Or Less’ line.
I’m waiting for the time in the near future when I can be one of those old buggers. My intent is to make Albert Steptoe seem cultured.
I was grocery shopping with a roommate when I was just out of college, when we pulled up to the express lane. The woman in front of us had a cart absolutely filled to the top with groceries. My roommate looked at the “12 items or Less” sign, looked at her cart, then uncorked one of the funniest lines I’ve heard in the wild:
“Hi there. Hey, how’s it going? Soooo…. Which is it? You can’t read, or you can’t count?”
Ask my sister in law about this subject and she’d tell of the time a few Xmases ago when the same thing happened. I started reloading her trolley from the checkout conveyor. When she asked what I was doing, I said ‘I thought you mustn’t speak English’. She told me I was rude, and I replied that she would know as she was being fucking rude by barging in and slowing down the express line at a very busy time of the year and get in another line and wait her turn. The other shoppers waiting in line(s) made lots of ‘good on you’ sorts of comments or laughed.
This was a very small town so I expected some retaliation from the hubby, but I expect country good sense spoke louder.
PS: you’d need to drink that much light US beer to even get a buzz. Weak as piss.
Yeah, I know, but I couldn’t find a larger container of good beer.
There is something to be said for the Coors Lights of the world, however: You can drink that shit forever. The last time I went to Mexico (and it will be the last time because shit’s not safe there any more), I’d wake up around 8:00 AM with a Coors Light. We’d have some beers with breakfast, beers by the pool, beers on the beach, beers, beers, beers all day and all night. By the time we’d crash around midnight, we’d each have gone through 2 cases (although we spilled/misplaced quite a bit).
No one got sick, no one lost their shit, you just gradually increased your buzz all day and night until you were good and crocked. Lots of fun. You try that with Guinness (and I have), and you’re not going to come within shouting distance of midnight.
If I had to drink beer it’d be Hahn Ice or Cascade or one of the alcoholic ginger beers. Time for some Southern Comfort.
MGD Light and Miller Light are good like that too. It’s what I drink on the boat now, you know, so I don’t fall off.
🙂 Too funny. I would of laughed just watching that, it sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit or something happening right in front of you. I’m surprised you kept your cool for that long, my dad would of started something after the second non purchase. Just think if they did this with a full cart of groceries… Thanks for the laugh, I needed it. 😀
Yeah, if they had done that with a whole cart full of groceries, this post would’ve been written on prison stationary.
Bless that cashier’s little heart.
Last week I watched the person in front of me brow beat the cashier into giving her a discount on a case of electrolyte water. It wasn’t an elderly person either, just a cheap and rude woman. The whole thing took about five minutes, during which time I patiently waited. And then the cheap lady left her cart right in front of me. If you aren’t going to take the cart, fine, but move it out of the damn way, don’t make the person behind you do it. I am a pretty nice person, but I lost it after that…and she moved her cart and scurried out of the store.
Working in a grocery store has to be one of the toughest jobs, since every asshole in the world has to eat.
The first job I had was bagging groceries at a grocery store in the Midwest. People would stroll into the store smoking, flagrantly steal things, and one guy would come in on a regular basis, take a large pot-roast, and hide it in a really odd place where no one would see it. A couple of days later, we’d smell it and have to find the fucking thing.
The worst place he ever hid one was in between two of the massive shelving units, which meant we had to pull them apart wide enough for us to get to it, which wasn’t going to happen during store hours. So I poured a few pounds of sugar on top of the damn thing to kill the smell until we could rip everything apart and throw it away.
The only good thing about that is that it allowed me to pretend I was some grizzled detective on the hunt for a serial killer. “Oh, he won’t stop. He can’t stop. He’s developed a taste for it now.”
But other than that, that job blew donkeys.
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