by Eric Miller
that I had invited friends for dinner at the last
minute, I told my wife I would run to the
supermarket to pick up what we needed.
take you too long. You're the kind of person who
has to walk up and down each aisle, even if you
only need one item. I'll go, it will be much more
be fine, I reassured her.
True to my
claim, I got what I needed quickly and pushed my
cart up to the checkout line, behind several
overflowing carts. A manager approached me and
told me to go through the Express Line.
too many items for Express, I told him.
fine. Dont worry, he said.
defend me if I come under attack?"
its fine. Dont worry, he
manager sent me here, even though I have too many
items," I explained to the Express cashier.
yeah, yeah," she muttered, as she started to
ring me up.
these Bosc or Bartlett pears?," she asked.
no idea," I answered.
ring you up without a code," she said, as
two customers, each carrying one item, lined up
these people up first," I offered,
I've already started you."
pear whatever you want," I suggested.
call it by the wrong name."
okay. Just ring it up," I replied.
charge too much, plus skew the inventory,"
she advised, with a look of dismay at my cavalier
got too many items. Get out of the line,"
the woman behind me blurted out loudly.
know, but the manager sent me here," I
wrong. Get out of the line."
what are you doing in this line," a guy
holding a six pack of beer yelled.
you've caused," the cashier growled.
caused?," I barked. "Just ring this
stuff up, so I can get out of here."
the problem?," a different manager asked, as
he approached quickly.
isn't supposed to be here."
step aside," the manager said, taking my arm.
I shouted. Another manager told me to come
here. You people dont know what youre
people?," the manager said, glaring.
people?," the cashier said, scowling.
people?," everyone in line shouted.
people," I shouted back, as I started to
pick up each item, one by one, from my cart and
hand it to the cashier. "This is a Forelle
pear; ring it up. This is a MacIntosh apple; ring
it up. This is endive; ring it up. The Latin name
for this plant is 'Leafusupyoursius'; ring
a woman in the adjacent aisle said, smiling:
"The plant is an Aspidistra. Would you like
me to tell the cashier what to do with it?"
I waved to her
appreciatively as I was dragged out of the store.