I love a good laugh, especially after hauling around a cart, with one stuck wheel, filled with perishables (short-shelf lifers) and canned goods (long-shelf lifers).
Long-shelf lifers are typically heavier than short-shelf lifers and weigh down the cart. One long-shelf item, a 48-pack of beer, elicited a wry comment from the cashier when I started to check out.
As the bright silver-colored carton glided along the conveyor belt, the glare from the package forced the male cashier to shield his eyes, before gazing at me with a cold-calculating stare.
“Hitting the booze I see,” he mumbled underneath his breath.
“What did you say?”
“You must be confusing me with someone else,” he said.
By now, I knew my face had turned all thirty-six variations of red on the color spectrum. “It’s a 48-pack, not a 96-pack,” I blurted. “And it’s only light beer.” Nicely played, I thought, realizing I just had an, “I’m rubber and your glue” moment. That’s it! Keep giving him more ammo to fire my way.
He cocked his head, as his lips curved into a 38-caliber grin. “Do you think I should ask you for I.D?” he said.
I narrowed my eyes while glaring at him, which further deepened the lines that stretched across my forehead, like ancient cryptic markings.
“It’s your call,” I said, and grabbed a can of LYSOL, my weapon of choice for eradicating germs. I pulled off the cap and thought, go ahead. Make my day.
He licked his lips, as the color drained from his face. “Do you have a card?”
“What kind of card?” I pressed, while glaring at him with the razor sharp penetration of a Ginzo knife. Could this be the moment when I’m IDed and then categorized in the supermarket database, as “almost, but not quite dead?”
His eyes averted my gaze. “Your store card.”
“Oh. But of course,” I grumbled, put down the LYSOL and dug through my purse for the store key tag card amid dental floss containers, broken pens, and expired coupons, While I searched, I heard a distinct clicking sound emanating from behind the register. I turned to see an increasingly fidgety cashier tap his pen against the check out counter rack. Impatience was not another of his virtues, along with disrespecting the elderly.
After I located the key ring, I tossed it onto the conveyor belt for processing.
He crossed his arms against his chest and waited for the key ring to reach him. Then he swiped the card on the register, and plopped it onto the platform on the other side. I would have to wait just as he did.
As soon as I reached the other side, and stepped beneath the overhead light, I swiped my credit card in the machine several times to no avail.
Once again, he looked at me with contempt.
“You’re swiping the wrong side,” he said.
“Right!” I replied, then swiped it again, and waited while the elderly gentleman bagger educated me on the finer points of packing produce.
I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
“Here,” said the cashier, as he thrusted into my hand a foot long receipt with bonus coupons I’d forget to use.
With a grunt, I gave the cart one last push, then stopped at the sound of the cashier clearing his throat.
“Oh,” he said, while flashing a grin. “Have a nice day!”