Monday, August 11, 2008

Grocery lines cause anxiety, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure

Few things in life are more frustrating for me than the grocery store. I can handle the shopping process, but paying for the stuff is always an ordeal.

Where it all starts to go wrong is I always get in the wrong line. I always check really carefully and select the shortest line, but it seems like no matter how short a line looks at the outset I always get stuck behind someone who needs a price check or wants to argue about prices.

Jerk: “$1.25? I coulda swore that was a dollar. I know there are twelve people behind me and it’s only 25 cents we’re talking about, but can we get someone to go check?”

Other times I’ve gotten stuck behind some parent who can’t control their kids and the kids are throwing stuff out of the cart, punching each other and demanding candy. I tried to offer a kid some candy once to speed the process up, but that only got security called on me.

I started using the self-checkout things in hopes that the smart people were more likely to use a self-checkout machine and the line would move faster. But even with the self-checkout I always manage to get stuck behind some 90 year old man who got in the wrong line by mistake.

Old Man:
"Hey, where is the checker? I need some service here! I need to pay for these prunes!" (Or whatever old people buy.)

Clueless old men aside, I love the self-checkout stands because they don’t judge. Triple strength Gas-X? No judgment here. Jock itch ointment? Hey man, it’s your business. A grocery clerk might look at you, laugh to herself and then hand the item to the bagger who will also laugh to himself, but not the self-checkout. The self-checkout machine remains mercifully neutral.

I think I will just start stealing instead. It will save money and time and if I get caught, getting arrested can't be half as embarrassing as buying that stuff.