Friday, April 29, 2005

Got Milk?

"Have a nice day, sir," the young girl at the register said to me.
~ Actually I had been having a fairly nice day before I walked into that supermarket. Stopping in for a gallon of milk and the few obligatory add-ons, my goal was to get in, get my milk and get out. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Only a few feet from the entrance I was besieged from behind by a shopping cart, not once, but twice by the same lady. That was the moment my day begin to deteriorate.
~ Upon finding the dairy case in dire need of restocking, I wondered if perhaps there was some unexpected shortage of milk. Of course, the previously mentioned lady had also parked in front of of the empty milk display. Needless to say, she had conveniently positioned herself where the stockboy needed to be. Indignant that she was asked to please move, she uttered a few expletives deleted not exactly becoming of a lady. I had always thought that gallons of milk containers coming from the same case would also have the same "sell by date." Apparently, this lady's experience shopping suggested otherwise as she read one by one the stamped dates.
~ From that point on I gave her the right of way and made sure she was in front of me. I strategically avoided any aisle she chose to take. A box of Cheez-Its and a bag of chips fulfilled my add-ons as I headed to the front of the store. Just as I emerged from one aisle, a mountain of on-sale cans of garbanzo beans came crashing down in my path. Someone had crashed their cart into the base of the display causing the avalanche. You guessed it, the same lady! She plowed through the debris while I was busy removing a dozen or so cans of garbanzos from my cart. By the way, I hate garbanzo beans!
~ Finally arriving at the express line of 12 or fewer items, I was dismayed to see my nemesis was there ahead of me. After a heated debate with the checkout clerk, her 30 or so items were scanned. It seems that her myriad of ailments precluded her from complying to item restrictions. A comment by a man behind me gave her the excuse to practice some more choice expletives. By the way, I also hate lines! Apoplexy had begun to set in as I patiently waited while she was digging through her pocketbook for coupons and her senior citizen discount card. Wetting the tip of her finger as she pulled one bill at a time from her purse, I was tempted to offer to count it out for her. Next was the excavation for the loose coins to make exact change. Apoplexy was just about full blown as the clerk began to eliminate items from the total. Yes, she had put more groceries into her cart than she had money. While this was going on, she muttered something about the stores high prices being responsible for her embarrassing shortage of funds. Curiously, one of the items left off her purchase was the gallon of milk.
~ As the lady carted her groceries away, I was stopped by the clerk. It was time for her break. The register was closed. By the way, I hate shopping! By the time I had moved to another register, got checked out, and finally left the store, I was most definitely having a bad day.
~ The girl at the register had meant well, but I don't think she realized the pressure she had put me under. She had put the onus on me. (I was reminded of a George Carlin skit). Did it occur to her that maybe, just maybe I didn't particularly want to have a nice day? Maybe I would have preferred to have a mediocre day or a so-so day. For all she knew, I might have been looking forward to a lousy day! She could have very well spoiled my day because she wasn't thinking about what she said.
~ The rest of the day I found myself walking on egg shells. I was cautious in every thing I did, overly cautious to a fault. From the moment I left that register, it was ordained for me to have a nice day. When I got to my truck, it was my turn to practice my skills of using expletives! Another car had pulled in beside me, so close that I couldn't open the passenger door. My only option was from the driver's side to reach across the console to deposit my bags on the floorboard. Once behind the wheel, I glanced in my rear view mirror in time to see the owner of the car approach. I nearly screamed! It was her again! I don't know who I pissed off that day, but they were getting their money's worth of revenge.
~ I got the hell away from there as fast as I could without taking out any one on the parking lot. Instead of first heading back to the house, I instead went to the drive-up window of the nearest coffee shop. Nothing, this side of a stiff alcoholic beverage can soothe ones soul like a cup of Joe. As it turned out, naturally, I had to go back into the place for a donut to help wash down the coffee. I would've bet the house that the one who served me the coffee must have been a relative of that lady in the grocery store!
~ I started to pull out of the coffee shop's lot when a another car whipped into the exit lane cutting me off. I lost it then and there. Parking where I sat, I was going to give that lady a piece of my mind! I had had all I could take from her. It wasn't her! It was the register clerk who turned me away to go on her break! In what might have looked like a comedy routine, the two of us apologized to each other, both of us claiming fault. Back in my truck about to turn into the traffic, I saw something that promised the rest of my day was going to be nice. There she was, that lady, tail-gating another car and blasting her horn. The poor bastard, he picked the wrong lady to cut off!
~Got milk? I got mine.

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