Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shopping with Vanilla

I had occasion a bit ago to stop at the Dollar General. BBBH had asked me to get some cooking oil. My shopping technique is simplicity itself. I enter store knowing what I'm there for, proceed to item, pluck from shelf and proceed to checkout.

Today as I arrived at the (sole open) checkout counter, simultaneously so did Ms. Late-50-Something Hausfrau from 90 degree angle. We both stopped, ostensibly to avoid collision, she glanced at me, clearly had to see that I had one item. She wheeled her laden cart in front of me.*

I stood patiently throughout her transaction, whistling, and not on lowest volume, the whole time, "Help Me Make it Through the Night." And I was careful as I segued into the chorus to pitch just-enough-off-key to be totally irritating to anyone who is not tone-deaf. Yes, I am good enough to do that. So anyway, as it transpired, one of her items was neither tagged nor in the original bag. Well, clerkie rang up the rest (almost, see below) of the items, THEN Ms. 50+ headed to the back of the store, housewares dept. and eventually returned with item similar to the one she wanted, but still in its wrapper. The clerk scanned that and announced the total.

Then, of course, the scramble through the purse to find the plastic. Swiped, whew! and whee! because there was no problem there. The woman stepped up to gather her packages and I stepped forward and placed the canola on the counter when the clerk espied six cans of paint on the end of the counter. Yours? No, that woman's. The poor cashier looked dazed, puzzled and apologetic, and I said, "Please go ahead and ring mine up, then finish her off." And maybe I really did mean "finish her off." Kidding. So that's how it went down, and as the woman stepped back to the counter for her "second set of purchases" I think she might have glowered at me. Oh, did I mention that I divined that it was the perfect time to pay for my $2.50 purchase with the collection of pennies, nickels and dimes that I had accumulated in my right front pocket?

*I am assuming that she determined that at my age, I had no place to be, nothing pressing to do. Whippersnappers and boomers might consider that at my age I may not have left much time to do anything, hence they should respect what little I have.


jimgrey said...

I'll never again hear someone whistle at the store without wondering about their inner state.

vanilla said...

Jim-- But naught to fear; our emotions are under control.