Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Shopping: Just Stay Home

I went out in public today, which frankly, is always a bad idea.

First stop was the drive-up ATM at my bank. There was one car ahead of me. I watched as the driver swiped her card, then turned it over and swiped it again, then pushed random buttons, then swiped her card again, then stared at her card as if the answer to all life’s mysteries would soon be revealed to her, and apparently when they were revealed, they said, “Look at the picture, and insert your card accordingly.”

Finally she left, and about forty seconds later I had my cash and headed to the drugstore. When I parked, I noticed that same car was next to me (after all, I’d had a good long time to stare at the plate). I hoped to God she was not in front of me in line here too.

As always, I went for one item and saw a couple of things on sale so I grabbed them, too. At the checkout I did not see the ATM failure, but a man trying to return something, who had to wait for someone who knew how to do some things to appear and take over his transaction. He kindly offered to step aside and let me have a go with the new clerk.

I handed said clerk my magic store card and my coupon for coffee, that I’d ripped off of the box of coffee pods I still had at home, and said that the giant six-pack of tissues should have a one-dollar-off-at-register coupon.

He scanned the coffee coupon, held it next to the new box of pods, and said the coupon didn’t work for that item. He studied the coupon and the box, then the box and the coupon, as people behind me started to get pissed.

He then suggested that the coupon probably hadn’t worked because he didn’t ring up the coffee.
He rang up the pods, at $3.00 more than the sale price before the coupon, and then deducted the dollar.

I was ready to punch him and leave with my overpriced goods when the woman behind me heaved a sigh. I turned to find the ATM failure impatiently waiting for me to finish.

So I told the clerk the coffee rang up wrong, and he then had to figure out how to correct that while rummaging through a coupon book for the Kleenex deal.

I finally escaped, although I was still robbed of one dollar.

Back in the car, I sent my daughter a text, saying I had the urge to stab people. As I put the car in reverse, ATM woman did the same, and made a quick exit. Like she was now in a hurry.

Next I went to the other drug store. I carried my stuff to the counter, and the only clerk there said, “I’ll be right with you,” as she took off into the aisles.

I did not want to punch or stab her, probably due to her advanced age. So when she returned I checked out and headed to Wendy’s, my last stop.

There, I was handed my drink with no straw, and waited. And waited. Like they had to send someone to the beach to dig some more sand for the chili or something. Finally they shoved a bag out the window. Parched from wanting to hurt others (a shrink once asked me if I have thoughts of hurting myself – um, no, that would be a little nutty) I dug through the bag for the straw. Still no straw.
I repeated Hello Hello Hellooooo, until someone stuck a head out to see what I wanted. She then poked a straw at me, no Sorry or Have a Great Day or You might want to check the rest of that shit ‘cause there may be a cheesy bacon potato with not a drop of butter or sour cream in there instead of sandy chili.

The holidays are fast approaching, and I can’t deal. I’ll be shopping from home, alone.

It’s safer that way.


  1. Thank you, thank you for this wonderful post. It's heartening to know that the urge to growl and shake someone isn't limited to teachers of teens ( me).

    "How was school today?"

    "Fine. No homicides. Yet."

  2. Ha! No homicides. That always makes for a good day!