Tuesday, January 15, 2008

1 followed closely by a 2 is a twelve. 12. Twelve. Count 'em.

I was on my way to my painting class this afternoon. I had just enough time to whip into Superstore to pick up a roll of masking tape on the way.

When looking for a fast check-out, I don't just look for the shortest line. I always factor in the age, sex and appearance of the cashier to determine which line I think will move faster. I make my decision and step into the second express checkout. 12 items or less.

Now, I always understood that numbers were sort of universal, and people of all languages could read them. Perhaps I'm wrong.

At first I didn't see the woman's basket in front of me, but when I heard her ask for 4 grocery bags, I took notice. Then I heard the cashier say, "Bear with me, I don't work cash. I normally work at the customer service counter, and I always shudder when I see people with produce." And she had produce. 18 different types. Along with a few packages of pork rind, large can of soy sauce and some boxes of Kleenex. (in a 12 item check-out) And we aren't talking recognizable things like carrots, oranges and potatoes. Noooo. These were all little green curly things and purple flat things and whites balls of stuff. I'd have never even guessed these things were edible.

It was too late to escape. Our Cashier turned her "on" light off and the other lineups had already increased by 4.

I waited as patiently as I could as the cashier leafed through her booklets that should have pictures for incidences such as these, and then watched the woman count her coins to pay for her things.

I paid for my one item and turned and walked away. I caught a glimpse of an other woman unloading her semi-full cart of unrecognizable vegetables onto the express lane I just left. .. the 12 items or less one, with the light off.

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