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Mpls, MN, United States

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Incidents & Accidents

Saturday, May 06, 2006

"I'm not just deaf and dumb..."

Because it had never happened to me, I'd been under the impression that grocery store clerks and librarians weren't allowed to remark on food purchases or book rentals. I figured it was part of their training, and perhaps even illegal.

All bets are apparently off, however, at least at the Bowling Green Meijer, if you enter the line confessing that your eight packets of Sport Beans, if counted individually, have in fact put you over the 15-item limit for the express lane. The checker may, in that case, feel free to remark not only on the Beans ("Yeah, I eat a lot of Power Bars and things like that"), but even on the raisins ("'Baking raisins'? I didn't even realize they made those"). If you respond cordially that you didn't either, but bought them because they were the smallest amount available and you're buying food in small amounts because you're planning to move, he may even ask you about that.

It was a friendly-enough exchange, but the implications were a bit disturbing. Ter and I used to joke about being "fruit flies," piling our apples and grapes and bananas and pears onto the check-out conveyer at Super Saver, but the checkers never blinked an eye, and certainly didn't comment. But now, I feel as though the sanctity of my (imagined) checker-checkee confidentiality has been broken. I feel silly enough with eight packets of Sport Beans in my basket, but the possibility that the checker can remark on them--even if it is the weekend and I've already made eye contact and an over-the-limit confession--leaves me feeling rather vulnerable.

I'm all for the Rundown in certain situations... but would prefer to avoid it in the check-out line.


bryant said...

I had forgotten about the rundown. I'll have to listen to that again now.

Cerise said...

It's a classic, all right!