Crawling Under a Rock

My “crawling under a rock” moment happened yesterday at a big supermarket chain store- you know, the type big enough to have self-checkout machines.

It started with a typical walk through the aisles making note of items on sale. I’d compare them in my head to what the normal price was as well as what it typically sold for at competing stores. I thought I was done picking up all the things I both needed and wanted. But, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. Like the proverbial pregnant woman, I had a yen for pickles, even though last I looked I was of the male persuasion and nowhere close to needing maternity clothes.

It became too convenient as the aisle I traipsed through contained condiments such as peanut butter, jelly, mustard, honey and, yeah- pickles. There they were- several different brands. My eye (the good one) immediately caught sight of one on sale at 2 for $5.00, which was a real bargain. Normal price would have been anywhere between $3.29 to $3.49. I grabbed a jar even though it was glass, knowing well my propensity to not grasp things so well anymore in my right hand. That’s what that damn carpal tunnel does to you. From my wrist to the tip of my fingers, it is a constant feeling of needle pins, the same sensation when you bump your elbow funny bone. Not only the out-of-body sensation, but there is a loss of sensitivity to touch.

I cleanly picked up a jar and put it into the shopping cart in the very front area- you know, the place where you normally put a little kid if you go shopping with one. And, yes, you surmise correctly on two accounts- I rarely put anything in the full basket area unless I am purchasing too many items or the thing is too big for the front area. I also very infrequently make it a point to buy anything put in a glass container anymore.

Regardless, after successfully putting the glass jar of pickles in the cart, I quickly proceeded to my favorite self-checkout station right next to the human attendant station in case someone needs help. At the station, I pressed the button that gave me a choice to conduct the transaction in English or Spanish. (One of these days, I am going to pretend that I am Hispanic and choose Espanol and fake having a problem and speak only in gibberish while asking for help- because that’s the kind of guy I am)

I took the little plastic tag with the laminated bar code on my keyring and scanned it in the designated area on the machine as it told me, “card accepted”. I then proceeded to draw items out of the front area of the basket, put them through the scanner, ring up the price and then into a plastic bag. (Well, they don’t have glass bags.) At one point, I had to move an item to continue with all the non-frozen or wet stuff in order to combine them into the first bag. As I did- you guessed it- the pickles were jarred (sorry) from their specially designated resting spot and fell through the kid’s feet holes in the front- smack down to the hard ground. The glass shattered into 387 pieces, pickles rolled all over the place, green brine juice trickled a few feet away and all 3,294 people in the store looked at me. Dammit, where was that hole in the ground?

To her credit, the attendant was much too kind to me. I apologized profusely begging over and over again to let me pay for the ruined item. She refused and told me to go get another and to be careful finishing my checkout session and not step on any broken glass. I told her I suddenly lost my appetite for pickles. She also demonstrated to me how a non-moron would know to move the feet cover plate into place if the holes were not needed so that such a thing would not happen. Hey, I’m a guy- I’m not supposed to know these things.

I figure if I wait another three years I can go back to the store provided the attendant has already retired.

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