10 Items or Less
We’ve all done it from time to time; walk into a store for two or three things and the next thing you know – you’re looking for a shopping cart. Two or three things has just turned into nine or ten things. In my case, thirteen.
My wife, Consuela (aka Swayla) and I, along with my nine month old son, Spencer (aka Spencer) were on our back from a function. When we were about to pass a grocery store, she remembered a few things that we needed for the house.
No big deal. I’ll carry Spencer as the three of us walk around and get the few items. Swayla grabbed one of those plastic baskets that are used just for that purpose. Instead of pushing a cart around for two or three items these plastic baskets were perfect. They were neatly stacked near the entrance.
Well, as you’ve probably guessed, we needed to track down a cart. Luckily, there was an empty cart nearby, so the transition was quick & painless. It’s not that there were a lot of items it was just that they were big and/or fragile (e.g. toilet paper, milk, rye bread, &c.).
Spencer wanted to switch. So instead of me carrying him, he wanted to get in the cart and get pushed around by Mom.
Again, no big deal.
However, after a minute or two, Spencer wasn’t satisfied.
I knew what he wanted. He wanted me to push him around in the cart.
I guess I’m more fun.
I wonder why? [rhetorical question]
“Okay, we’re done,” Swayla quickly said as Spencer and I zoomed past her.
I widened my eyes and looked at Spencer, “Time to go.”
I slowed down on the horseplay and the three of us casually walked towards the registers. The lines were full and the only short line was the “10 Items or Less” register. So that’s where I decided to head to.
We were still a good distance from the register when I noticed a young woman walking past me. She was holding a 3-pack of Irish Spring soap and a tube of toothpaste. She was headed for that same register.
Not on my watch! I quickened the pace.
“Wait,” Swayla warned, “we have more than 10 items I think.”
I heard her, but there was a crime unfolding.
And I had to stop her.
Damn she’s fast.
She knew I was tailing her.
She knew that I wanted to get in front of her. And…
she knew that it wasn’t going to happen.
We both knew.
Wait a minute…something happened!
She dropped her soap…then kicked it away from herself!
Time to make my move.
Spencer giggles as I speed up.
Needless to say, I’m in line ahead of this woman.
And yes, I’m a dick.
The woman slowly walks up flashing me her best “Eat shit & die” grin. Swayla soon walks up from behind her.
“What are you doing?” she asks me quietly.
I shake my head and look confuse as if I don’t know what she’s talking about. She looks down at the cart and starts counting the items.
“We have thirteen items.”
I keep looking around the store like I’m oblivious to what’s going on. Besides, can’t she I’m deflecting daggers from this woman’s eyes?
We were almost up.
“Jimmy,” Swayla said in a somewhat loud hushed voice trying to get my attention.
I look at her.
Pointing with her eyes by looking at the woman she says without moving her lips, “Let her go ahead.”
The woman knew what was going on. Everybody knew what was going on.
Except for Spencer. He was clueless.
“Next,” the cashier announced.
And to my surprise, I said to the woman, “Go ahead, you only have two items.”
“And you have thirteen, you’re in the wrong line!” She says that to me as she walks past sounding snooty.
She said that loud enough so that the cashier could hear on purpose.
The cashier’s face totally changed. She looked as though she was about to exercise a store policy. She was about to pull some authority.
As the cashier handed the woman her change she wished her a “Good Day”.
“I will now, thank you,” the woman responded back.
Now, it’s my turn.