Thursday, December 18, 2008
Death In The Pickle Aisle
Snow, and lots of it arriving tomorrow mid-morning. This prediction by our own Paul Piorek, weatherman, usually sends most locals running and not walking, to the store for such necessities as water, milk and of course toilet paper. For Ma Teakettle the only thing that is required for a good "snow-in" is my traditional half and half, not the Fat Free stuff that Pa drinks, but the real deal. So, of course to my horror I discovered this morning that I was using what was to be the last of my half and half. I have plenty of milk, water and toilet paper, but no half and half and that, my friends, is just not an option. It is with this mission in mind that I head to my local grocery store, find a parking spot and head off into the store prepared to fight with the other housewives for the needed item, as if it were the last girdle at a closeout sale. As I enter the store, a kindly man steps in front of me and says "Mam, have you heard about our new swipe and bag program here at Stop and Shop?" Oh here we go, inches from a clean get away, but I smile pleasantly as mama taught me and I reply "No, I have not." Well, this sweet fellow has just had his day made, so I feel right about my good manners. He proceeds to show me how to use the hand held bar code scanner, which looks very much like the fazer from Star Trek, and noticing my reusable bags he tells me to go ahead and start shopping. Well, OK then, off I toddle with my scanner in hand and begin shopping. Of course, first I head to the dairy aisle for my coveted half and half, which I scan and bag and on I go shopping, scanning and bagging, feeling a lot like Jean Luc Picard. I can hear others using their scanners as well and it feels more and more like the USS Enterprise than a local grocery store in Teakettleland. As I pass a lady also using the scanner, I chuckle and comment about how I feel like Jean Luc and I wonder where my number one is, to which she replies "Oh, I think the bathrooms are over there," ugh not that kind of number one. I assume she is not a Trekkie. Her perfectly tailored outfit and Lilly Pulitzer jacket should have tipped me off, but I am just not on my game today. As I enter the pickle aisle I see a little guy sitting in the front of his mom's cart holding her scanner and looking bored, and as I pass him I smile and he points his scanner at me and makes a "Pow pow" noise. I stop, "Oh no you didn't!" I reply, to which he laughs and says "You're dead I fazed you." Holy cow! Was I thrilled, I did my best lady like stunned Trekki death twirl and both he and his mom laughed even more. Yes, I died in the pickle aisle, never finding my number one, but a hero's death I found. And a little boy's boring grocery shopping trip I enlightened. As I finished my shopping and checked out, it was time to return my scanner to the friendly fellow. I handed it to him, and he asked "So, how did you like it?" to which I replied "Huge pain in the ass." He looked at me and said "Really! That is too bad, we are finding them to be so much more efficient." Well duh, "I scanned, I totaled my coupons and savings, I bagged and I paid, how could it not be more efficient for you?" I said. He smiled and said, "Well I guess it's just not for you." To which I replied "Are you kidding me? It may be a pain in the ass but this thing rocks on fun! I'll be a user from now on!" And that, my friends is how death occurred in the pickle aisle, and I became a Stop and Shop scanner fan.