Friday, April 23, 2010
A Quick Trip To The Store
When you're (I'm) too lazy or it's too late to go to the real grocery store, some of us (me) are glad to have a 24 hour Shoppers right down the street. The former and the latter often combine and we (I) end up doing a majority of grocery shopping here.
I can’t stress this enough: get a basket at the front door. I stroll right past the front door baskets confident that they have more baskets in the food section, then – what the hell? There are no baskets in the food section! Well, that’s just great. I already came in like I was too fucking cool for the front door baskets, I can’t go back and get one now. Plus, if I walk towards the front door with an armful of merchandise, the cosmetics girl will think I’m planning to run off with it. So I choose to suck it up and try to balance all my stuff like an idiot.
Bread held by the pinky and ring fingers. Applesauce, cheese, fruit juice, eggs, and a pack of gum all held precariously in place between my cradled arms and my chest.
Everyone in the store was staring at me, I could feel it. “Why doesn’t that guy get a basket?” A girl asked her mother. “Because he’s stupid,” was probably the reply.
I dread going to the register. I just hate it. First off, if there’s a line, I have to stare at shitty magazines like People and InTouch and US Weekly that have the fucking Kardashian sisters plastered all over the front cover – who exactly is getting emotionally invested in the lives of random skanks like the Kardashians?
I can’t even tell those girls apart. As far as I can see, it's a tall one, a smiley one and tits. I bet all three of them could suck a golfball through a garden hose.
Speaking of suck, I also get suckered in by the impulse chocolate. Not the shitty chocolate bars. I could go my whole life without another Oh Henry. I would, however, trip a scampering toddler for a 3-pack of Ferrero Rocher or a bag of peanut M&Ms.
There are 25 peanut M&Ms in a bag and there are 250 calories in bag, so each M&M is roughly 10 calories. Therefore, my caloric intake from peanut M&Ms alone is... what’s the US war budget right now?
Like, 3 billion. S'not that bad, right?
I finally get to the register and that’s when the questions start.
1. Do you want a bag?
Here’s the thing about the bags: any store that isn’t your local Korean-run convenience store is already charging five cents for bags. Why? I thought it was to reduce litter or pollution footprint or something (which is pretty stupid considering that, even for a pack of gum, they print a receipt longer than the credit scroll for Lord of The Rings.)
Turns out: Each retailer may choose what they would like to do with the money from the sale of plastic retail shopping bags. In passing this policy in December 2008, Toronto City Council encouraged retailers to reinvest any revenue from the sale of plastic retail shopping bags into community or environmental initiatives, and encourages retailers to let their customers know what they are doing with the funds. (via)
Next time you get plastic bags, ask the cashier what they’re doing with the profits. I bet they have no idea.
Anyways, the bags cost five cents? Yeah, I’ll take sixteen of ‘em.
Who cares if I’m only getting a bottle of Coke? If they’re going to offer bags at 5¢ apiece, who are they to limit how many I can purchase and, for that matter, what I do with them?
2/3) Do you have an club rewards card? Do you want to sign up for one?
No, and no. I used to make up the excuse, “Oh, I forgot it at home,” but I’ve decided to just be honest.
“I don’t really want to waste my time giving you all of my personal information for another in a series of useless club cards that make my wallet too uncomfortably thick to sit on, and I also don’t intend on spending ten thousand dollars here, merely so I can enjoy 50 bonus points that might ultimately amount to sixteen bucks. But thanks anyways.”
4) Do you want to donate a dollar to charity?
On one hand, how can you say no to this? It’s only a dollar. And it’s charity. On the other hand, they don’t mention which charity and that makes me a little skeptical, so no dice. But I can’t just say no. I feel like an asshole. It’s, “not today,” “not right now,” or “no thanks” (like they were offering me money.)
Bam, total comes up. If I’m paying in cash, I also get this one:
5) Do you have a penny/nickel/dime/quarter?
Often, I do. Sometimes I carry so much change that I end up with an offensively bulging pocketful of coins, at which point I’ll have to empty out all the dead weight coins*.
(*The dead weight coins are pennies, nickels and dimes. Obviously, with their powers combined, they can pack a mean punch but they’re pretty worthless on their own, so I don’t really acknowledge them. That’s why anything less than a quarter gets tossed in a jar; and when the jar is full, I’ll get it exchanged for fives and have a field day at the Brass Rail – I mean... donate it to charity.)
However, I usually just say I don’t have any change because, as previously mentioned, I don’t bother dealing with dead weight coins. That decision ultimately leaves me with an even bigger mittful of change and ultimately a bigger bulge in my pocket, more to put in the jar, and more to give to Charity.
Then comes the insincere ‘have a nice day’ before you’re on your way. No smile. They don’t even look you in the eye before they move onto the next customer and repeat the same boring process, so bothering to say, ‘thanks, you too’ is often met with futility.
This is what the self-checkouts are for, I guess. You don’t have to talk to anyone if you don’t want to. And quite often, unless the cashier is highly attractive, I don’t want to. Even your basic cashier conversation goes something like this:
CASHIER – “Hi, how are you?”
ME – “Good, you?”
CASHIER – “Good. Do you need a bag?”
ME – “Yes, please.”
CASHIER - (scans items) “Twenty six fifty two.”
ME – “It’ll be on debit, please.”
CASHIER – “go ahead... stripe the other way... no, the other way...”
ME – “Thanks.”
CASHIER – “Have a nice da –“ (next customer) “Hi, how are you?”
ME – “Thanks, you too.”
I exit stage left and walk home, muttering how 'one day I’m going to shop at a real grocery store'.