Fair warning: This little nugget has been excavated from the 2010 archives, and those of you who have been with me for a while are aware that I was exceptionally persnickety during that year…
1. The people who are coupon freaks.
Okay, I’m all about saving money. Go team. But there’s a limit to everything. And that means you, crazed woman in front of me with enough little slips of paper that I expect election results to come over the store intercom. The poor cashier has to pull over a chair and slump into it with despondency, because we’re all going to be here a while as she scans hundreds of rectangles. This is when you need Wi-Fi at the checkout counter, so I can stream “Gone with the Wind” while this mess is going on.
But seriously, do you really need five different kinds of pickles? If you consume all that salt, you are going to be flat-lining in the ER within a week. And what about the low-fat butternut squash substitute? In a can? You can’t do anything with that. The air freshener that is programmed to squirt any time it senses a flushing toilet in a 4-block radius? You’re going to hate that thing within twenty minutes. The multi-vitamins designed specifically for “37-year-old mixed-race female sumo wrestlers with hypertension and a folic acid deficiency”? You’re 65 and haven’t wrestled anything, ever.
Here’s a news flash: Just because there’s a coupon for something in your Sunday paper, it does not mean that you need or even can use the advertised product. I don’t care that you can save twenty cents. If you’re never going to use it, you just wasted the rest of the purchase price. This is why you end up confused when you pay your bills every month, wondering how your grocery tab is higher even though you faithfully used coupons. Because you bought a family-size jar of multi-grain cheese spread even though you can’t stomach dairy or have a family. Because it was “Buy one get one free!”, you now have a set of useless bookends.
And another tip: All that time you spent searching and reviewing and cutting and clipping the coupons out? The hours and hours spent falling into the evil clutches of false promise based on the expectation that if you just purchase this thing you don’t really need, or at least you don’t need ten of them, your life will be instantly better. If you had spent that time out in the backyard, growing your own food, you wouldn’t need the coupons or the money you wasted using the damn coupons. Go plant some seeds and get over it.
2. The people who are cheating coupon freaks.
The jerks who think it’s okay to sandwich coupons for items they didn’t buy in between coupons for things that are actually in their basket. This used to be a fairly lucrative deceptive practice back in the day, when management had to depend on tired, overworked cashiers to stare and compare between the coupons and the actual purchases, which is an iffy proposition with some of these workers. (It’s hard to concentrate on fiscal concerns when you’re just trying to figure out who might be the father of your children.)
But now it’s all computerized, Lying Lisa. The register is going to make an alarming noise if the listless cashier drags a coupon across the scanner that does not find a match. It beeps, people. Quite loudly. An angry emoticon will appear on the display. You have been caught and we all know it. Take your bogus coupons back and shut up.
Don’t stand there and try to claim that you really did buy something that you did not, pretending to dig through your plastic sacks (when you should have asked for paper, another sign that you are an evil person), looking for something that you know is not there. You swear you bought some gourmet stuffed shrimp? Really? I didn’t notice those in the midst of your 10 cans of cat food, which might have a single, non-stuffed shrimp sprinkled prudently among the cheap-ass ten cans. The fancy fondue set? I only saw flour and eggs. Perhaps you were planning to go home and create this set in your oven kiln, and simply got confused.
Sadly, some of the cashiers, fed up with life and the bitterness of nowhere jobs, will do a manual override and credit the customer just so they will shut up. This causes hate transference. I now want the cashier to suffer painfully, even though all she really did wrong was agree to wear an ugly smock and interface with the public. Meanwhile, Moral-less Mary gets away with her crimes and is free to wreak the same havoc on her next visit.
3. The sloth people who have an ad circular from 2007.
They don’t want to listen to the increasingly impatient store clerks who are trying to explain that the item in question hasn’t been on sale since we had a different President in office. They wave around the wrinkled, stained flyer, bellowing about it being “right here on page 3!” Well, yes, it is indeed there. And it’s been there a very long time. See this date on the back? That’s when the sale ended. For you, that was probably two husbands ago, because something tells me you don’t play well with others.
Well, they are NOT going to give in, resorting to lies and falsehoods. “I just got this out of the paper two days ago!” Uh huh. We’re supposed to believe that a three-year-old sales flyer fell off a shelf in the newspaper printing plant and happened to land right there in your paper. Happens all the time. Say, did you see these products on this page over here? They don’t even make them anymore.
4. The people who can’t wait until they get home.
What in the HELL did you just do in that bathroom? Good God, are they going to find all the villagers years from now, our bones fossilized in volcanic ash?
5. The people who can’t close doors.
Quick training session: Over here, ladies and gentlemen, we have the frozen food section. Notice how they have nice, pretty glass doors? The kind you can look through? Guess what? That’s so you can review the selection while the door is closed, and then open it when you’re ready to snatch something up and slam the door again. The intention is not for you to open the door and just stand there, overcome with confusion and loss of direction. With me so far?
And why do we not want you to slip into a coma once you open the door? Well, there’s the business of you letting all that helpful cold air escape into the stratosphere. Makes the electric bills go up, and down the line you will pay more for your bean dip. But more importantly? Your worthlessness is causing frost to build up on the doors, and now no one can see what’s inside without opening the door, and eventually the temperature inside and outside the case will be the same. It is no longer the Freezer Section. It is now the Lukewarm Section, with sogginess and bacteria-development.
This makes people crazy, because their pizzas will now taste funny.
And yet you are surprised when you walk back by and someone has scribbled in the frost “Kill the woman in the fuchsia leggings. Hate her.”
6. The people who use the motorized shopping carts when they don’t really need them.
Again, in and of itself, the motorized carts are fine and wonderful things, improving access and mobility for people who might be otherwise challenged. All for it. Not for? The lazy people who snag one of these things because they aren’t motivated to do any physical labor, like the kind that is required when you actually walk to the pork rind display.
You know these people are faking it, not even bothering to breathe heavily or have any use for a cane prior to walking into the store. They hop onto the contraptions with surprising agility, speeding away and tooting that damn horn that scares the hell out of the non-lazy, productive members of society.
Speaking of the horn, we do have a subset of motorized-vehicle users with anger management issues. They may or may not have actual disabilities, it’s really not important. What’s critical is that they are pissed off at the entire world. They will purposely try to run you down, just because they can. And those carts are fast these days. You can be innocently comparing hand soaps in the home goods department, and the next thing you know your ass is in cosmetics and something is bleeding.
And I understand that carts can perform differently, but it’s basically the same concept. If you can’t quickly figure out how to drive something, you shouldn’t be on it. If you are running into things, you are doing it wrong. If you can’t reverse direction with a simple three-point turn in an aisle, then stop trying. Find a main thoroughfare where there is more room and innocent bystanders have better escape options.
7. The people who don’t put things back where they found them.
Why is there a box of tampons shoved in between the green beans and the pinto beans? What the hell would lead to this kind of situation?
8. The people who are mystified by choice.
There should be a time-limit in every aisle. If you can’t decide between the flour tortillas and the whole-wheat tortillas within 30 seconds, a bell should ring and you should be forced to wait in a special time-out zone until you’ve made a decision. Flummoxed by the varied potato chip selections? Time-out zone. Overwhelmed by the astonishing array of low-fat salad dressings, all of which have the same chemical taste? Find a quiet place that is not here and wait for The Voices to give you guidance. Bottom line, if you can’t make a quick decision, you are stopping the progress of humanity. Go back home and practice in your pantry.
9. The people who come in here drunk.
Seriously, you’ve knocked back a few, and for entertainment you pile in the truck and head to the supermarket? Belching and staggering around, fascinated by the blur of lights and colors. And, of course, people in this state have never made proper clothing choices. Butt-cracks and flip-flops seem to be defining couture guidelines. Oh, and body odor is the preferred designer fragrance, because it smells like home. This is truly the shining pinnacle of American society.
10. The people who talk to you when they are not actually requiring medical assistance.
I don’t know you. At all. Why are you compelled to talk to me? Do I look like your therapist? Is there anything, anywhere on my body, the tiniest sign, that indicates I might care about your life experiences and the decisions you’ve made about such?
Let me answer that for you. No.
Do not come near me with your vocal cords engaged. Do not assume that I am invested in anything that you might have to share. I have pepper spray. And I’m pretty sure I can find something solid and heavy in the frozen foods section that I can wave menacingly in your direction. Unless Fuchsia Leggings has dicked it up for all of us by leaving the door open again.
Thank you for shopping at your local Wal-Mart.
Y’all come back now, ya hear?
Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 09/01/10. Considerably revised for this post. I initially tried to soften the Mean Girl attitude, but after a while it became clear that I should just let my bitter little light shine….
And just to clarify, the first time I posted this, I got a bit of backlash over the segment where I babble about the motorized shopping carts. For the record, I fully realize that some folks really need them. (My sister has been confined to a wheelchair for twenty years.) My beef is with lazy people who take advantage of a situation and subsequently take resources away from those who are actually challenged.
Categories: 10 Reasons Why