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Grocery Store Blues

Going to the grocery store is not among my favorite things to do. It falls on the list somewhere around root canals and waiting for tires to be rotated on my car. But I have noticed a new behavior when I am checking out of stores and it’s prevalent enough to make me think it’s just one more thing we are going to have to deal with.


The way our stores are set up (if you are not using the self-checking aisles), I have to place all of my items on the moving belt. Then I can move forward a little, and as so often is the case anymore, start bagging my own groceries. (Baggers have gone the way of telephone landlines.) When the clerk is done ringing up my purchases, I have to back up the aisle a little to return to where the credit card reader is so that I can sign my name on the credit slip. But lately, the next person in line is looming over that device, thinking that if they move far enough into my air space, that they will get through the checkout procedure faster.


So I have to say ”Excuse me,” and have them move back -- back! -- so that I can sign my name. (Which is hard to do because the person behind them is pushing forward too).


It’s a funny thing about human nature. We think just through sheer will we can change the laws of physics. The same applies to tailgaters who sit on my trunk when I am following someone who is inching along. I want to design my own bumper sticker for these people: “Hey, you. There’s no place to go, Back off!” A little picture of Yosemite Sam might be included.


By Teresa K. Flatley



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