Monday, June 04, 2007

Nuclear Groceries

I love snow peas. I use them in stir fry, on salads, and more often than not, just plain as a snack to go with my lunch. Today, after a long hiatus, I popped a few munchies into my mouth. Instead of the juicy sweetness, my tongue was met with rancid putrescence. Any sane person would've spit them out - which I did. But, just to make sure I hadn't grabbed a bad patch, I went ahead and threw some more in my mouth.

Yep, they were bad all right.

Now, here is where I reveal how truly cheap I am. During one particular rough patch in college, I discovered that groceries - within reason (no broken eggs, please) - are totally RETURNABLE. I used to buy things that were too big for my wallet, and then return them, two hours later, remorseful but happy for liberal store policies.

But that's just the set up, not the real story. As a result of all this, tonight after work, I made the HMF drive me back to the Giant to return the rest of the snow peas - they were expensive, dammit! That's 2.99 for what amounts to two cup fulls.

So anyway, we get to the store and find the customer service area fairly easily. I parked myself about two feet right behind the man at the counter and waited to make my case. As I was doing this, an old black man walked right up to me, scanned me up and down, stared me in the face and then stepped right in front of me. Didn't say a word, either. But he had clearly seen me and clearly still felt the need to step right in between me and the next person in line.

The following was our exact conversation:
Me: "Excuse me, sir? Are you in line?"
Him: "Guh?" Staring me full in the face again, about a foot away.
Me: "Are you in line?"
Him: "Well, yeah, I am."
Me: "Well, I was here first."
Him: "You must be invisible!"
Me: "Dude, I was totally here first. You saw me. You cut."
Him, moves slowly behind me: "Well, now you know how black people felt all those years!"

Neither the HMF nor I really said anything after that. I mean, what do you say in response that doesn't make you look like a racist ass? Later, the HMF and I joke that this man went from zero to nuclear in about 5 seconds - all over a check out line! Of course, when waiting in line for groceries one should always use the race card.

The only appropriate response I could come up with (about 10 minutes later, in the car) was :

"You're totally right. Being cut in front of in line is JUST LIKE slavery. My bad - here you go ahead!!"

What would YOU have said?

1 comment:

Sinister Minister said...

Wow, faced with your situation I would probably stand there with my mouth agape trying to form something resembling English. As he stood in front of me I would most likely come up with, "You're kidding, right?" You are a much better person than I am.
In response to his last comment I'd only be able to respond with a lame, "Uh-huh, sure." Or we could go with the Paris Hilton, "That's hot."