In this exciting episode of The Adventures of LTG we go grocery shopping!
Finding the larder at the Little House on the McCrarey was in a seriously depleted mode, the wife and I took to the highway for some hunting and gathering. First stop was the Korean market.
It seemed we needed just about everything they sold.
One hundred fifty dollars later we loaded our burden up and carted it out.
We also scored us a nice thick slab of samgyapsal.
Having taken care of the Korean specialty foods, it was off to the American supermarket for the rest of our necessities. Now, I’m a Publix kind of guy, but Jee Yeun wanted to score some galbi and Bi-Lo is the only store in town that slices short ribs in a proper Korean fashion.
In addition to our standard grocery list, I picked up the ingredients for my Aunt Pat’s recipe fruit salad, my contribution to the family Thanksgiving feast next week.
Having loaded the shopping cart to near capacity, it was time to check out. Now, I’m not going to rant about it (much) but one thing that I find irksome about the American shopping experience is that stores are going big on this “self checkout” system. As a matter of principle I refuse to ring up my own groceries. But the bastards make you suffer for your insolence by only manning the bare minimum of cashier operated checkouts. Today they had two lanes open and one of those was for fifteen items or less. One person was in the 15 item line, and there were several in the regular lane. So, a manager walks by and observes my frustration and directs me to the short line, despite the fact that I was several times over the stated maximum for items.
I sensed there would be trouble, but I followed the manager’s instructions. The customer in front of me was an older (than me) woman with two items that had already been rung up. So, we proceeded to load the conveyer belt to overflowing with our 100+ items. And waited. And waited. I’m not sure what was going on, but the woman was fumbling around in her purse for what seemed like an entirety. I guess she was looking for her Bi-Lo discount card. Finally, the cashier tried to look her up in the system without success. And then a discussion ensued as to whether the purchased items were even eligible for a discount. The woman finally decided that she would pay, and proceeded to count out the correct amount at a pace that seemed to make my head want to explode. And I’m talking about the bills. When she went rummaging for her change purse and then started counting out each individual coin I was reduced to reciting the serenity prayer repeatedly. To no apparent effect. Meanwhile, customers with 15 or fewer items were coming up, looking at our pile, and giving me the evil eye. I know what they were thinking, because lord knows, I’ve had those same thoughts when I was on the wrong side of a misbehaving customers. When you don’t follow the rules established for the grocery checkout the very fabric that binds society together begins to unravel. Yeah, there was definitely murder in the hearts of some Bi-Lo customers today.
But here’s the kicker. When the old woman was finally done with her transaction, she turned to me and said “I thought this line was for 15 items or less!” Now, I might have just ignored the comment, but then the checker said “yeah, I know.” So I remained relatively calm but gruffly pointed out that I had been directed to this line by the store manager. They both then professed to have only been “joking”. Yeah. Ha ha. Good one.
Anyway, as my purchases were rang up I had to do my own bagging (another downside of the 15 item line). I had bought two bottles of wine on sale and the cashier said if I buy four I get another 10% off, plus a nifty little carry sack. So, I sent Jee Yeun running for two more. As she placed the wine in the nifty little carry sack the cashier asked “now will you smile?” So, I mustered up my best fake smile ever and rolled on out of there.
And to think that some people believe retired life must be boring!