Saturday, March 14, 2009

Conjunctivitis Bananas

I think that most clerks and cashiers at the grocery store hate me. I don’t know why it is, but I have mostly come to terms with it. When I go to the grocery store I stick with cashiers I am familiar with, if possible. I don’t care if there are 40 people in the line, I select a clerk that I know isn’t going to throw my eggs down the conveyor belt or smack gum and roll their eyes at me.

Once, my husband convinced me to go through the express lane with an untested clerk because we were only purchasing two items. I was reticent, but I gave in. I had high hopes for this new clerk because she was youthful and fresh-faced and smiled at each customer. I first noticed something amiss when she spoke to the customer in front of me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong until she rang up my purchases. The total was $4.87 but what she said was, “Fo Abee Sebum, Pees.”

“Pardon me?”

“Aye Sethd, Fo Abee Sebum,” she repeated while spraying me with spittle.

I stared at her blankly, still unsure of what she said and wondering what to do next.

That was when my husband jumped in with a five-dollar bill while I wiped saliva off my face and purse. It was when she handed him the change and said, “Hab a nithe day” that I noticed her pierced and swollen tongue.

I understand the challenges of a new piercing; the redness, the inflammation, the pain, the fear of being choked to death by your own engorged appendage . . . all I am saying is, if you can’t be understood, or speak without showering your audience with discharge, you might consider piercing some other body part, like an eyebrow, for instance.

Like I was saying, I think it is better to go with the evil that is known. Every time I deviate from my regular clerk or attendant I ask God why he is punishing me? Once when I was in a hurry, I selected what I thought was a short lane at a local grocery store.

As luck would have it, not only had the printer run out of paper, but it was shift change time. So as the one cashier was changing the register tape, her replacement came up rubbing her itchy, swollen, and oozing eye and said six words I will never forget: “I think I have pink eye.”

I had a backlog of customers behind me and one in front of me, and was therefore trapped. My urge was to grab my groceries and run, but I was stuck in the narrow lane and couldn’t have escaped without trampling innocent bystanders.

“Maybe its allergies,” the first clerk said.
“Yeah, but it really itches. And something is coming out of it.”
“That is too bad. Have to tried eye drops?”
“Yeah, but now I think my other eye is swelling up too.”

Aaaaack! My brain was in panic mode as I prayed that the first cashier would stay on until after my provisions were rung up and that the second cashier would go nowhere near my perishables.

“Well, the tape is all ready to go. Let me look at your eye. Oooh, it is red and gummy. You should see a doctor.”
“Yeah, maybe after work today. I wouldn’t want to hold up the line. Ha ha ha.”

Then ‘typhoid Mary’ grabbed my bananas and started to scan them. I am a germaphobe and don’t like viruses on my fruits, I consider it a matter of personal taste. That is why my motto is: stick with the cashier you know. And, if all else fails, it might be time to plant a garden.


  1. Ha! Loved it! Comma-splice in last paragraph.

  2. Oh my gosh--GROSS! I would have just died. Ewwww...

    tina v-p