Sunday, February 14, 2010

Observations on Old People

Believe it or not, there are still people who pay for their groceries with checks instead of debit cards. I'm one of them. Stop laughing. It’s what my generation does. Even though we know better, we still kid ourselves into thinking we’re getting a float of a few days ‘til the check clears. The difference between me and the other old people is that by the time I get to the checkout counter, all I have to do is enter the amount of the purchase on my check. I’ve already filled out the rest of it.

But my other old brethren and sistren don’t quite get it. They don’t seem to share my love of a speedy check out. Indeed, they do what they can to drag things out as long as possible. And I don’t understand this at all. When you’re old, you should move faster, not slower. It’s not like you have that much time left to waste, you know?

Anyhow, let me share with you an experience that happened to me last Sunday. It’s a good example of what you can expect from old people in grocery stores nowadays. I had my shopping cart full of goodies and I pushed it over to the short line, where only one person was ahead of me. We’ll call this person “Customer,” but her real name might be “Gini Koch[1].”

8:07 Cashier rings up “Customer’s” order: "That will be $97.53, please."

8:08 Customer searches in her purse for her checkbook while discussing her daughter's pending orthodontia needs with cashier.

8:10 Customer senses checkbook is close, dumps contents of purse onto checkout counter to make checkbook more visible.

8:12 Customer finds checkbook. Cashier mentions name of Orthodontist who did her kids' teeth.

8:13 Customer puts dumped stuff back in checkbook and asks cashier how much all the orthodontia cost.

8:14 Customer redumps stuff onto checkout counter, looking for pen to fill out check. Cashier's husband worked for Ford so he had 100% dental. She had no idea how much it cost.

8:17 Customer finds pen, shoves stuff back into purse and begins to fill out check.

8:18 Using best handwriting, customer ever so slowly fills out check and passes it over to cashier who compliments her on her handwriting. As it turns out, both customer and cashier earned certificates in grammar school for their penmanship. They talk about this for awhile, both of them bemoaning the quality of handwriting of “kids nowadays.”

8:21 Cashier asks for ID

8:22 Customer dumps contents of purse onto checkout counter, looking for wallet.

8:24 Customer finds wallet. Puts dumped stuff back into purse.

8:25 Driver's license not in wallet, customer panics.

8:26 Customer checks pockets, then notices driver's license sitting on check writing stand where she left it.

8:26 Customer hands driver's licence to cashier who notes driver's licence number and forgets to compare signatures. Cashier hands license back to customer.

8:27 Customer dumps contents of her purse onto cashier's counter, looking for wallet.

8:28 Customer finds wallet, inserts drivers license into appropriate purse pocket and returns wallet to purse.

8:29 Customer returns the rest of the junk to her purse, cashier bags all items and puts them in customer's cart.

8:29 - 8:37 Customer and cashier engage in idle chatter while customer's purse continues to block any further transactions by next customer in line. Who happens to be me. Who has neglected to take his blood pressure pills that day.

And people ask me why I drink.

[1] Her real named might be Gini Koch or it might be something else. But whatever it is, she has a new book, Touched by an Alien, coming out in April. You should pre order it, ‘cause I said so. And, Gini, that's what you get for being mean and making me write stuff.


  1. ROFL. I didn't know we shopped at the same stores.

    But, I'm younger than you. Just sayin' that, well, this kind of thing can happen at any age.

    Besides, I like people. And that cashier was so much nicer than that nasty old man waiting behind me with a jug of Ripple and a can of Alpo Supreme. ;-D


    *Smootchies on the plug. Despite your cantankerous nature, you still rock.

  2. Very cute post. And I think I've been behind Gini too. ;)

  3. Kay, you and I may be the only two people on the planet that remember cash. :)

    Gini, I swear you're ahead of me every time I go shopping. It's got to stop. I mean it too.

    Bea, I think everyone has been behind Gini from time to time. Let me tell you about Tuesday when I stopped into the bank....

  4. 8:40 'customer' wheels cart slowly down the middle of the parking lot aisle unaware that there are ANY other people in the world most notably the people in the cars behind 'customer.'


  5. 8:45 Customer packs up car and drives away, leaving shopping cart in the middle of a handicapped parking spot.

    8:50 Shopping cart begins to roll downhill, gains momentum and smashes into the driver's side door of a brand new Porche.

  6. oh my gosh... I remember cash. And the little round discs that used to gather in the bottom of my purse! Ha ha! Those were the days....

    yeh. It's not that I don't carry it, I just don't have any money anymore....

  7. Thanks, Lori. Usually I'm most successful at making people laugh when I'm being serious. ;)

    Hi, Bettie. *sigh* Yeah, cash. I remember it too. I used to put a dime in the vending machine and get a Coke back--half a buck and get a pack of cigarettes. Now those little round disks you mention are pretty much useless.

  8. Bwwwaaahhhaaa, I love that pic, Haggis. And it took that lady 30 minutes? No way. Was there a self check out? That cashier would have gotten into trouble where I live. Holding up a line like that...

  9. Hey, Tyhitia!

    It's possible I may have exaggerated just the least little bit in reporting this story. I doubt it, but it's possible. ;)

  10. LMAO! No matter where you happen to be, you still manage to crack me up. This? This is a grocery store experience I would have -- In the express lane that doesn't take checks to begin with. And she'd have 47 items instead of 20. And I, like you, would have neglected to take my BP meds that day.