Thursday, June 17, 2004

I Got the Express Lane Blues

I ride my bike to the grocery store almost every weekday.
It's only about a half mile away and I have baskets on my bike that only carry so much, so I make lots of trips for just a few items at a time.
As such, I always use the Express Lane, where a big sign calls for 10 items or less. Not everyone observes the sign. In fact, hardly anyone observes it anymore.

I fear that one day, I will awaken in a cranky mood.
The morning news will contain yet another Bush turd that will make me even crankier.
Then, maybe that same morning, one of my cats will puke on my bed, or some other little crisis will happen to push me even further toward the edge.
To take the edge off, I'll think a quick bike ride to the store might help.
Then I'll pick out a bagel and maybe an apple, and get into the Express Lane behind someone who thinks 47 items are close enough to 10 items to not count as a lane violation.
Then he'll ask the cashier to go to the other side of the store to get him a pack of cigarettes, which will take another five minutes.
Then he'll borrow a pen to write a check, but the cashier's pen is missing so she'll have to find him another. Then he won't have his ID on him, so he'll have to run out to his car to get it.
By then, someone will crowd in line behind me with 40 items in her cart, and a screaming toddler bumping said cart into my ass. If I glare, the kid will cry louder and the mother, who has peroxided hair, a gold tooth and a teardrop tattooed in the corner of one eye, will start to glare back at me and say, "And? AND?"

Then it will happen. My head will explode.

Grocery stores need to either take down Express Lanes or enforce the 10 item maximum.
Or, wait.
Someone needs to invent a gizmo that counts the items on the conveyer belt and if they exceed 10, the inconsiderate shopper who cannot count to 10 gets sprayed with a fluorescent goo that smells like the dumpster behind a discount sushi restaurant in Vegas.
Now that I have big muscles from working out three times a week, I worry that my tendency to get easily annoyed will merge with my newfound ability to be able to knock over annoying people if I want.
I mean, I have no police record, I look like a respectable middle aged woman, I wear glasses, and who on a jury would convict me for kicking someone's ass if they willingly violated the 10 items rule?
I think I could get by with it. Would anyone blame me?

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