TEN ITEMS OR LESS
I left the country a few years ago, and when I returned to live here in Galveston, I, of course, began shopping in the grocery stores again. I didn’t immediately notice some of the changes that had been made. After all, I returned occasionally to visit friends and relatives, though I hadn’t spent much time in supermarkets.
A few weeks ago, I noticed a change. I mean, I had noticed the self-checkout lines, those have been there awhile. They can be a pain the the backside, especially when the voice inside the machine keeps yelling in such a way as to make it sound like I’ve stolen something because I haven’t put it in the bag fast enough. Or when I have to look up some produce, and all the pictures look the same.
So sometimes I just don’t feel like messing with the self-checkout machines, especially when there are five people in each line, and I just know I’ll get behind someone who has never experienced self-checkout before or made some major screw up and as I’m standing there waiting my turn the other lines are moving and as soon as I contemplate moving to another line someone (or several someones) steps into that line and there are five people again.
So sometimes I go to what used to be the Ten Items or Less line, the line that used to be sacrosanct, that was depicted in a movie starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, the line that I know I never got into with more than 10 items even though in the past I saw that other people did.
And guess what?!? Now, it’s the Fifteen Items or Less line except it’s not just the Fifteen Items or Less line, but it says something like Fifteen Items or Thereabouts. Hooray! I have actually gone to the grocery store and bought only about fifteen items and stepped into that line. And nothing happened. While the lines of people didn’t grow much shorter at the self-checkout section, I moved right up and was able to get out of there in a reasonable period of time. How about that?
But the other day, it turned out, I discovered the definition of Thereabouts or whatever the wording is, doesn’t mean Twenty or So.
Even counting three cans of tuna as one, as well as some other identical items, my basket held more than fifteen items. No one was in line when I stepped up and started unloading my basket. But wouldn’t you know, Murphy’s Law applied. As soon as I’d placed a few items on the belt and the checker had started ringing them up, three people came up behind me.
Luckily it wasn’t as bad as that scene from the movie, but if looks from multiple people could kill…
I probably won’t do that again. I’m just sayin’.