Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Meijer and the chatty-cathy cashier

privacy is a relative term at Meijer, and should be used loosely. it seems to me for all of its hoop-lah and back-patting in adhering to the privacy act, Meijer is inherently un-private. open aisles, open shelves, thousands upon thousands of items that everyone can see you placing boldly(hungry-man 10,000 calorie tv dinner) or timidly(vagisil soothing creme) into your see-through cart. and if that hasn't started to unnerve you wait until you drive into chatty-cathy's check-out lane and begin to unload the pseudo-private cart onto the only other thing for people in line to look at, the conveyer belt.

being second in line at Meijer gives me an antsy feeling. sometimes I will make the most of my antsy energy by organizing the conveyer belt, hoping I can reduce the chance of the grapes being bagged with family-size cans of pork 'n beans. as I've said before, I'm not into reading the insides of the magazines, and I have a strict don't-inventory-the-first-in-line's conveyer belt policy. I'm a privacy respecting citizen. well, privacy is part of the reason, the other part is that I know if I start perusing someone else's conveyer items, I will remember something that I forgot to pick up and will just kick myself that I'm second in line with half my items on the belt and half in the cart. in short, perusing ruins the whole child-like splendor of that second in line moment.

something I've noticed about the chatty-cathies (I've pluralized for you), there's no volume control. these cashiers talk loud enough for their union supervisor to hear their friendly banter with the customer. nothing, and I mean nothing is sacred to the chatty-cathy cashier. your secrets--"ooooo, a pregnancy test!", your fears--"you realize whole milk is poison don't you?" and well, your entire personal life...

a very attractive, mid-twenties woman was in front of me on this particular Meijer experience. chatty-cathy loudly greets her and begins her monologue with the first item off the conveyer belt. it went something like this.

"Ohh, what a smart over-night bag! It's just the perfect size, did you see any other colors?" she doesn't wait for twenty-something to respond. next item, "I just luuuvvvvv, these scented candles, ooooo and what a cute hot-pink bra! I wonder if there are any in my size?"

okay, I'll admit her showcasing the bra made me turn and look, not because of the bra (I wear them every day), but because the woman in front of me is twenty-something, tall and thin and the woman mc-ing this check-out event is nearly a 5'2" michelin tire mascot! but before the strangeness of her dialogue can sink in, she picks up the matching hot-pink thong. "now this is clever! a match set, it will look so cute!" she's chatting on and on like she's evaluating a two year old's swimsuit set!

then it hits me: overnight bag, scented candles, skimpy lingerie... I can't help it, I break my own "don't peruse the conveyer belt" policy. sure enough, next up on deck is a package of trojans and a box of summer's eve! by now I am cringing for the woman in front of me. amazingly chatty-cathy goes into a name-brand versus generic discussion as she picks up the condoms and she gives the douche a good-value-for-the-money award. unbelievable.

as I watch the self-conscious woman bolt to the exit, I hear chatty-cathy blast me with, "ohh pork 'n beans! they go so nicely with, ah! just as I thought, hot dogs!"

1 comment:

  1. I had a male chatty cathy tell me last night that not only does coca-cola rot your teeth, it also rots your bones, then he reassured me with "Oh well you can't live forever" . It was a hoot. I just shrugged, though I wanted to ask him when in fact did coca cola ever come in contact with any bone aside from teeth. Maybe his biological system is different.