Just Had A Larry David Moment

Posted: February 13, 2008 in The Roper Files

Seems I’ve just developed a brand new appreciation for those self-serve registers at the store today. I’m standing in the express line at the Tom Thumb (our local version of Safeway) with a case of cat food under one arm and a basket with ten small items in the other hand. The sign says “15 items” so by my count I’ve got eleven things.

Just finished a ten-hour shift on my feet; the last thing I was expecting was some asshole in front of me turning around and making some crack about “this is the express line” just as he turns and leaves. Turn to the clerk and tell him “what’s that guys problem?” 


The clerk ( who looks just like Larry David) totally stone-faced looks at me and tells me the case of cat food puts me over the limit. The goddam thing is shrinkwrapped into one package so in my minds eye it’s one item.

Now you’ve got to understand I’ve been shopping at this same store for years. Never, and I repeat never have I ever been rude or even less than polite to this guy or any of the other employees. I don’t “talk down” to anyone, not even the person bagging the food. I always talk to them in a polite manner; those ARE people on the other side of the counter.

So this catches me off-guard like a well-placed sucker-punch. Like I said I’ve just finished a ten-hour shift on my feet; I’ve been up for thirteen and a half hours. I’m tired and I’m in no mood for this bullshit.

By this time I wish I had broken that case of cat food over that first guys head; I’m standing there trying real hard to think of something to say besides: what the fuck; I’ve got eleven things.

“No you don’t; you have 34 things.”

By this time a serious line is forming behind me; I also notice we’re getting the attention of their Marsha Warfield look-alike security guard.

He lets out with an exasperated-sounding loud exhale noise and begins to finally ring up my stuff while shooting me his baddest little Go To Hell look.

Now I’m wishing I had a checking account so I could whip out that checkbook just to piss him off as well as everyone behind me. Slowly take off my sunglasses and put on my reading glasses etc. Instead I obey the “Soup Nazi” rules with him instead: no small talk. Exact change. Grab a paper bag and start bagging the stuff up myself to speed up this ordeal. He angrily hands me the cat food and my receipt. “Have a nice day!” he snaps at me.

Stomp out of there pissed off. I’ve made this same purchase at this same store a thousand times; I’ve never heard this earfull of crap once.

Decisions, decisions. Should I just start shopping at another store? Or should I go through that same line every week to purchase 14 items with 14 coupons?

Maybe I should go open that checking account…


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