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Monday, December 04, 2006

And on the 7th day, there was mutiny

“Mother, is that you? Beckoning me into the light? Must... move... toward... the light!” ~ Ozzie*

Sadly, I am writing this practically from the beyond right now, due to an unfortunate incident with a mob scene at Trader Joe’s on a Sunday afternoon.

The typical Sunday afternoon with BMW driving suburbanites, clad in Lily Pulitzer of the great north (Read: Bethesda) with their children and want of free range chicken eggs. Yup, just a normal Sunday afternoon in a crowded grocery store. Everything going smoothly, the lines are flowing, the brie is being swiped through at an alarmingly fast rate and balloons are being doled out to toddlers, who believe that balloons should be eaten and not held, all the while the swiping of the Amex. Just as things should be.

When it’s my turn I’m positively giddy about the mushroom turnovers and the mushroom filled filo dough appetizer thingies and some vitamin water, and the prospect of being the ultimate misanthrope for seven days and an eggnog latte. I’m feeling good and great and fish out my (bright pink) wallet (which I must say, goes with my impossibly small, thereby impractical pink umbrella and my pink Franklin Covey clutch planner), and there is no card. Well there is a card, but that particular card belonged to an account which had exactly - $2.09 in it.

And here’s the part where if I could get red, I’d turn an obscene shade of fire engine red and my cheeks would become flush, because I, Heather B., did the unthinkable. I took out my motherfucking check book. I wasn’t desperate for mushroom turnovers but they had already been rung up and oh my hell, I cast down my eyes and quickly mumbled “Do you take checks?” And the cashier sighed heavily and looked back down the line and there was a woman who decided not to get a basket, therefore was holding all of her worldly organic possessions in her arms, who GLARED at me and then ROLLED HER EYES in the direction of the person standing next to her. Then at me and then the cashier because who the fuck was this chick, who already sticks out like a sore thumb in Bethesda, but then decides to relive 1996 and take out her check book and ask the date (Oh yeah, I asked the date, more like mumbled while the cashier tapped his foot).

So the woman with out the basket, which really, I don’t know why she would do such a thing, because I may not be well versed in normal 2006 etiquette, but she is not well versed in grocery shopping. Anyway, then after she rolled her eyes at me, she turned to the woman next to her with the baby. It was a nudge, which she then passed along to the man behind her. Then she got this look in her eyes. That look that Francisco Franco gave to Manuel Azaña before saying “I’m going to fuck your shit up and take over the country”. That look. Like a rabid dog. And well, everything else was just a blur because the woman without the basket, dropped her gluten free waffles on the ground and ran up behind me and choked the hell out of me for using my check book, while the woman with the baby beat me senselessly with a bag of soy chips. And judging by this bruise on my head, someone threw a jar of pumpkin butter at my head.

Anyway, now I have a headache and a strange ringing in my ears. I strongly believe that this was the sign of karma getting back at me for ridiculing Peg every time she took out (and still does take out) her check book and instead of protecting her from the mob, I also gave her the glary glare of death. Because really, people, this is why God invented plastic.

*This quote brought to you by excessive watching of Over the Hedge.


Anonymous Lawyerish said...

Oh, the ire! The ire you inspired with your old-timey payment method. Bwah!

My mom still uses checks sometimes, and I am always astonished. Like, what IS that little piece of PAPER you're filling out?? And why is it taking SO LONG?

I'm glad your survived to tell the tale.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Bone said...

Wow, the checkbook. Only slightly below the price check and paying with all change on the list of shopping line pet peeves.

12:47 PM  
Blogger VP of Dior said...

i hope there were no Trader Giotto marinara sauce cans hurt in the melee. that would be a true tragedy.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Poor Heather!

When someone in front of me takes out a checkbook, at least I have the decency to cuss them out under my breath. And I only throw soft things, like toilet paper.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous alyndabear said...

People get cuh-razy in the holiday season.. step away from the peanut butter, lady..

3:02 PM  
Blogger honeykbee said...

Have you seen that VISA check card commercial where the whole world is dancing along in a wonderfully coreographed ballet, from diner entrance to food line to cashier, when some poor artifact of a guy decides to pay with cash and the whole mechanism comes to a crashing, screeching halt? Trays everywhere. Glaring, glaring looks from all fellow shoppers.

Yeah, I know how it is. But the frozen edemame for $1.49 is totally, totally worth it. I pay in pennies. Just to irritate the Extreme Tree Huggers who won't hold plastic baskets.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Lawyerish: my mother does too, and then she'll be all slow and methodical about it and take forever to rip the damn thing out. It's all so painful.

Bone: Oh, I paid for my $2.00 coffee from dunkin donuts with change the other day. I'm going to a special consumer hell.

VP of Dior: thankfully no. But doubly thankfully, there were a few packages of the gnocchi involved. I hate that crap.

Liz: So maybe I just got stuck with a particularly violent group at TJ's.

Alyndabear: Maybe that's it! It's the holidays, people are in a rush, they don't want to be held up by someone who believes that it's 1987. I get it.

Honeykbee: That's exactly what I was thinking when it happened. It was a freaking nightmare.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Kelley said...

You crack me up!

Well, at least you weren't as bad as the lady in front of me at the grocery store yesterday, who rolled-up with a cart overflowing with stuff and then proceeded to argue with the cashier about the price of every. other. item. And then pull out her checkbook. I am patient, but dude; I was contemplating whether a half gallon of milk could administer a lethal blow.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous jes said...

How I love your drama. Had I been there with you, I'd be writing checks, too.

Or, no, I wouldn't. I don't even CARRY a checkbook. I'd be asking if they could hold my groceries while I found the nearest ATM.

Pathetic bunch we are, yes?

6:05 PM  
Blogger Dagny said...

How mean! At my TJ's people do not glare for the use of a checkbook. In fact, I occasionally write a check myself. Especially the day before payday. Ummm. The money will be there by the time the check hits my bank. (Part of the thrill of being paid monthly. At the end of the month, one finds one's self usually very low on funds.) And no one glares. But that may be that I know I am going to write a check and have everything filled out except the amount by the time the cashier finishes ringing up everything.

My mother, on the other hand, is not as kind to shoppers. Then again a few years ago I finally got her to see the light in using her debit card. Last summer I taught her how to pay bills online.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous jonniker said...

I've had to use a checkbook and oh, the horror is indescribable! My heart breaks for you, my friend. Oh MAN.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Grandma Chic said...

It is far, far better to write a check than to overdraw and pay $40 for Pirate Booty. You did the right thing.

11:19 AM  

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