The grocery store checkout round up

Alien Adventure Week 14

This story eventually winds its way around to a grocery store.

The other day I received this little nugget in my Inbox:

You may however, make me popcorn later if you’re good to me.
–Email from the Mrs.

It’s nice to have something to look forward to. I was going to be allowed to make popcorn if I behaved well enough. Oh boy!

Someone was hankerin’ for popcorn. On Friday night it didn’t quite work out, but Saturday it finally did. Here’s how it happened.

Saturday morning we woke up and headed out to the country to hit the fresh produce stands. The first stand didn’t have any tomatoes, but the second one did. They were also unloading corn from a truck which had just been filled in the field next door. Four ears of the freshest possible corn for only a buck. Yes!

Next up I found myself in a comfy chair, flipping through a book (Bloggers Boot Camp), surfin’ the WiFi with my iPod touch, and sipping on a fancy coffee from Starbucks. In other words, we drove 30 miles to the big city and visited the fancy bookstore. It was just like being at home. Almost. I resisted the urge to take off my pants and read in my underwear.

The book was awesome. It basically negatively confirmed everything about my blog. In other words, all the things it said you should never do basically comprise my mission statement. Conversely, most of the things you should do are things I avoid like the plague. It was nice to get that sort of un-validation regarding my efforts.

Carpeting in the Metroplex I noticed while waiting for someone to visit the restroom.

Next we headed to the fancy big city metroplex to see a movie. As we purchased our tickets and ventured inside, both of us were on high alert looking for dogs. Fortunately, this time, none were seen.

The movie was Drive starring someone named Ryan Gosling. He plays a Hollywood stunt driver (part-time) and also takes wheelman jobs and ends up getting a contract put out on him by some mobsters. He really likes to drive. The movie wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. It had less driving scenes than you’d think and was basically a mob movie. The Gosling fellow did a good job and the movie is interestingly paced. It’s almost like things moved at real time. It worked well and heightened the tension, I think. After the opening scene when someone shoots a lock, it is sometime until you hear a gunshot again, and when it comes again it sort of scares the shit out of you. My wife and I performed well in synchronized jumping.

Interestingly enough, we didn’t get any popcorn at the movies. So the hankerin’ continued. If the price of a small popcorn is equal to the ticket price for two admissions, we decide to opt-out. Go figure.

I kept my eyes peeled for loose women but none were found at the Irish pub.

After the movie we ended up at an Irish pub for a bit to eat. The place was dead but things were askew. Other tables were getting uppity and being delivered mistakes. The waitress was smooth, though, saying things like, “There’s only two guys in the kitchen. That’s why things are taking a while.”

We were debating going elsewhere when she showed up and convinced us to stay.

It was a bit of a surprise when the food and beers arrived quickly. I thought my fish and chips were good, but my wife’s were apparently not cooked right. Ugh.

All in all, it was a pretty good day. And I only ruined one thing. In light of the fact that I actually left the house, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.

We headed home to settle in for the evening.

And now, finally, popcorn weaves its way into the overwrought plot.

Eight o’clock at night and we were watching movies on TV. The Mrs. says, “It’s time for you to go make your world-famous popcorn.” I got started while she looked in the kitchen for the few things we’d need, like butter.

Oops. There is no butter. WTF? So there she went, 8pm on Saturday night, to the corner grocery store to buy butter. Yep. That’s the way we roll. We’re exciting people. She asked if we needed anything else. I yelled back, “Ice cream and beer!”

Vintage Cash Register - Hipstamatic iPhone picsNaturally, when she returned home, she said she had a story to tell about the trip.

“Don’t tell me,” I quipped. “The checked made a joke about What’s For Dinner! He looked at butter, ice cream and beer. It’s too obvious,” I said.

I was wrong. She explained that the checker had asked if she’d like to “round up” her purchase to the nearest whole dollar for some sort of charity. Apparently she thought a bit too long about this, because the man standing in line behind her said, “Oh, come on! It’s for a worthy cause.”

Mothafuckas! This is where the shit goes sideways. First of all, how rude is it to ask someone for a charitable contribution in public??? I guess the grocery store likes putting people on the spot, eh? That will really make them give, right?

Hey, assholes. Listen up. I’m buying shit to shove down my gullet. I’m not out looking to change the world or get all socially conscious. We’re talking about butter, ice cream and beer for God’s sake!

And to you, the stranger in line – keep your filthy trap shut! You don’t know anything about us. You don’t know if we volunteer or have given to charity already. As a matter of fact, my wife has done plenty of both all year long.

Here’s a little tip to the rest of the world: I do not like being asked for money. The main reason? When it comes to my money, I have to ask: “Do you have any idea what I went through to get this???” That’s right! I spent 40 hours a week being treated worse than shit to get this tiny amount of spendable silver. Do not ask me for it. It is decidedly not for you. God help you if you ask.

When the grocery store asks me to round up, I happily say, “No.” I know what we’ve done and don’t need the public intimidation from a frickin’ grocery store or the public validation of giving to charity to appease the person standing in line behind me.

Stop asking and stick to the business of selling ridiculous overpriced, dangerously-bad-for-you processed foods.

Oh, and by the way, after all that, I found a stick of butter in the butter dish. Too bad she didn’t think to check there before going to the store! Mwuhahaha!

I find this sign from the Irish pub to be highly applicable to me.

9 responses

  1. All that just to get a bowl of popcorn with butter on it! I hope you indulged in the ice-cream and beer as well, because if not, I feel like the rude comment your wife got wasn’t even worth it.

    Seriously. My mother has a standing contribution to a breast-cancer fund. And yet they still call and try to guilt her into giving more money every couple of months and she needs to tell them, over and over again, that she has a fucking STANDING contribution on their records already. YEESH.


    1. Alas, that’s a fail on both beer and ice cream, although I was sorely tempted. 🙂

      I agree with you. Who the hell has the balls to say something like that to a perfect stranger in a grocery store checkout line? What an asshole!

      I find charitable giving to be personal. I pretty much don’t like being asked. I understand they gotta do it but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. And when it is tacked on to something else, where it is unexpected, like a grocery store visit, then I tend to get angrily feisty.

      Shit, doesn’t the grocery store had advertising hovering in the air, stuck on the floor, sticking out of the shelves, and little television sets already? How many more pinches do they have to get in on me for the privilege of being their customer and giving them my money???


  2. Oh, I forgot an important part about the movie.

    We walked into the theater a minute before the published start time. (In other words about 15 minutes before the movie actually starts.)

    Television commercials were playing on the big screen.

    I looked around and did a double-take. The theater was completely empty. Completely! As my wife looked for the optimum seats I did the most mature thing possible. I did a crazy dance and began to unbuckle my pants. I was going to celebrate and strip down to my underwear. (Yes, that is two of those references in the same post!)

    I told my wife, in a rare bit of positivity, “This may be it. Today, it is possible that I may achieve the dream.”

    “What’s that?” she asked.

    “The dream of watching a movie with us being the only people present.”

    So we sat, watched commercials, and waited.

    Then it happened. Solid scientific proof that the Universe is aware of my existence. A lady showed up, walked up the brightly lit mini-stairs and looked right at me. “I bet you thought you were going to get away with it, didn’t you? I thought I’d keep you guys company.”

    I’m not making this up!!! It was like her eyes were boring (and burning) into my very soul.

    I said something witty in response, but I no longer remember what it was. Probably something like: “Gah. … Chrrk. … Gnnnnmph!”

    At least she didn’t sit right next to us. She sat a row back and a few seats over.

    By the time the movie started two couples and another single had arrive. In addition to myself and my wife, that was a total of eight people. Still not shabby.

    The other single was an old lady who moved slower than a snail. She sat in the row that is the same height as the corridors that led into the theater. Apparently she couldn’t handle a single step up or down.

    The movie watching experience went fairly well. Just the occasional audio disturbance of crinkling plastic on candy packages and the noshing of popcorn, but even I don’t hold out hope against such noises during a movie. The only real blemish on the experience was, you guessed it, the old lady in front when she decided, in the middle of the movie, to take out her cell phone and fiddle with it for a couple of minutes. Apparently it was time for her to shine like a beacon in the night.


  3. I feel really badly for the acne’d kid at the register who has to ask “Want to donate a dollar to breast cancer research?” as if being a cashier at the Vons isn’t punishment enough.

    Every year at tax-time we review our charitable donations and make choices about what to re-up and or what to contribute to — I can guarantee that anyone that directly solicits me, either in person or on the phone, is at the bottom of the list. I actually don’t mind mailers, since I can read them or toss them as I see fit and the information content is higher.


    1. I feel bad for checkers a lot, too. For one thing, it’s retail and they have to deal with the public. Ugh. Being the pitchman for a charity seems like adding insult to injury.

      Sometimes it is easy to say, “Yeah, go ahead and round up.” But that’s what they want you to think. That is why the tactic is so insidious.

      I need to practice my “no” skills and stay strong. I don’t need to go to the grocery store for a fake feeling of self-validation.


  4. Deborah the Closet Monster | Reply

    I’m happy this movie night wasn’t as eventful as the last one touched on here! I wish the butter-retrieval trip had been as pleasing, aurgh. Being pressured into doing something you don’t want to do is never awesome, no matter how righteous the cause. Just reading that made me want to punch someone in the nuts.


    1. You should trust your feelings. Please let me know if you need a volunteer. I’m feeling charitable.


  5. Auuugh, charity! I’m for it, but just let me decide when and where. We’ve got that cash register stuff going here too.


    1. Perhaps we need to work up some sort of response. Like, “I support charity and I do my giving in private in a variety of ways that work for me. Unfortunately none of those methods involve grocery stores.”


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