Submitted by Bob Warfield, Lakewood.
Need help with these coupons please,” I telepath with gathering frustration trying to illuminate my presence to thaw the frozen scene between clerk and customer at self-check.
I’m in the neighborhood grocery store Monday, impatiently seeking attention from the clerk attending my self-check-out section to validate a couple of coupons. His attention is consumed by an attractive woman stylishly slacked over fashionable cork-soled pumps with Vogue tinted blond whisps, rainbow hued, fetching glamorous completion to her photo-ready presence. By her side are two girls, perhaps eight and ten, of varied race, well-attired, apparently of questionable relation.
The second hand slowed as she struggled to write a check for the half-dozen bunch of bananas resting on the payment scale. The check is torn from its pad, perforations popping with presumptive finality. She shows her ID to the stoic clerk. But no sale yet. “It’s Fred Meyer, he intones, … M E Y E R.” Her ball-point clicks to work, and she hands the check back. Out comes the ID, and the clerk begins dutifully entering confirmation inquiry on his keyboard.
A “there must be some mistake, and perhaps this will do,” exchange follows. By now it becomes obvious that all of this is to get a cash balance; the tendered amount less a few bananas. But no go! Alas, alert to the game with another sweep of the second-hand, the clerk returns the corrected check to cork-soled shoes. Failing verification of account, children in tow, and all business, she leaves, bananas unsold.