Tuesday, May 16, 2006

artichoke...you know, the green thing you eat with butter?

for me, going to the grocery store "after hours" is almost as agonizing as having a fingernail break off a little too far down.

no, wait- it's worse.

i'm at the radio station this evening, and a couple of hours ago, i wound up involved in a short conversation with a coworker (who recently moved here from california) about his plans to grab some groceries after work. (this was around midnight.)

i warned him that, after all, he's in south carolina now. there are no guarantees that walmart will be open at this hour, no matter how "super" it may be. most regular grocery stores pack it in early, too.

kroger seems to be one of the few to remain open 24/7, which comes in handy when dragging oneself home after an evening out and being tormented by an undeniable craving for a red baron pizza, frozen broccoli, or even a pound of ground chuck. (in college, we tended more toward hardee's or taco john's, but hey- it's south carolina after all. there are no taco john's here.*

anyway, kroger's open all night, but around 10pm, the last human disappears to the stockroom or break room or whereever, and if you want to actually leave the store with your pizza, broccoli, and/or pound o' ground chuck, you have to utilize the highly-touted self-checkout system.

for the record, i absolutely, positively loathe the self-checkout system. for some reason (and no, it's not just pms), this stupid machine always turns me into a violent bitch. i have to rank it right up there with those talking navigational systems (as seen in rv and this musings post). i don't like being told what to do, whether by man or machine, and for some reason, the self-checkout delights in ordering me around.**

i don't appreciate being told to move my food in and out of the bags, and i'm afraid i get more than a little frustrated when the touch screen doesn't offer up a little picture to poke when i'm trying to pay for my red bell peppers. (artichokes i can almost understand, and that's only because i have yet to get out of any grocery store in south carolina without having to explain to at least two people what an artichoke is. (you would think, since it's located near the broccoli, and not in the "exotic produce" section, store employees would at least have some vague notion of what one is, but nooooooo.) perhaps one of these days, instead of educating the checkout staff about artichokes, i'll simply call it a head of lettuce and run like hell after paying 1/3 the actual price for the little sucker.)

but i digress.

anyway, suffice it to say, the self-checkout and i do not get along. (not that bystanders would come to that conclusion after watching me throw my pizza into the bag repeatedly and threaten to beat the computer screen with the red pepper that apparantly does not exist.)

however, since SO is a kinder, gentler, more computer-oriented person, if it looks like we're going to hit the checkout (literally! i mean, it's a freaking bell pepper, for goodness sake!) after hours, his job is to deal with the machine as quickly as possible (lest i become irritated and try to "help" by flipping the thing off in the middle of the transaction) and usher both groceries and myself out of the store before things get ugly and i wind up with a hyperextended middle finger, broken toe, or (even worse) broken nail.

*which is killing me, i'll have you know.
**i, in turn, delight in kicking it when no one's looking


Labbie said...

I love the self-check outs because they allow me to buy things I need to buy discretely, like prophylactics, personal lubricants, and peppermint gum.

Of course, this is only "discrete" until the damn thing breaks down, and some old lady has to come help me out.

duff said...

whoa......got something planned there, labbie?