Monday, November 21, 2011

Sonoma Market

I keep forgetting what I want to write about.  I'll have an idea late at night, unable to sleep, but by the time I finally get out of bed in the morning it is gone.  Autumn injustice.

Well, I did hold on to one minor remembrance... 

I was standing in the grocery store a few days ago, buying just enough food to eat as a meal as soon as I got home. I was in the express lane. The sign said "10 items or less."  The guy in front of me had an odd collection of items: single cans of beer, along with single cans of other types of beer, a 12-pack of beer, pre-cooked food, vegetables, chips, a few other assorted items... all totaling about 20 things.  I glanced around and there were two other registers open designed for higher item purchases, both of which only had one person in line, already being rung out.  There were about 5 of us in the express lane.  I must have assumed some false solidarity with them.  As the person behind the register started ringing the items up, with each beep of laser recognition of the item's upc symbol crossing the threshold I counted off.... 1, 2, 3...

The guy turned and looked at me as if to say, What the fuck do you think you're doing?  I responded with a continued count of items. We were already up to 7.  I wanted to see what we could all accomplish if we worked together. The guy ringing up the items stopped ringing them up and somebody else came running over saying, I can take you over here, gesticulating towards a different register.  

I said, No thanks we shouldn't be too terribly long here in the Express lane.

But like an idiot I gave in and walked over to the register that seemed to be exclusively for the purchase of lottery tickets and cigarettes. I was certain that this register was rigged to charge me more tax, but what the hell, I must be in the top 60 or 70% of earners in this country.  I can pay up.  My country needs me, etc...  

I glanced around as if to say: Right, comrades?  But nobody would look me in the eye.

As if I was the bad guy, somehow.  

I am doomed. I'm well on my way to being a crazy old man, getting in unspoken arguments in the grocery store over proper procedure and protocol.  I remember being a much younger guy and going into the grocery store on acid, laughing for what seemed like hours at every item in the odd, vast place.  I thought that it was an inexhaustible warehouse of comedic value. Now it's just some place to make everyone feel uncomfortable by acknowledging their own set of rules and standards.  

In another 20 years I'll probably be shitting myself trying to make it up and down the aisles, looking for adult diapers, still pissed off that somebody's in line in front of me, breaking the rules. 

I'll call it the Occupy My Diaper movement.