.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Monday, March 27, 2006

Go'mint Cheese

Heh. I can be such a naughty girl sometimes.

Monday was a busy busy day for me, compounded by the fact that I had to buy a lot of groceries for this weekend, since I am hosting a small get-together on Saturday.

(Oh, as an aside, the 1980's Birthday Theme Party, which my soon-to-be 35 year-old chum had so enthusiastically received only a few weeks ago, is off. He's going on a Caribbean cruise instead. Oh well. I guess I'll never be able to wear those Molly Ringwald brooches, and Madonna pink half-gloves...again)

So I stopped at a Winn-Dixie ("The Beef People").

This chain became known to millions of Americans who don't have one near them, because of that abysmal dog film of the same name.

It was really bad. Trust me.

The two competing chains in my neck of the woods, are Publix and Winn-Dixie.

Publix are decidedly more up-market (pun intended) than Winn-Dixie, not only because of the quality of their generic inhouse brands, which are often better than the leading name brands, but because they have huge supermarket stores, always well-stocked, well-lit and clean.

Or at least, cleaner than Winn-Dixie.

This despite that many people like to riff on their name, by pronouncing it Pube-lix.

As Cleveland might say, that's just nasty.

On the other hand, Winn-Dixie, as their slogan implies, have exactly three good things going for them:

A) Their beef is excellent. Not sure how this works, but they consistently have better beef and poultry than Publix, although their produce section usually sucks.

B) They have a Winn-Dixie Rewards card, which does really save people lots of money, so that's nice.

C) They have those express self-checkout machines, which talk to you.





They say things like:

"Please stand by! Help is on the way!"

And...

"The weight of this item is not correct. Please stand by! Help is on the way!"

And...

"You have not scanned the last item. Please stand by! Police are on the way!"

(I made that last bit up. So far, no one has nabbed me with my unscanned items)

However, thanks to this innovation, I've seen hulking grown men transform before me into blubbering heaps of jelly, completely bedevilled by what amounts to a talking scanner.

Of course, most people like these machines, which cheerily combine the two most important attributes Americans hold sacred -- independence, and speed.

Winn-Dixie rawks!!

When they're not in bankruptcy, obviously.

Perhaps because of their cheaper prices, and less toney locations, Winn-Dixie also caters more to the blue-collar, and minority crowds.

(I even heard people get held up in the ketchup aisle at one Winn-Dixie in Ft. Lauderdale, but I'm not going there to confirm that)

So there I was, minding my own biness in the regular checkout queue at Winn-Dixie, when I saw the person in front of me throw the most tremendous hissy fit you have ever seen.

It was a black lady, yae big to a grasshopper, and all of 350 lbs.

She looked like a 4x4.

Apparently, as I heard it from the lady in front of me, who heard it from the guy in front of her, her EBT card was out of credits. Or something.





Now, I don't know about you, but I had no clue what an EBT card was -- until that moment.

Instinctively, I felt it was what it turned out to be, a food stamp thingie wotsit.

Why?

Well, because her voice was not so much shrill, as resentfully embarrassed and defensive.

You know the kind -- the voice we have, when someone tells us we have bald tires. Please don't tell me I'm the only one.

Well, I'm sorry, but I just had to act, the better to speed things up.

Since the manager was slow to calm her down (unfortunately, the acting manager's English was less than fluent...how do people with little English get managerial jobs?? she says innocently), I tried to soothe her.

She was doing that whirligig thing with her neck, like bobblehead dolls you see at Juneteenth celebrations in Atlanta, you know, when she yelled at the top of her voice,

"B*tch! I got kids to feed!"

Which I thought was just awesome, since I never thought I'd hear that outside of a BET Comedy Hour marathon.

So, as the two people in front of me had wisely changed lanes, freeing up the queue space in front, I addressed her.

"Ma'am, I totally understand where you are coming from.

Sometimes when my EBT card malfunctions, I get irate too, but you have to understand that the problem isn't at Winn-Dixie but at whatever government office emits them.

Perhaps you could call the 1-800 number they've provided you, to ascertain your next move."


As long as I live, I'll never forget the look she gave me.

It must be very similar to what many 16-year olds have, when they open the verbal portion of their SATs.

So, of course, her only possible retort, to save face, was:

"B*tch, mind your own biness!"

This woman was something else. She had spunk! I hate spunk.

Without blinking an eye, I decided two can play that game.

And I play it better than most.

"Ma'am, trust me when I tell you, I'd be fit to be tied if this happened to me. I mean, before EBT cards came out, I had to take my Radio Flyer wagon to the government office to pick up my go'mint cheese, and haul it back in front of EVERYONE. That's humiliating."

She replied, quietly, "Uh, yeah. But youse white."

Which was a lovely non sequiter, if ever I heard one.

"I may be white, but I am 100% Chippewah Casino and Gaming Room on my mother's side. It's not the Middle Passage, but my people suffered too."

She took one look at me, the cashier, the manager, and hightailed it out of there faster than you can say Wanda Sykes.

Once upon a time, I had a friend you might remember, called Penelope.

She taught me the best way to handle an irate crazed individual who just won't see sense, is by being more crazy than they.

The trick is to pretend to be on their side, but in such a way, that you come out looking even more doolally than they are.

It helps if you're a very very quick thinker and have a way with words.

So please do not try this at home. I am a professional.

Help is on the way.

4 Comments:

  • You've outdone yourself, again. How much funnier can you be? I can only imagine the clerk gratefully thinking, who is this fearless (masked man) Strawberry Blond??
    You realize there are a number of people present at that moment who will never forget you or what they observed that day. For some, it will be the highlight of their lives and passed on to grandchildren over campfires.
    Victoria, I keep telling you that I'm in awe of you and find myself having to repeat it often.
    Good work, Righter and Writer of Wrongs, Spreader of false Radio Flyer stories; not to mention cheese. Gee, I'm gushing.

    Listen, keep the Madonna gear, you never know when the style will be back. Should be soon.

    (I made that last bit up. So far, no one has nabbed me with my unscanned items)

    Call Winnona Ryder for a good attorney.

    In this town, the self-checkouts are stood over by a central conductor, keeping his/her eyes on eight machines, pushing buttons, calling out advice, scowling, smiling, coaxing; never yelling. I've spoken to the voice within my machine more than once, like, com'on honey, you know you're wrong, I entered the right code, or, it couldn't have been 5lbs. 1 oz., (It's a female voice, by the way, perverts) all she'll tell me is that my tires are bald.

    By Blogger Paul, at Tue Mar 28, 11:44:00 am GMT-5  

  • Cute! Very Python-esque! Love it!

    By Blogger benning, at Tue Mar 28, 08:53:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Righter and Writer of Wrongs, Spreader of false Radio Flyer stories; not to mention cheese.

    Heh. :)

    Gee, I'm gushing.

    You're my little personal geyser of love.

    And you're very dear for that.

    Listen, keep the Madonna gear, you never know when the style will be back. Should be soon.

    Madonna has gone on to bigger and better things -- like low-rider hip-huggers, which make her almost 50 year old person, look ridiculous.

    The little half-gloves will stay firmly in their place I think...

    Call Winnona Ryder for a good attorney.

    She lost! ;)

    In this town, the self-checkouts are stood over by a central conductor, keeping his/her eyes on eight machines, pushing buttons, calling out advice, scowling, smiling, coaxing; never yelling. I've spoken to the voice within my machine more than once, like, com'on honey, you know you're wrong, I entered the right code, or, it couldn't have been 5lbs. 1 oz., (It's a female voice, by the way, perverts) all she'll tell me is that my tires are bald.

    Well, it's true that the Winn-Dixie staffer assigned to the area overlooks everything, but considering that they allow you to place the items, once scanned, unto the shopping cart, I see lots of possibilities for theft.

    Not I.

    I stopped my thieving ways after a very nasty episode when I was a teen.

    A friend of mine stuck an item into my handbag, which I was completely unaware of, until she yanked it out, once out of the shop.

    I was so scared, I never spoke to her again.

    Jail-bait, moi?

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 29, 02:41:00 am GMT-5  

  • Cute! Very Python-esque! Love it!

    Now for something completely different!

    *smooch*

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 29, 02:41:00 am GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Who linked Here:

Create a Link

<< Home


 




Advertise on blogs
British Expat Blog Directory.