“Unexpected item in bagging area. Please wait for assistance.” Karen (the supermarket’s self service till is obviously called Karen, she has the attitude and general demeanor of a Karen): that was my hand, my hand was temporarily in your bagging area, I removed it as soon as I became aware and deemed it to be inappropriate for our relationship. Please may we cast that incident aside, next to Christmas 2006, into the deep pocket of memories best forgotten?
“Unexpected item in bagging area. Please wait for assistance.” Okay, Karen, I thought we had dealt with this maturely, like adults. I violated your space, and ceased the violation as soon as I became aware… oh here comes the assistance, I DO NOT NEED ANY ASSISTANCE.
Why must you enforce assistance upon me, world? If I was foaming at the mouth and convulsing in an attempt to stuff a butternut squash into the money slot then please, by all means, bring me some assistance. But when Karen is behaving like an overly dramatic, pedantic tell-tale-tit (that’s exactly the type of terminology Karen would use), WHY DO I NEED ASSISTANCE?
Sometimes I wonder if this world would be a different place if Karen was in fact Keith – “Unexpected item in bagging area. Please continue”. You make me sick, Keith – ASSISTANCE, I NEED SOME ASSISTANCE.
So if Karen upsets you so much, why don’t you take your basket to the actual humans at the till to be served, they ask me.
When I’m in the supermarket, I’ve usually just stepped off public transport so incensed by every single disgusting member of the general public that so much as tolerating a probably harmless “Next please” from Andrew or Sonja is out of the question.
Because we all know that it’s never a harmless “Next please”, don’t we. It’s usually a “Hello, how are you, are you having a nice day, oh is this porridge nice?”
Firstly, will you please stop analysing my basket and secondly, what? Everyone knows that porridge is never ‘nice’; we use it as morning fuel to avoid gorging on bread. It’s used as a beige gooey base for as many toppings as we can fit in the bowl to disguise its beigeness – it isn’t ‘nice’. Why the hell do you think Goldilocks had to attempt it three times?
At least you didn’t call me Goldilocks, I suppose. Oh, I see, you couldn’t call me Goldilocks because what you’re actually thinking is that I resemble the bear far more, and your customer service training manual clearly states that you should never call a customer a ‘bear’. But you are obviously calling me a bear, aren’t you? Daddy Bear, big old Papa Bear. Stop calling me fat, you bastard.
So yes, I can’t bear to walk up to the actual till because Andrew will call me fat, and it seems safer to trust a machine to not call you fat. Apart from your weighing scales, of course, which I currently have on full rotation around my bedroom until that bastard stops calling me fat.
So I place my actual item in the bagging area. Not an ‘unexpected’ item, a legitimate non-phantom item. It’s there, you can see it, the inebriated man behind me brandishing a packet of digestives in a desperate attempt at an SOS can see it, but Karen apparently can’t see OR feel it.
“Please place your item in the bagging area.” It is in the bagging area, Karen, it is in the bagging area. Yes, I know cotton wool is all light and fluffy and looks like a bag of clouds but I can assure you, Karen, even though that bastard over there called me a fat bear last week, this is not a bag of miniature clouds that I’m buying for myself and my fellow Care Bears to frolic on.
Second in my ‘What?’ question league, just behind “Is this porridge nice?” is “Would you like a bag?” Let’s see. I only have ohhh a basket full of goods of varying shapes and sizes, no, no, no, of course not – I plan to consume every single item in front of you as a depraved spectacle to feed your voyeuristic pleasures, as soon as I remove my card from the card reader, because I need to use that card as cutlery, obviously. Please excuse me whilst I wash down my porridge with a litre of alpine-flavoured toilet bleach.
Yes, I would like a bag.
And a temporary disposable bag by the way, not a bag for life. Why are you presuming that I will still be here tomorrow or the next day or the next day to continue shopping for life? For all you know, this bleach and porridge could be the staple ingredients for my last ever supper. Why on earth would I like a bag for life? Who are you, God?
No, you’re just Karen.