Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I am the King of the self checkout!

There are not a lot of things I brag about being good at. And if you've read any of the entries in this blog, you know that's justified. However, the small handful of things I can do well, I do very, very, VERY well. One of those things being using the self checkout line at Wal Mart. I am great at that! So great, I can't even tell you, but it's sick, how great I am. Other people have trouble getting the bar code to scan...if they can even find the bar code in the first place. I watch them running the same bottle of ketchup over the scanner 10 or 11 times, getting no result. I see them standing there, paralyzed in befuddlement, trying to figure out how to select a method of payment or where the change is dispensed or where the receipt prints out. If they have to use the scale function to weigh produce or if there's an item without a bar code, I just get out of line because there is absolutely no chance that they will ever complete the transaction during my time on earth. It's like watching a monkey trying to operate the space shuttle. I'd have nothing but seething contempt for these people if not for the small perentage of pity I allow myself to graciously give them. What these people should do when they see me coming is just back away and let me go ahead of them so they can take notes. That way they can learn the subtle wrist adjustments to make that guarantees bar code reading every single time. They can marvel at how swiftly and efficiently I bag my purchases (before the computerized voice even completes the "Please place your purchases in the bagging area" prompt, I've alreay got my stuff bagged and in the cart. Save your helpful hints for someone who needs them, Robo-helper). They can watch in awe as I grab my receipt with my left hand and scoop up my change with my right at the same time!
Sometimes, I wonder what would happen if a high-ranking Wal Mart executive happened to be touring the store when I was there checking out. I can see a group of people in short sleeves and ties carrying clipboards chattering excitedly to the Vice President of Checkout Operations about their efforts to increase sales of sugar-free gum and Archie Comics digests by placing them strategically between the TV Guides and Big Grab Doritos when he stops them and commands "Silence! Who's that guy?", drawing their focus to me as I effortlessly breeze through the process with my typical grace and pinache. "Oh, he's, uh, just a customer, sir", says one of the assistant managers. "One of our REGULAR customers, sir", says one of the more savvy, career-minded assistant managers. "Well, I don't know who he is either", says the VP, "but that kid is good. Real good!" He would come over to me as I was leaving and say, "Hi there, Bob Melmurd of Wal Mart. Say, I saw you using the self checkout line and I noticed that you handle yourself pretty good. Ever consider turning pro?" "Excuse me?", I'd say. "A career in professional cashiering for Wal Mart, the worldwide dominator in retail sales of any kind. Instant express lane to the big leagues, kid!", he'd exclaim. "Well, that's very flattering, but I already have a very exciting, rewarding and soul-enriching career", I'd lie. "Don't get the wrong idea. I'm not talking about random, run-of-the-mill grocery bagging. Leave that to these lowlife jamokes," he'd say, indicating the now deflated and resentful non-self checkout cashiers nearby. He would then go to on to detail a grand promotional plan that would make me the focus of Wal Mart's publicity campaign, starting with a video featuring me demonstrating my formidable skills that would become incredibly popular on YouTube. This would lead to the media picking up on this burgeoning underground sensation (me, checking out groceries). Appearances on 'Regis & Kelly', 'Ellen' and the 'Today Show' would follow. Conan would make jokes linking me and Star Jones every night in his monologue. Eventually I would check out an assortment of corporately sponsored commercial goods at halftime of the Superbowl while Outkast and a reunited Van Halen performed a medley of the Beatles greatest hits, at the end of which the register unit I was performing on would emit a shower of fireworks from the change dispenser and the scanner's laser would project an image of Elvis on the Goodyear blimp, just before it, along with all the halftime perfomers (except me), exploded.
But then my daydream ends as I realize that I've torn a small hole in the bag of cat litter I was trying to scan and am leaving a trail of it behind me as I slink off, embarrassed, to my car.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to thank the little people when you are a famous. Please tell Conan I said hello.