Wizard and I went to the grocery store. We have this down to quick routine. Our biggest challenge is the part where the courtesy clerk bags the groceries.
Lately, they’ve been an interesting group.
There’s Aggressive Guy. A middle aged cheerful man who threw…and I mean like picked up each item and lobbed them into the bag. Whatever his hand hit, it went in the bag until no one could lift it. Tomatoes and cans of soup became intimately acquainted. They finally moved him to stocking shelves.
Then there was Engineer Kid who I liked. He was slowish but that’s because he would stop and think. I could see him scanning the groceries, mentally fitting them into bags, then following through. No one trained him, but his engineer brain was sorting it out. I don’t know what happened to him, he just vanished. Probably making the others look bad.
The one today packed most things fine…until the end. She was down to the last bag (we bring our own…because California makes everything expensive and complicated). I bought two dozen eggs which is more than I needed but one dozen wasn’t enough
So there’s one bag, two cartons of eggs and bags of heavy fruit. I see her mental struggling for a second and started to turn to the checker to tell her I’ll buy another bag (Because…California…don’t ask.)
Before I could she put the two cartons of eggs side by side in the bottom of the last bag. I turned back and stared in horrified fascination. It’s like watching a car (make of egg shells) crash in slow motion.
Next she put in two bags of heavy pairs. On top of the eggs.
Then two bags of bananas.
And she finishes it off with a bag of apples. (Yep we eat a lot of fruit!)
Thank the Lord I didn’t buy bricks. Or a bag of cement because it would have gone on top too.
Then, she lifts the bag, and proudly tells a frozen Wizard, “Your eggs are in here, so you might want to be careful.”
She was so sincere that I clamped my mouth closed on hysterical laughter. Once we were out the door, I said, “Good thing I bought extra eggs.”
Wizard turned his head slowly, still processing what he just witnessed. “You saw that?”
I couldn’t hold back anymore and laughed. Hard. Most of the time, I’m aggravated, but today in a world filled with violence and rage, this just cracked us both up. She’d been so genuine and sweet about being careful with our eggs — that she’d just piled ten pounds of fruit on top of, that how could we not laugh?
We rearranged the groceries in the car while I kept laughing and Wizard grinned at me. I think my reaction was more amusing that the eggs. But honestly, he didn’t see the way she turned to him holding that bag like precious cargo, and his face frozen into deer in the headlights expression.
The eggs made it home.
And before anyone asks, we sometimes say something, and sometimes don’t. These grocery folks are overworked and undertrained, and I strive to keep that in mind. Heck, at least they’re working, and working hard. Add to that, we don’t have enough stores in this part of my town so they are crazy busy, and times are tense in general. I pick my battles. This girl packing today was trying, but she was clearly not trained and thrown out to do a job she didn’t know how to do. I wasn’t there to embarrass her when I was going to fix it myself once we got to the car anyway.
Some days, it’s better to just laugh.