Monday, January 28, 2008

I Shoplifted Onions.

I suppose today started as a normal day. I got up. I let the dogs out. I wasted a ridiculous amount of time on the Internet and then I went to the grocery store, loving called "He-y-b Buddy" by my husband and his friend. It is actually called H-E-B. Three letters all pronounced seperately. Not to be confused with Heb. or Heybuddy. Ironically, the town I grew up in had a grocery store called VGs. Also letters only, not to be pronounced... however you would pronounce a V and a G as a word.

Anyway. I hate Heybuddy. It is THEE place to be for the hip and happening of Georgetown. You pick a time of day, any day, its packed. We're talking World War III food rationing in the middle of a Category 5 hurricane prediction packed. I hate it. I try to get the produce out of the way first because that is where everyone likes to cluster. One of the nice things about heybuddy is that it provides a little UPC machine, so if you have a bag of onions, you can set them on the scale, type in the provided code and get a label for your crap so that you can self-checkout: my favorite.

So anyway. I had a hand basket full of mostly produce and I head to the check-outs, where the lines are naturally that of an immigration office or the DMV. I am behind this woman and her son at the self-checkout and she is, of course, having massive problems, which in hindsight, would be the reason why that line was by far the shortest. In her defense, her main "problem" was her retarded son who kept pushing buttons and playing on the bag spinner which is programmed to detect the slightest change in weight to catch you from stealing packs of gum. Every two seconds the machine would sing out: "PLEASE HOLD FOR CASHIER" because this kid was screwing around. The mom would swat at him and giggle at how "funny" he was. After about the 6th time this happened she laughed and swung her head over her shoulder giving me a "isn't he SO cute and funny!" smile. I gave her my "eat shit and die" face and she went back to trying to ring up a zucchini.

Minutes later, when she and her future glue sniffer left the store, I was ready to check out. For those of you who don't believe in Karma, it may be time to start. All those terrible thoughts about what an idiot the lady in front of me was and whether or not I planned to run her over with my car immediately came back and smacked me repeatedly in the face.

The self-checkouts are for 20 items or less.

I assumed that I had 20 items or less, but didn't count. BIG MISTAKE.
I was mostly done with my items when my transaction came to a screeching halt. I was trying to ring up some mushrooms but the computer wanted to know if I was paying with a check and if I had any coupons.

I'm sorry, but if you can pay with a check at the damn thing, having 21 items shouldn't send all computing functions to a grinding halt. It ends at 20. so now, with a line gathering behind me and my brain fumbling to catch up to what has just happened, I felt and looked like a neon colored ass. I hurried to pay for my 20 items and tried to quickly start another transaction for my leftover onions and cilantro. Yes, two items over. Two. Well, in my haste to hurry and swipe my next item and jam it into a bag, I upset the bag spinner which made me then remove all my bags, dig out the rogue cilantro, and place it in a new and uninhibited bag. That's probably when I started to notice the annoyed whispering behind me. I think I was sweating even...
So, I am trying to reconfigure the bag situation when one of the friendly neighborhood heybuddy cashiers comes over to see if I need assistance... or a helmet. I assure him I'm fine and he goes back to his little watch post.
Naturally, at this point, I'm not all right. The label has gotten wet on my onions, no doubt from the constant cold shower that the celery is subjected to in the produce aisle. I can't scan the effing onions. So I hit the button that says; "no barcode" hoping that it will give you a list to choose from or something, but instead it alerts the cashier boy who tells me that "all [I] have to do is lift the onions off the scale."
Really? That's what I have to do? That's going to ring up the onions?
I no longer cared. I paid for my stuff, grabbed my bags, grabbed the onions, and grabbed the handbasket... I never put the onions in my bag... I don't know that I consciously planned to 5 finger discount two onions... but I did.
I am an onion thief. It didn't even completely hit me until writing this that I feel really, really bad about this! But at least I'll have something for confession if I ever go to church again...
Wow, I'm really going to hell. And I'll probably be an onion farmer. This sucks.

In case anyone still had any reason to believe that it was safe for me to be in a store, let me go on:
Last weekendish Mike and I were at Sam's Club and they had this sliced pineapple there. We decided that it would be great for juicing and I reached over to get a package and that's when it happened.
My motor skills failed me.
The lid, which was not securely fastened, shifted ever so slightly, to which I overcompensated and somehow, beyond any reasonable comprehension of mine, the pineapple launched out of my hands and took flight, resulting the only way it possibly could: crash landing.

What would a situation like this be if it didn't have an audience. Shocked old people looked at me incredulously as the temperature in my face and ears shot up 80 degrees. Mike, who would later tell me that he saw the whole experience in slow motion, was doing a hearty pirate laugh and thankfully helping me pick up the naked, shivering pineapple chunks who found themselves so unexpectedly on the filthy floor at Sam's Club. I barked at Mike, Mr. Funny, to guard the spill while I found a government funded disaster relief organization.
I sought out the very first employee that I could and confessed my crime. I had catapulted a pineapple through their produce section and it was now in need of a mop. I was really sorry. And really stupid. And really sorry.
The employee, who was obviously going for some sort of employee of the month award, told me to tell "that guy" and pointed to a man working over in the butcher's hut. He was wearing a bloody white lab coat. This didn't seem to me like the man for the job, but who was I to be making these sort of assumptions, I can't even hold a container of pineapple.
So I told him.
He told me to tell "her" and pointed to someone handing out samples.
This little game went on and on and on until I finally ended back up at the sample lady who had been replaced by TWO sample ladies doling out shellfish in dixie cups. Mmmm. I once again recanted my tale... which is fun because I come out looking so good in it. The first girl informed me in a serious of "noises" that she didn't speak or understand English and if I would just take her little cup o' shrimp, her day would be much brighter.

SUPER.

The second girl told me to tell the butcher man.

I realize that this whole situation is my fault and mine alone, however, in cartoons, this is the point where steam comes out of your ears or you develop a comical tick.
I took a deep breath and without pausing for any sort of response yelled: "I have already told NINE different people and not ONE of you can be bothered to a.) clean it up, b.) find someone whom YOU KNOW can clean it up, or c.) hand me a mop. It is my opinion that I have officially gone above and beyond the call of duty for a consumer and I don't care what happens, have fun with your shellfish and avoid breaking a hip in the fruit aisle!"

After all that, we still haven't made any juice with the pineapple and now I am an onion thief.

2 comments:

Crystal K said...

So after a similar experiance at Sam's Club where I was trying to get a Polish Sausage and the person not speaking any English and people in lne getting annoyed because neither I nor my boyfriend seaks spanish (I understand this is New Mexico but last I checked it was still a state), I now am a firm believer in Costco.

Anonymous said...

I shoplifted a steak once. Four steaks, actually. They were priced something ridiculous like sixteen dollars a pound or something... anyways, the butcher misprinted the sticker the first time and set it on the counter. After that he printed a new one and put it on the wax paper. I palmed the old label when he wasn't looking and swapped them in the cereal aisle. I kept expecting them to stop me at the register when I bought four ribeyes for $3.25, but nobody said shit. I guess I looked like any other run-of-the-mill customer; sweating nervously with fear in his eyes whilst buying fifteen pounds of angus for three bucks. Luckily I paid with a credit card and consequently spent the next four days waiting for the cops to show up on my doorstep and execute me. Grand meat larceny.

-Karl Hungus

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