THE FAMILY ALBUM: 12 items or less

I needed something on the way home from The Greene and decided to stop at the Kroger by the intersection of Woodman Drive and Dorothy Lane. It was not my regular grocery stop but it was close by.

My eldest son and I grabbed the few needed items, which did not total even twelve, and stepped into the “12 items or less“ register lane. There were only two or three folks ahead of us.

This very gaunt elderly lady turned around and began looking inside my basket. Now, I admit that I will occasionally glance into someone’s cart or basket to see what neat items they may have selected that I had not considered. However, this lady nearly had her face buried inside my basket. I looked questioningly at my son and when I turned back around the lady had her hand in my basket moving items around.

“May I help you with something?“ I asked.

Without looking up she responded, “I’m just making sure you don’t have more than 12 items.“

I assured her that I had counted correctly and was in the designated aisle. She refused to remove her hand from my shopping basket when I commanded her to do so. Finally, I used the thick plastic handle to press against her wrist until she cried out and removed her hand.

The lady turned back around to face toward the cash register. Her own shopping basket handles were nestled in the crook of her arm and she forcefully swung her basket back so that it would hit me in the stomach.

I ignored it.

After about one minute, my son suggested, “let’s move over to the U-scan registers.“ I declined because the elderly lane monitor was the next person to step up to the cash register for her transaction. My son grabbed hold of my arm and began moving me out of the aisle and toward the U-scan section.

“What’s up with this?“ I asked. He shook his head and grinned.

We stepped up to the available register and I began scanning my items. Suddenly, I began hearing yelling from the cash register aisle we had just abandoned. It was my friend, the feisty lane monitor, yelling and screaming at the cashier, “those are not mine! I am not buying those.”

My son was struggling to stifle an eruption of laughter. I asked what was so funny and all he could stumble to say was, “I’ll tell you outside.“

We left the entry way, still hearing the lady yelling at the cashier and now what I assumed to be a manager on duty.

“What do you know that I don’t?“

My son explained that someone had placed a box of Trojan condoms on one of the cash lane’s shelves with gum, candy, and other impulse buying selections.

He had slipped the box of condoms, unnoticed, into her basket.

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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