Posts Tagged ‘july 4th’

Independence Day is almost here, so before you prove to your kid how cool you are by blowing your hand off you will most likely, at some point, be standing in a line at the grocery store to stock up. This doesn’t have to be a horrible experience, but you’ll have to keep your wits about you. It is very important to keep your head on a swivel, as choosing which check out line you stand in is of great importance. Sure, it’s tempting to pick the line with the hottest clerk, but they’re normally the dumbest ones so don’t be fooled. It’s hard to check somebody out quickly when you can’t read or operate a computer, so skip the Jersey Shore wannabe and find the savvy veteran. You’re looking for messy hair, a fake smile and the smell of cigarettes – because those people want to get you out of there just as fast as you want to leave. Look for flair, or a banged up name tag. The brand new name tag or one with a written-in name on it is a clear sign that you have a rookie and need to abort immediately. Once you’ve made sure the clerk you’ve chosen can read, stays away from spray-on tans and has a few merit badges on their vest – it’s time to scan the crowd.

You will need to pay very close attention to shopping carts and the items contained therein. All other shoppers need to be considered your competition, and treated as such. I don’t trust fruit or vegetables. Anything without a UPC can be subject to a price check intercom call – in which case you’re better off just opening that box of Oreos and taking a seat, because it’s going to be a while before the stock boy finishes his bong hit and makes his way up from the back room.

If you see grey, walk away. The only thing slower than standing behind an elderly person in the grocery line is the Cubs march to a World Series title. Don’t forget that they’re usually packing coupons too, and that is 15 minutes you will never get back.

Keep an eye out for lurkers – they are a pawn in the “lurk and swoop” tactic. Has some woman ever asked to cut you in line because she only has 1 item? This is a red flag, don’t become a victim. If they really only have 1 item they can use the self checkout or go to Walgreens, don’t buy into the bullshit. Watch for people hovering nearby with a cart packed with groceries, if you spot somebody putsing around aimlessly – tell that bitch to stuff it and start filling up the conveyor belt. Trust me, the minute you let her jump in front of you, her snot nosed teenager will come barreling in with a cart full of groceries. I have enough going on during the holiday weekend, I don’t have the time or energy to publicly berate somebody in front of her kids.

Sometimes it’s not as easy to choose your line, there are times when split-second decisions need to be made. Any hesitation at all could cost you an extra 20 minutes standing behind the behemoth man in his motorized cart. Consider the situations below. The color green indicates your average in and out shopper – easily scanned items, no fruit or coupons and sitting at a healthy, quick, mid-life age range. Yellow can represent a slightly slower shopper – maybe you notice a few coupons, or even grey hair – but using your best judgement you would have to assume they’re not too slow. Red will represent a dreadful, old, coupon having, broke, fruit lover who doesn’t know their ass from their elbows – you want to avoid them at all costs, sometimes even if they only have a few items. The numbers represent the number of items each person has in their cart. Exhibit A demonstrates a no-brainer situation: The left lane has 30 items total among red and yellow shoppers while the right line contains 15 total items mainly distributed among the competent variety of shoppers. Pick the line to the right, dumbass. Exhibit B is where it gets a little tricky. The line on the left is predominantly red and yellow shoppers, but they only have 20 total items whereas the line on the right has 15 more items, but are held by quick shoppers. Don’t be afraid to cheat a little, favor the right line but position yourself for the easy switch in case the clerk in left line happens to be an all-star during the middle of his shift. Set yourself up for success and stay sharp, these things can change quickly.

Most importantly, trust your instincts – if they look stupid, they probably are. If the guy in line looks like he might only have $3 in his bank account, he probably does, and get out – because voiding an entire sale due to non-sufficient funds will require you to break out the Oreos again. I know this may seem funny now, but you won’t be laughing when some pimple faced jerkoff cuts you in line after his mother preyed on your kindness and the old lady in front of you shakily gathers her coupons to give to the half-wit bimbo clerk… are those bags of apples, broccoli and nectarines? Cancel your plans.

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