I don’t know what it is with me and situations on Fridays. Two weeks ago it was the weirdo with hemorrhoids at the grocery store, last week it was the rude lady at the vet (that I’ve yet to blog about) and now today a Costco cashier yelled at me. Oh yes, full out yelled at me.

Costco, as per usual, was crazy busy. Full mostly of idiots with apparently oodles of spare time who just wander around aimlessly, often making dead stops in the open areas just to make it impossible to navigate around them while they figure out what day it is, where they are, and what happens if you mix all the primary colors together.

I’m on a mission for eggs, milk, mushrooms and protein shakes. I wanted it to be a quick trip, whatever that equates to in the Costco world.

Oh yah... that's me in front

I’m like a Nascar driver with my cart. I can see my finish line and I can taste the trophy. I take off –  zipping past the old ladies bickering about the price of Electrosol dishwasher tabs, I slide past the dufus scratching his butt in front of the big screen tvs, I zoom past the hoity-toity-nose-in-the-air woman staring at the modern style bathtub as if it were the Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre.

I get to the back of the store, trying to make the clearest path to the dairy and produce section. My route is to pass by the meats, skip along the produce, grab the mushrooms, head straight for the dairy, grab the milk, select the eggs and make a bee-line to the pharmacy section for the protein drinks. It was a no fail plan. Almost.

I get to the meats and enter the dreaded “deer in the headlights” shoppers. If this were a park, these people were the annoying ducks and geese that get in your way so you can’t walk through. I step this way, then that way, wishing as I always do that shopping carts had signal lights and horns. People would hear me coming then. I’d be announcing my arrival in the store like a wedding car convoy… beeep beep beep beeeep beeep beep beeeeeeep.

The produce section was no better. Abandoned carts were scattered everywhere, like their owners had to take cover during an airstrike or like this area was now a designated cart parking zone. But then, as I got closer to the lonely carts it’s like their owners suddenly appeared … apparitions in a haunted house, and every one of them in my way. Thankfully, the big package of mushrooms is an easy grab and I toss them in the cart, avoiding the dreaded “loop-twice-around” the refrigerated section.

The main laneway that now leads my way to the dairy was like an interstate highway. I can’t get a break to get into the lane. No one is letting me in. At last, a break, I don’t hesitate and slip in unnoticed, keeping full pace with those ahead of me.

I arrive at the milk and stick out my arm as if ready to pass the invisible baton to the next runner, and without even so much as slowing down I reach out and grab the Skim, before taking three more steps and scooping up a carton of eggs. I rest the eggs in the front of the cart and while still moving, I open it and am satisfied that none are cracked.

I pick up my pace, ready for the home stretch. Just protein drinks left and I can cross the finish line. Again, I pass by a deluge of hopeless shoppers, probably not even sure what they came for. I pass the little girl making a face at her mom, a man tossing a package of pre-shredded cheese into his cart at a distance, around the two old men debating on the oversized jar of pickled garlic.

My signature move... sans the dress of course.

At last, the protein drinks, and again, like a choreographed dance I grab the box, put in the cart, twirl around once or twice in a Ginger Rogers kind of way and push my cart to the checkouts.

Uh oh. Four registers open and a thousand customers waiting. Oh well. The main part of the race is over. I can handle this. I resort to a conversation with my bud, Danielle, on my blackberry.

So there I am happily “bbm”ing my friend, laughing at our conversation when a Costco lady approaches both me and the lady behind me and says, “Ladies, you can proceed to the next checkout. She’s going to be opening up.”  I thanked her, after all, I’m not gonna refuse a chance to get out quicker.

I steer my cart over to the very next lane that is clearly still marked “This checkout closed”. I no sooner pull up to the conveyor belt when the cashier who is stationed there looks up and shouts, “No! No! No! This is for the next person in line, not you!” I was shocked. Now everyone in the line I just left and the line two rows over is staring.

Offended, and embarrassed I speak up and say, “The woman over there TOLD me to come over here.” Just then the cashier’s checkout partner piped in and said, “Yes, she told them to come here, Cathy.” The loud mouth cashier says, “Oh, okay!” Too late… cuz now I’m mad. I plunk down my milk and say, “Yes, she did tell us to come here…thank you very much, Cathy!” If being “pissed” was music, I’d have a swing band right now. Cathy just catapulted herself to the top of my shit list. (Note that my “shit list” is not to be confused with my “I think you are weird” list, my “avoidance” list, my “hope you trip and fall list”, and most notably, my official “can’t stand you” list.)

I put my items down and step to where the cashier is. She looks at me and says abruptly, “Sorry about that, I didn’t know she told you.” I looked at her and said sternly but quietly so as not to cause an even bigger scene, “You know, that was very humiliating… to be hollered at like you just did.” She got offended, put her hands up like I was holding a gun and this was a hold up and says loudly, “Look, I apologized okay!” I took a second, ground my top teeth into my bottom ones and said matter-of-factly with a smug look on my face, “You did. You certainly did.” This lady was nuts.

A little fibre goes a long way.

At this point, there was a million things I wanted to say to her… like that maybe even though she was hollering there were still people on the outskirts of the commercial business park that didn’t quite hear her, or that maybe if she had more fibre in her diet she wouldn’t be so irritable. Then I had a vision of breaking each of my dozen and a half eggs on top of her head, or throwing my mushrooms one by one at her… one at her nose, one at her forehead, one at her mouth… how-do-ya-like-this.. and this… and this…

Pick a potato, any potato.

I resigned to the fact I was not going to get into a battle of whits with this nut. I imagined it would be like having an argument with a potato. I decided to take the high road.  She told me my total and I made a joke about my “over used” debit card, she smiled, she gave me my receipt, told me to have a good weekend in a sort of sincere kind of apologetic tone. I gently took my receipt, looked her in the eye and said, “You too, Cathy. You too.”  I’ll be honest, I didn’t mean it though.  I was still reeling from the public humiliation and I wished I had secret powers… and could rig it so that her car wouldn’t start tonight, or a bird would poop in her eyes when she left the store, or she’d get the trots from something she ate earlier.

It was nice of Cathy to try to redeem herself… but too little too late Miss Non-Congeniality. My advice to her… spin by the bran aisle before you leave work tonight.

***Please note that names have been changed to protect the ornery and fibre-deficient.

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