I make decisions quickly. I like to think that my brain quickly processes the information given to it and can rationalize the move I should make before it's too late. For instance, I study patterns of driving when I'm on the road so that I can effectively switch lanes in order to get somewhere faster and not be stuck behind some slow asshole who has deluded himself/herself into thinking that no one will notice a change in their driving if they text their best friend, change the radio station, and apply makeup at the same time.
I also hate when what I end up deciding ends up being wrong based on variables I did not foresee. First, variables are unfair and are generally douchebags. Secondly, I hate being wrong as a general rule.
So you can imagine my absolute frustration while shopping for vinegar, Gatorade, and distilled water (you know, for my sixth-grade science fair entry) at my friendly neighborhood Shaw's the other night (which, by the way, is the smaller, trailer park bastard-child of the two legitimate Shaw's supermarkets in Saugus and Stoneham) when I decided to forgo the line with 3 people in it and opt instead for the line with one lady buying only two greeting cards and a pack of gum...and it ended up being the craziest five minutes of my life.
The Shaw's in Wakefield (artist's rendering).
Why, you ask? Andy, how could it have taken you five minutes to buy four items behind a lady only buying three items? Were you inadvertently rendered blind and stupefied by the image of Oprah on the tabloid rag your eyes grazed? Did you attempt to converse with the cashier in Arabic, only to have her douse you with a fire extinguisher before shoving a stake through your heart? Maybe the medication Robin Williams gave you finally wore off?
No, easily-amused readership; I was fooled by a simple bag. A plain old knit bag which I mistook for a run-of-the-mill "old lady" purse which I presumed to be filled to the brim with pictures of grandchildren, Werther's Originals, and holy water for shooing those damn devil-teens off her lawn. A bag that was in reality filled with a shoebox-sized Tupperware container overflowing with every coin-like currency denomination known to man...except for a single goddamn quarter. Not one.
So now I'm sitting behind a lady who is counting out $5.04 in nickels, dimes, and *shudder* pennies. At about the $2.55 mark she decides that instead of counting the coins herself, she would just toss handfuls of change onto the still-moving conveyor belt (which only kept moving because this goddamn Social Security sinkhole continued to move her change-box down the belt until the sensor was unblocked, starting the motor again) and have the cashier count it.
So why didn't I just move into another line, you ask? First of all, shut the fuck up; don't interrupt my story again or I swear to CHRIST I will cut you. Second, in the time it took for me to truly grasp the situation I was watching unfold (my brain was threatening to fold in on itself like a collapsing star) two of the remaining cashiers on registers had left to go on break and the lone free cashier had come over to fish change out of the conveyor belt, which was eating the loose coins every time the belt moved.
Andy's head exploded, waiting in the Shaw's liiiiiiiine, in a shopping supernova...
So, to recap the scene in front of me:
1) lady paying for cards and gum completely with non-quarter change
2) two cashiers frantically digging said change out of the hold at the end of the conveyor belt
3) unassuming, mid-twenties male hanging from the ceiling of Shaw's by a noose fashioned by every remaining National Inquirer in the checkout area
Finally (finally!), once the change had been collected, my Gatorade had evaporated while still in the bottle, and the Snickers bars had become sentient I was able to pay for my items. With cash. Treasury-approved, mint-printed, can-get-ruined-in-the-wash-if-not-careful, honest-to-In-God-We-Trust paper money. Hallelujah! Holy shit!
Where's the Tylenol?
So that was it; my harrowing escape through a river of Shaw's-filled shit. It's my firm belief that the end of the world is coming, for the stupids are breeding and I fear their multiplication may never slow. Just do me a favor: buy your canned goods and batteries at Stop & Shop.
Good night, everyone.