Thursday, October 30, 2008

Check This Out

Rest assured, Bossy Betty does not take lightly nor abuse the use of her incredible gift of mental telepathy. I understand I must use it for the good of all. I understand (thanks, Spiderman!) that with great power comes great responsibility. Therefore, I choose very carefully when to unleash the power of my mind. OK, OK, I'll admit that once in great while at night, while out walking the very slow dog (see earlier post--where is that Urine A-Go-Go, people?) who, for some reason has chosen the middle of the street as the best place to walk, I will only rarely send to the driver of an on-coming car a mental message to turn into a driveway so that we can continue on our trajectory instead of my frantically trying to pull the dog over. Do I feel guilty about it? Well, yes, a little, as I imagine the driver of the car who, five minutes earlier, left the house with the simple idea to go get bananas and vodka at Vons, is now sitting in the driveway of a stranger's house, clutching a shopping list and wondering how he ended up in there.

However, my last attempt to use mental telepathy was not just for my sake, but for my fellow huddled masses there in the Big Box Store where we all stood in the long, snake-like line with our thawing value packs of sorbet cups and large bags of softening frozen french fries. From my place, about six customers back, I could see the woman who had reached the destination of our pilgrimage-- the cash register. I looked with envy at this woman who had reached the shrine, and would, with the mere passing over of money be released with her goods. Yet there was something strange about her behavior. She was there, standing at the alter of consumerism and yet she was not offering up the sacrifice required there. So what was she doing as the cashier rang up her items? Was she swiping her credit card through the magic swiping machine? No. Did she even have her credit card in her hand ready to swipe? No. Was she opening her wallet, opening her purse, even looking for a credit card? No. She was standing. Waiting. She had a semi-amused look creeping onto an otherwise blank expression as she watched the cashier scan each item. Apparently this was her entertainment for the evening and she was going to make the most of it.

Now, Bossy Betty believes that you should think ahead and prepare for that inevitable moment when (and it does come, people) the cashier tells you the dollar amount and you (consumer) pay for (purchase) the items of goods sold to you (which in this case included a large blister pack of "fast-acting" nasal spray--go figure). Bossy Betty believes this preparation and forward-thinking is just part of being a Good Citizen. With that in mind, it was time to teach this little lady a lesson. (Let me say here that she was neither elderly nor disabled in any way. Bossy Betty is not without a heart and would gladly make allowances for those deserving of them.) I began to unleash my powers and send a concentrated thought stream her way that resembled those high-powered laser flashlights that can be seen for miles and can blind small rodents. "Get Out Your Money." "Get Out Your Credit Card." I know the searing beam went in her direction because all five other customers in front of me quickly began opening their purses, and patting their pockets to dig out wallets. Still, there was no movement from the woman, save a slight turning of her head as she followed the travels of each and every item over the scanner. I turned up the beam a bit, squinting in concentration as I stared right at her and beamed the message "PREPARE TO PAY." "PREPARE TO PAY." "PREPARE TO PAY." People behind and to the side of me began getting out their money and cards. I saw employees of the store begin to search for their wallets. I was just about to turn it up one more notch when I thought about the ricochet effect and the poor people all the way in the back of the store, dropping their hot roasted chickens and 15 gallon drums of dishwashing soap to look for their credit cards. I reluctantly stopped the beam, but I did not take my eyes off of the woman. She stood, still entranced by the parade of items which by now I think she believed the cashier passed over the pretty green light just for her approval and amusement.

Finally, her order was all scanned, her groceries all boxed up. I saw the cashier point to the number on the digital readout that was at eye-level to the woman. It was only then that she took what I am sure she considered swift action. She took her purse from her shoulder, placed it on the counter, u-n-z-i-p-p-e-d it, pulled out her wallet, opened it up and then... went back to dig around in her purse for a pen. That's right. A pen. It was check-writing time.

Oh, don't get me started.

1 comment:

Karen said...

"You Got da Powah!". Glad you're using it only for good!