10 People You’ll Meet in Line at the Grocery Store (Pt 1)

Walmart Grocery Checkout Line in Gladstone, Missouri

Standing in line at the grocery store is excruciating. It can feel like you’re a Forty-niner panning Stutter’s Mill for just one nugget of gold fortune (or in my case a line at WinCo that I can get out of before my milk gets chunky). Unless your last visit was at age five when your mom let you ride the little rocket ship out front, chances are good that you’ve encountered one of these ten people:

1. The Chit Chatter
Anything from discourse on the most recent Rapture False Alarm to showing pictures from their granddaughter’s tonsillectomy is fair game. I’ve found that using the Fake-A-Call app on my iPhone or pretending to be deaf are the quickest ways to sever ties here.

2. The Spiller
This person is most commonly found trying to pull a gallon-sized pickle jar from the bottom of their cart while setting up the little bar that separates their stuff from your stuff and writing a check, all at the same time. It’s like their practicing to win the gold for the Grocery Checkout Triathlon. The best response is to give them lots of space and start looking for another line.

3. The Exact Changer
Typically a retiree or a young 20-something who just completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. They’re secretly hoping the cashier will bestow upon them some sort of exact change trophy while trying to finally ditch that Canadian penny they got from the waiter at Red Robin, without getting caught.

4. The PDAer
Completely oblivious to the fact they’re in a grocery store where children are present. In this case it’s best just to pick another line. Any line will do. Better soggy Klondike Bars than the uncomfortable conversation you and your wife will have with little Billy later that night.

5. The Over Packer
Are aliens coming from Alpha Centauri to turn all our grocery stores into factories for their robot armies, forcing the human race to forage through dumpsters for whatever scraps of food remnants we can find? That’s the first thing that comes to my mind when looking at your carts (yes, CARTS). It’s OK if you have to make more than one trip to the store per decade.

I’ll post the other five next week. In the meantime, who else should be added to this list? Write your ideas below.

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