Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Cleanup in Aisle Four

The scene: late Monday afternoon, in the check-out line at the Pavilions supermarket at the corner of Melrose and Vine in Hollywood. I am in line, waiting to purchase my allegedly free-range turkey and assorted other items. The cashier is finishing up a conversation with his customer, an elderly woman sporting (among other things) a shiny blue denim visor, funky green and orange sneakers, and very pink lipstick. “I’d just like to talk to the manager,” she says. The long-suffering cashier gets on the horn and pages the manager while he bags up the rest of the woman’s groceries.

The manager, a pleasant woman who has helped me many a time, comes over. The following exchange ensues:

Visor Woman: I just want to ask you about the announcements.

Manager [pleasantly confused]: The announcements?

Visor Woman: Yes, why do they have to be so loud?

Manager: Oh, you mean like over the loudspeaker?

Visor Woman: Yes, I mean they’re so loud. I used to shop at the Ralph’s at 3rd and LaBrea, but I stopped going there because the announcements were too loud. Now I come here, and you’ve started doing the same thing!

Manager: Well, ma’am, that’s just the policy of the company to better serve our customers.

Visor Woman: But do you have to say “Such-and-such is on sale this week in Aisle Four” or “No waiting on Checkstand Ten”? I mean, we have eyes, we can see that for ourselves.

Manager: Um, but it helps some people to have us tell them things like that. The company’s policy is that –

Visor Woman: But why does it have to be so loud? Do you see what I’m saying? It’s too loud.

Manager: I guess I could turn it down.

Visor Woman: Would you?

Manager: Yes, ma’am. [turns away, centers self, finds a happy place, goes back to work]

My turkey, meanwhile, bored into reanimation by this lengthy conversation, has lunged out of the cart and is scampering madly toward the Starbucks concession. I have to fling myself upon it and, aided by staff from the Panda Express concession, pound it into submission it with a Rent-a-Rug-Doctor vacuum cleaner. All of which causes me to lose my place in line.

All because of some fling-flangin' announcements. Holy Mother of God.


Cee in SF said...

Now that's the way to start the holidays! Maybe everyone should have to try to wrestle their dinner into submission.

E. said...

Clearly the turkey is free-range, otherwise it never would have been so feisty.

Lisa Blah Blah said...

That woman must be free-range too, because she was too damn feisty for a Monday afternoon.

When I see cranky older folks like that, I worry that someday that will be me. (*snort* - someday, who are we kidding?!)