Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Goji Nuts and Monkey Butts

The title today came thisclose to being a huge hit for the Seattle grunge band, "Please touch the item to purchase." If not for a simple twist of fate....actually sort of an arm stand with a pike and an inward twist ending in a tuck.

Sorry. I was drinking water in my official Michael Phelps glass and got a little carried away. He has a twitter account as well-how weird must those look after a couple of hits on the bong? (He probably has a 'person' who tweets for him-there's a show stopper when you're screening resumes...)

Anyway. If I had ever  been in Seattle when grunge was popular and I had been thirty years younger and knew how to play an instrument and had been in a band perhaps I'd have called them well, you know, and we'd have played, you already guessed. But it didn't happen and that's that. That's why Billy Bass is hanging in my study instead of a gold record.

Except-just in case my local supermarket had already breathed a sigh of relief, but too soon. It has a self-checkout which I prefer rather than facing off against the pimply, dour, gum-chewing, ill-tempered wish they were somewhere, anywhere, else cashiers they tend to hire.

It's not my fault their parents make them work here after school to earn spending money. I doubt they make enough to do anything with though that's the least of my problems especially right now.

Meanwhile, at the self-checkout I scan my membership card and a voice welcomes me to the store which is stupid as I've already been in the store-and am attempting to purchase stuff I found at the store so I can leave the store. I digress.

I always have only one item: the salad I made at their salad bar back near the fruits and vegetables (I have a scene out of Casablanca playing in my head with a variety of vegetables sitting on stools in a dimly-lit juke joint nursing tall drinks with celery stalks in them). I press "Produce" and the same welcoming voice that wasn't now tells me 'Touch the item to purchase.'

I make, or used to, my living with words. I have never used increase when I mean enhance or other ex-PFC Wintergreen prolix prose tricks, so when I have a machine which tells me to touch an item when what it actually means is to touch the representation of the item on the screen, I will touch that item everyday for my own amusement, for ever. And chuckle at my own cleverness.

The salad is in a clear container and is no danger to me or to itself. And that may be why I find it so droll to go through the drill every day at the cash register. I'll bet I wouldn't chortle nearly as much were the goji berries to come onto the belt, especially since I know what's next, which would be awkward as I left the gloves in the car.
-bill kenny

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