Get that order right . . . maybe

Last night we were rushing to get home with the groceries before Hubby arrived with the news about his workplace transfer. Did it go through, or was there a hitch? (Tie up that horse and go on.) Mama needed a kiddie burger. I pulled up to the Mickey D’s window.

“Welcome to Calories Central. Would you like to try our frozen Strawberry Lemonade?”

Would I ever. But . . . no.

“I just need a double cheeseburger with no meat.”

. . .

A screech from the sidecar. “No CHEESE, I said!” Laughter.

“I meant . . . yeah, no CHEESE. You know, a double HAMburger.”

Good thing the clerk’s first language wasn’t English or she’d have been laughing as I pulled around. She probably just thought about the crazy customers who should be going to the Have It Yer Own Way store.

Then I floored it for WallyWorld, where I could get some cold cuts from the deli so Hubs can make his own lunches for the next couple of weeks. Well, I was smart: I went to the deli and placed an order first (“be right back for that”), then ran through the rest of the store for a few odds and ends. Then I zipped to the self-checkout, scanned it all (“Unexpected item in bagging area” was my purse), and zoomed outside where the van was still idling (with doors locked and crew listening to crazy radio pundit–don’t get me started on his take on certain issues!) We were halfway home when Mama said in a disappointed voice, “We didn’t get any ham.”

*dang* How long had it been since we left? I pulled a U and got into snarled traffic. Was I even going the right way to the store? That’s what low blood sugar will do to a person. I hurried back inside and the deli clerk said, “I wondered what happened to you.”

Again with the self-checkout. When I was three or four, I remember expressing the desire to become a checkout clerk to the Henke-Pilot clerk because you got to use that conveyor belt thingie. (It was in the days before the price scanner; you actually had to punch in the sticky tag number and make the taxes calc yourself. Wow! What we did at Dairy Queen in the seventies was ignore the ones-place digit and divide by two, which gave a close enough approx of the 5% sales tax at the time. It HAS gone up.) Anyway, now that I get to check out my own groceries, the charm is gone. I feel as if I have to work at the store as well as shop there! No more riding on the conveyor belt like Maggie Simpson.

One quick stop at Dollar General and we’d be finished. “There’s a coupon for those chips,” chirped the clerk. She ran over to get one. The register didn’t recognize it. She ran back for the manager. A long line began to form. . . .

Coupon never did go through. Mutiny in aisle 9.

We got home to discover that his transfer was approved. Now comes the “proving yourself” phase all over again. And moving to a different cubicle! But he’s happy. He thinks.

(The phone is ringing. Oops–he’s at the doctor’s office and needs a check because they don’t take plastic. Off to the rescue with check #3405!)

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Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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