Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Toilet Humor at the Self-Checkout

I've written about past adventures in the self-checkout lane (Do I Have a Choice? and back-talking machines) at the social Giant and had another one recently.

Last week, I was about to scan my groceries when I saw a huge multi-roll pack of toilet paper sitting  on the shelf in front of the scanner. Oops -- I wonder who forgot this important item.

Man at the other end of the counter was loading purchases into a bag. He must have forgotten about the toilet paper.

"Excuse me sir," I said, "Is this toilet paper yours?"

"Oh, " he glanced up, "No. I don't need to go that badly." He then chuckled as he picked up his bags to leave, "Sorry about that."

A few minutes when I almost finished bagging my groceries I heard, "Is this yours?"

I looked up and saw a woman -- about to start scanning her items -- point to the gargantuan pack of toilet. I replied, "No, I was wondering whose it is. I asked the man in front of me the same thing and he said 'no' too!"

The woman shook her head and chuckled, "Uh-oh, this is something you don't want to run out of!"

Friday, September 9, 2016

I can see clearly now, whoa.

My younger daughter needed glasses so we went to the eye doctor. She must have my poor vision genes since I've needed, although not consistently worn, glasses since fifth grade. I had a pair of glasses that were seven years old. Been having trouble reading fine print so I made an appointment for myself. Did the exam and told the eye doc of my latest reading challenges.
-Oh, sounds like you need progressive lenses. He tells me.
- What's that like bifocals? I ask.
- Well, we don't call them bifocals, they're progressive lenses.

Bifocals. So I order a cool pair of frames. Hip Ray-Bans to lessen the middle age stigma. They text me, imagine that, text me to let me know they're in. I go in for the fitting and once I put them on, whoaaaaa. Slight dizziness, eyes dilated. Oh, that's a natural side effect at first, I'm told.  You'll get used to it. Other side effects include, hitching my pants past my navel, driving ten miles below the speed limit, and referring to young people as whippersnappers. Just love my bifocals, I mean progessive lenses.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Cutting Crew

For several years,  I've been going to the same undisclosed barbershop. I usually go when the Wifey tells me it's time. It can be a couple months. It's been my experience to seek out and stick with the oldest barber in the shop and that's what I've done. ""Jack" has a similar hairline as I. Think Louie CK. It's not that much to trim and he still takes time. Sometimes it's awkward to walk in. "Can I help you?" "Need a haircut?" I tell them I'm waiting for Jack. The look of loss in their eyes. There goes a customer. Jack does his usual fine job and I tip well. The problem is when goes out of town, out of state in late May.  He doesn't return until September. I try to time it so I get a cut from him before he leaves but eventually, I have to go in. Before he leaves, Jack suggests who to see within the shop and I follow his advice. Sometimes, they are not there or free so I bite the bullet and just submit to whoever is available. It's hard to mess up my hair and I end up looking much better than when I walked in. Still, I look forward to seeing Jack and having him work his master craft on these follicles.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Are you going to go my way?

    My commute takes me to my office in Rockville. It is a little over ten and a half miles. During the summer, when school is out, I can make it there in about twenty minutes. It's a breeze. Down 108, a right on Georgia, down Randolph. In a couple weeks that will all change. The presence of the big yellow school bus makes all the difference. More people schlepping their kids to school. Actual teenage drivers. Yikes. So, it adds on up to another ten minutes. And that's OK. Kids got to get to school to learn. So enjoy your commute now and hope you enjoy your commute as another school year begins.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Good Behavior on the Road

After my daughter obtained a learner's permit, she noticed other drivers' bad behavior. "That person didn't signal," she would report. Or she would note, "That car didn't come to a full stop at the 4-way stop sign intersection", "Is that okay for that SUV to drive on the right [shoulder] and cut ahead of everyone?" and more.

One afternoon after dismissal time, I was driving on Muncaster Mill Road past Magruder High School when my daughter commented, "Oh, no wonder everyone is driving slowly ... There's a police car.”
Sure enough, a police cruiser was right in front of me. I glanced around for an accident but thankfully saw none. During this usually busy time, the scene was unusually calm. Traffic was heavy but cars were merging politely and everyone seemed mellow. No one was in a rush or tailgating anyone else.

This scene confirmed an adage I once heard: "People don't speed when police are around." I think this saying is applicable to different situations when people are temporarily on their best behavior, like Office workers don't surf YouTube while the boss is in and Shoppers don't cheat at self-checkout when a clerk stands nearby.

And now I apply this adage to a new scenario: don't speed or curse at other drivers when my student driver is also in the car.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Joys of Anonymous Online Shopping and Shipping

Since Olney doesn't have a mall, online shopping can be blessing. As a surprise, my husband ordered me a pair black dress pumps from Nordstrom. Unsure of my size, he snooped around in our closet and guestimated what size to order. 

A week later I opened the package, delighted to find the new pumps ...  which were a half size too small. The package had free return shipping, so all I needed to do was repack the shoes, attach the enclosed prepaid, pre-addressed UPS form and drop it off at the UPS store by Rite Aid here in Olney.

"You don't have to do that," my husband said. "I can return them to Nordstorm at Montgomery Mall on my way to work."

"No, that's okay -- the UPS store is convenient here in town," I replied.

My husband thought for a moment and then nodded. "True. Plus what would salespeople think about a middle-aged man returning a pair of ladies' evening pumps?"

"Just tell them that the shoes were too small," I laughed. "They can guess too small for whom."

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Silent, not Social Giant

Last September, I wrote about how social Olney's Giant is. No matter what time of day or night I go there, at least a few cars are parked outside with some customers and employees inside. I feel secure seeing others shopping there, especially before storms (stocking up on food), during sewage issues (buying bottled drinking water) and after blizzards (restocking food after being dug out).

One morning last spring, after plodding through school drop-off and Route 108 rush hour traffic, I entered Giant's parking lot ... and saw NO cars. Puzzled by the empty lot, I checked for emergency vehicles, which to my relief were absent. Still, the scene was eerie. Where was everyone? Was Giant closed at 7:30am? Have I entered The Twilight Zone?

I crept into the store and spied two people at the customer service desk. Relieved that I hadn't walked into a crime scene, I quickly picked up a few items and headed toward self-checkout. Just then another person cautiously tiptoed into the store.

"Is there anyone else here?" the customer peered about. "Oh good, another shopper!" She too had wondered if the store was closed or if something sinister was going on when she saw the deserted parking lot.

For once, the Social Giant was a more silent than social!