The (Little Plastic) Bar (You Put Between Grocery Orders) Is Lowered Yet Again!
FORGET the nit-picky argument put forth by grammar freaks that signs above express lanes in grocery stores should technically be “10 Items or Fewer” not “10 Items or Less.” (Or 12, or 15, or however the hell many.)
Ralphs has made the whole issue moot and responded to today’s casual, unaccountable, go-with-the-flow, “whatever,” unconstricted-by-pesky-rules-or-guidelines society with a new kind of quick check-out lane which evidently is aimed at shoppers who have trouble with basic counting skills once their number of grocery items hits those intimidating double digits.
Behold, the ‘about 15 items’ express lane!
The arbitrary implication of the phrase “about 15 items” is of course open to wild interpretation and it no doubt reflects the tendency of inconsiderate “my-time-is-more-valuable-than-your-time” shoppers with, say, seventeen items to just join the express lane queue [pretentious British term], 10 item limit be damned!
No surprise to you, what, six regulars: I’m a stickler for staying at or below the posted limit (unless there’s absolutely no one at the express lane when I walk up).
Back during those now fondly-remembered and significantly less complicated “10-Items-Or-Less” days, a woman ahead of me tried to sneak through just such a checkout with five more cans of cat food than was allowed by the almighty sign – but was reprimanded by the checker, of all people. The customer argued they were similar items but the cashier countered that she still had to scan them all. Despite my propensity for following rules and expecting (usually in vain) others to do the same, I was with the customer on this one – the Ralphs employee was just being a surly, contrary jackass.
So you can understand why I’m a bit wary of the wording of this new signage at the express lane. I can see it now: I’ve got one lousy Tina’s Burrito and exactly 40¢ in coin to pay for it while some complete pain-in-the-ass, disorganized mess of a human being behind me has sixteen different meats, fruits, vegetables, canned goods and bottles of booze, expired coupons for all of them and hopes to pay with an out-of-state check.
This being Ralphs, the cashier is likely to pull that person ahead of me and ring him up first, because after all, while I just have the one burrito, he has – just as the sign says – “about 15 items.”