1.The con man with a full cart of groceries. The cashier points to the 10-item sign and he whimpers “This is the express lane? Oh no. I didn’t know. Please. I have very painful bone spurs. And, I’m just a few items over. I’m sure these kind people behind me won’t mind.” Judging by their sudden transformation into Incredible Hulkage, they do mind. And they don’t look that kind.
2.The slob who tries to bluff his way through with 20 bags of chamomile Cheese-its. When threatened with a depantsing by those behind him, he claims he didn’t see the 10-item sign because a kid on a bike in the parking lot rode up to him and ripped his glasses off his face and then pedaled like mad for Omaha, a city known for the illicit fencing of previously seen-through eyewear.
3.The bespoke, besuited nudnik with a dozen bathroom night lights. He says the lights are small so he technically has only 6 items. Which means he’ll also take a National Inquirer and three boxes of those yellow Peeps with the label “New, improved moldering.” The grammar lady behind him says “Technically there are 12 lights, which makes you, technically, an idiot.”
He plays the “I’m a whooping-cough survivor” card, but everyone, including the grammar lady, starts coughing and wheezing and choking dramatically. A little girl with a 50 pound bag of dog food says to the nudnik “Must be a really dark bathroom.”
4.The dude with 11 apples, hoping nobody says “Hey, can’t you count?” But nobody does, possibly because none of them feels they count for anything. The cashier, a battle hardened veteran of Granada, grabs an apple, bites off the stem and wings it 40 feet down the cereal aisle, shouting “Fire in the hole!” Later, when normality slowly emerges from its fox hole, she rings up the remaining 10 apples and everybody lives happily ever after.
5.The ignoramus with 9 bags of M&Ms who grumbles he couldn’t find packs of all-green M&Ms. Everyone seethes while a stock boy books a flight to the distant aisle where M&Ms grow. He comes back after what seems like years with a suntan, a goatee and a Hawaiian shirt tucked into his jeans. He says “We’re all out of green.”
The ignoramus says “You’re not supposed to tuck a Hawaiian shirt into your pants.” The kid snaps “Whose pants am I supposed to tuck it into then?” The stock boy then reveals two packs of all-yellow and all-blue M&Ms. “Because yellow and blue make green,” he says, proudly.
However, this brings the guy’s total to 11. He is escorted to the 157 item line which winds all the way back to the Congress of Vienna.
6.The old fool with a cane and 15 items. He climbs onto the conveyor belt and starts singing as if this is a musical. He tap dances, spins his cane around and pushes his cap forward at a jaunty angle as a full orchestra starts playing in the background. Customers in line throw their hands up and down, in and out, and break into a chorus-line, leg-kick revue.
The cops arrive and the younger cop tells his partner he fears for his life. He tasers 50 thousand watts into the dancing geeze bag. Everyone stops dancing and the orchestra melts professionally away. The fearless coppers drag out the still smoking old fart. Everyone else looks away or pretends they weren’t dancing or are suddenly very interested in the instructions for the Heimlich maneuver posted above the display of Peeps.
7.The lady with trouble (she’s got trouble) on her mind plucks a bottle of mouthwash at the checkout counter and adds it to her 10 cloves of garlic. She is told she is one item over the limit.
“What crap,” she says, sending out little wavy lines of stage-four breath, knocking down the cashier and two customers behind her. When summoned – along with the chemical warfare SWAT team — the manager asks if she has a coupon for a free bottle of mouthwash when combined with 10 garlic cloves. She does, and even though it’s expired, he passes her through before passing out.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2019, all rights reserved.