The woman in front of me only had 7 items. It was The Dollar Tree where everything is literally $1, so her total was only going to be $7 plus tax.
All I had was a Zero Sugar Coke and a pack of heavy duty AAA batteries.
As I waited, I couldn’t help but catch some of her banter with the cashier. Of course, she was talking so loud, it was obvious it was meant for everybody within earshot, not just the cashier. She was talking so goddamned loud and obnoxiously, it was an obvious invitation to participate in her banter. But I knew the invitation would only hold so long as I agreed with her bullshit. And that’s the problem with loudmouths like her, they interpret silence as a timid agreement or an unwillingness to challenge their opinions since they’re so goddamned rock solid and airtight.
As the cashier rang up her shit, this beast of a woman ahead of me was complaining about how nobody was working. She started bitching about government handouts. Then she started bitching about how our economy is going cashless.
I prayed that the cashier wouldn’t egg her on. And I promised myself if she aimed her attention toward me, I wasn’t going to return any of it. What I’d already heard of her thoughtless drivel was enough. I didn’t want to hear any more of her shit about The President or immigrants or vaccines or viruses or whatever the fuck else she had tucked away in her bag of petty grievances. All I wanted was my Coke and the pack of batteries and to get the fuck away from her and anyone else like her.
As I waited, I heard her say she was a hairdressers and hairdressers deal in cash, so she didn’t know how she was going to adjust to a cashless economy. She acted like it was a shitty thing that we seemed to moving more and more away from cash, especially since she was a hairdresser dealing in a lot of real currency.
She looked back at me to see if I agreed. I pretended not to notice, staring idiotically at my sugarless Coke and batteries instead, thinking it doesn’t take a fucking rocket scientist to take your cash to the bank and deposit it in an account, then use a card off the account. I knew it wasn’t hard. And I knew she had to know it wasn’t hard either, but it was still something she could bitch and rant and rave about.
Noticing how I’d ignored her, this slob turned her attention back to the cashier. Unfortunately, my dismissiveness wasn’t enough to knock her off her soapbox.
“I don’t know about things today. Nobody wants to work. Sometimes I work 10 or 12 hours a day. There’s so much wrong. So much I could go on and on about. But I won’t since I know nobody wants to hear about it.”
That was the first fucking thing she’d said that made any sense. I wanted to applaud. Then again, I just wanted my Coke and batteries without any hassles. So, again, I looked away and pretended not to hear, though I could feel her glance at me again, begging for the handout of a nod or smile of approval. But, just like before, I wisely played dumb.
“Okay,” I heard her said. “Here you go. Hope this doesn’t cause you too much trouble.”
Finally, I paid some attention. She’d handed the cashier a personal check. A personal check for a little more than seven dollars. A personal check when she’d just finished bitching about a cashless economy. This bitch arguing that cash is king, and then she paid for less than 8 bucks worth of shit with a check. A goddamned personal check for less than $8 when she’d just finished bitching about how most of her livelihood is conducted in cash.
The cashier said, “It’s only the second check I’ve done today. It might take me a second to remember what I need to do.”
The cashier pushed buttons on her register, then seemed to wait for some kind of approval while the slob said, “Yeah, society’s really falling apart. But, like I said, nobody wants to hear about it from regular people like me.”
The bitch’s check was approved, so she finished her transaction, then left.
I stepped up. The cashier rang me out.
“Would you like a bag?” she asked.
“Sure,” I said.
I looked down. I noticed at the same time she did she was out of bags.
“It’s alright. It’s no big deal,” I said. “I can live without it.”
I took my Coke and batteries and got the fuck out as quickly as I could.
I got in my car. I drove home. I opened my Coke and began writing this.
Then it occurred to me what I fucking hypocrite I am, sitting here bitching about people like her, hoping somebody else might understand. Hoping somebody else might care about my bitching about her any more than I cared about her bitching about anything else.