Bill KirbyOnline news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Trip to the store is not always a simple task

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If you are going through hell, keep going.

– Winston Churchill

Got milk? I did.

In fact, that was all I had been asked to pick up on one of those most common commands wives give husbands.

I get the job because I get to claim “senior citizen” status on special days and get discounts.

Well, if you’re like me and you only have one thing, you head to the grocery’s self-checkout line. One item is pretty simple. Other people, however, are not.

The tip-off should have been the longish line snaking back from the checkout machines. It was a line featuring mostly guys like me with a minimal number of products clutched in our manly mitts.

We were all standing there because not one, but two, women were slowly emptying their chock-full grocery carts and ever so deliberately ringing up their purchases. They had grocery loads that usually go through the full-service checkout lanes with conveyer belts and bag boys. But not today.

As a dozen or so of us looked on, a young woman weighed her onions and rang them up, reached for some canned goods and rang them up. Pulled soft drinks from the bottom of her cart and rang them up ... all with the maddening lack of haste and awareness of a 4-year-old picking backyard dandelions.

We looked on sullenly at the other lane as a middle-age matron suddenly stopped ringing up her purchases to wheel about and walk back to some faraway store aisle to find something she’d apparently forgotten.

After a few minutes, we guys in line began to question whether she were returning.

“Hey,” one asked the clerk watching the self-checkouts, “can you knock her off that register and let us pay for this stuff and leave?”

He shook his head slightly and muttered, “She said she was coming back.”

Another minute passed.

“What you think she forgot?” one guy speculated aloud.

“Common sense,” someone offered.

“Courtesy,” another suggested.

Eventually, she returned. Empty-handed.

When I got home, my wife asked, “What took you so long?”

“You had to be there ...” I said mysteriously. “It’s a long story.”

TODAY’S JOKE: Everett Fernandez shares this one:

Last week my wife and I purchased a new computer. We ran into some difficulties while setting it up so we called the customer support number we found in the manual. A man answered the phone and I explained the problem to him.

He began rattling off computer jargon. This confused us even more.

“Sir,” I said politely, “can you explain what I should do as if I were a small child?”

“OK,” the computer support guy said, “Son, could you please put your mommy on the phone?”

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itsanotherday1 06/01/12 - 09:53 am
I feel your pain Bill...

" all with the maddening lack of haste and awareness of a 4-year-old picking backyard dandelions."

Even when you are behind them in a regular checkout, they pussyfoot around. Wait for the total, unsling the purse, dig around for the checkbook, write the check, dig around some more putting the checkbook up, zip the purse back up, throw it back over the shoulder, make more small talk with the cashier, ease out of the way and out the door before I stroke out on the spot.

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