The Checkout Curse; Grace Never Fails

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I really think I am cursed. Either that or I have the uncanny ability to pick out the register with the slowest checkers.

I stopped in Wal-Mart tonight for a few items and headed to checkout. Even though I was well under the minimum, I passed on the 20 Items or Less aisles because each one had 5-6 people in it.

I quickly scanned down the rest of the aisles looking for ones that were lit up. There were a few open registers close to where I was, but I knew that all of the other short-line hunters would be aiming for those.

That’s when I decided it was time to use my secret maneuver and headed down to the opposite end of store to see if there were any open lanes.

The reasoning behind my secret move is that most of the people buying groceries park on the grocery side of the store and don’t want to walk down to the other end of the store since it’s “out of the way.”

Anyway, the few open aisles that were close had lines so long that they went past the candy.

That’s when I saw it. An open aisle that didn’t appear to have anyone in it.

I picked up my pace and steered my cart toward the pathway to freedom. When I got there I saw an elderly woman putting the last of her items on the belt.

She was moving slow but I wasn’t worried because I felt like I still would be out of there faster than those chumps standing in the 20 Items or Less aisle.

Then when I saw Zack as I was unloading my cart.

He was moving S-O-O-O-O-O S-L-L-L-O-O-O-O-O-W-W-W. He would grab an item (1), move it across the scanner and put it in a bag all with ONE HAND. Then he’d turn back and do the same thing with the next item.

I thought maybe he was paralyzed on the left side of his body and that was the reason he was only using his right hand to grab items. But as I continued to watch I could tell he had full movement on both sides of his body and that he was CHOOSING to only use one hand.

She didn’t have a lot of items, but watching Zack slow-bag each one of them felt like she had just bought one of everything in the store. Then he spoke.

Zack: Do you want a bag for these? (2 2-liters of Coke)
Lady: Ummm… (looks at her bags, looks as the 2-liters, then looks to see what’s left) No, it’s OK. I don’t need a bag.
Zack: OK.

Then he pulls off one of the bags he was finished with and from his reaction I could tell it was heavier than it should be.

Zack: Do you want me to double-bag this one?
Lady: (reaches over and grabs the bag to test it) Yeah, I think so. I sure would hate to have to pick up everything out of the street.
Zack: Yeah. You don’t want that.

I think I felt a blood vessel in my eye pop watching him try to double-bag her canned goods. I knew if I didn’t divert my attention I was going to end up having a stroke and since I didn’t want to die on the floor at Wal-Mart, I started looking at the candy.

He finished with the lady and as I watched her slowly walk away I wondered if that was Zack’s grandmother.

Not long after Zack started ringing up my items I heard him ask me a familiar question.

Zack: Do you want a bag for these? (The “these” were two half-gallons of Minute Maid Lemonade.)
Me: Ummm, yeah.

Seriously? I get that I don’t need a bag for a gallon of milk, but he wanted me to no-bag two half-gallon containers??

I could feel myself starting to sweat because I was exploding inside. When he got to the candy I had picked up, he scanned and bagged the first one, but he stopped on the remaining ones.

Zack: Do you want your candy left out?
Me: No, it’s OK.

I felt like I was in one of those scenes where one person is in slow motion while everyone else is buzzing around them as he finished ringing up my items.

I did manage to thank him as I grabbed my receipt and headed to the car. As soon as I loaded everything into my car, I sat down and started writing in my little notebook.

Gracefully Speaking

When I got home I saw Jake and Grace were already there. I started making dinner because I knew Jake had a night class at 7 and wanted him to have something to eat.

Other than Jake spilling spaghetti on his shirt and on the floor (Savannah thanked him), dinner was pretty uneventful.

After Jake left however…

It all started with Grace asking me a question.

Grace: How long does it take to get a pedicure?
Me: How would I know? I’ve never had a pedicure.
Grace: I know, but I thought you might know how long they take.
Me: Ok then, I say an hour.

Since I was sitting at the computer I Google’d it and found out it could be between 30-45 minutes. She decided to ask Tammy.

When Tammy went downstairs to exercise Grace began telling me about a time she got a pedicure.

Me: Wait, you’ve had a pedicure before?
Grace: Yeah. I’ve had several.
Me: Then why would you ask me how long they take?
Grace: Because I never paid attention to how long they were. I was always texting or something.

As she began telling me her story she started cracking herself up and getting the creeps at the same time.

Guess how many fingers I have...

Grace: So one time when I was getting a pedicure and this guy, who looked like a big Buddha, that worked there asked me if he could massage my legs. Guess how many fingers he had… Guess how many fingers he had…
Me: Three.
Grace: He only had THREE FINGERS. What was I supposed to do when he asked me that? I couldn’t say no.
Me: So you let him man-handle you because you were afraid to say no?
Grace: Yeah. It was so weird and creepy. I don’t even know how he could use his hands at all. It was so scary. I was so scared. It was a pretty good massage though.

Manicure and Pit Stains

She then starts telling me about another time this summer when she went to get her nails done around 10:30 in the morning.

She had gotten up to wash her hands and had a surprise waiting for her when she got back.

Grace: When I come back, there’s this lady who is about to roll over and die. I swear she was like 105. It was SO SCARY. She was so slow and took like 5 minutes on each nail. Uggg, she was so old. I just wanted to get out of there so bad.
Grace: I was starting to sweat because I was the only person in there. Everyone was talking in Chinese and I didn’t know what they were saying and thought I was going to die.
Grace: Finally, she’s done. It literally took 45 minutes for her to paint my nails. I’m sitting [with my hands] in the black light thing facing the door so all the booths are behind me. Oh my God, it was so scary. It was like the scariest moment ever.
Grace: All I feel is somebody touching my hair. Her head came up [next to me] and I didn’t want to turn around because I knew it was her. She gets right in my face and says, “Oh, massage for you?” I was like, “‘Oh, no, no, no,’ but I couldn’t say that.”
Grace: So she was playing with my hair and giving me a back massage for like another 40 minutes. I was sweating so bad that I had pit stains because I was so nervous.

She then calls her friend Kate and tells her that she was so “traumatized.”

Grace: I’ve never gotten my nails done alone after that. It’s so scary. I wish I had a picture of her. She was so wrinkly and old. She looked so frail. Her skin was like paper and her bones were glass. I felt so bad that they MADE her work.
Grace: I’ve never been back to that place again and I never will. She was so scary.

Illegal Activities

Because she was doing stuff with her nails, she asked if we had any rubbing alcohol. It didn’t sit to well with Grace when I told her we didn’t.

No rubbing alcohol? Tequila to the rescue.

Grace: Who doesn’t have rubbing alcohol?
Me: We don’t.
Grace: How can you NOT having rubbing alcohol?

All of the alcohol talk got Grace thinking of another story.

Grace: I’ve got a story, but I can’t tell you it.

Without even prying she then wanted to talk about it.

Grace: I guess I can tell you if you don’t write it down, cause it’s illegal.
Me: No one’s going to get you now.

I'm a little Neti Pot...

Grace: Ok fine. Sigh… It’s humiliating, but it’s funny though. So I’m not one to drink. Me and Kate took one shot last night and she made me laugh so it went up my nose holes in the back. It was the worst pain I’ve ever had in my life.
Me: What was it? What was the shot?
Grace: I don’t even know. I think it was Vodka.
Grace: My sinuses were burning and I had to use the Neti Pot two times. It wouldn’t come out of my nose. It was stuck in my sinuses and was just burning.
Grace: Then I couldn’t hear out of one ear.
Me: That’ll teach you to not drink.

Late Night Cravings

The shot was just the tip of the iceberg of the night Grace and Kate had. They were watching “the funniest episode of ‘Unwrapped’ ever” on the Food Network at 2 a.m. and they were showing behind the scenes of Taco Bell.

All of the descriptions of the food made them hungry enough to venture out to Taco Bell but they were too late.

Grace: We were wanting cheesy Gordita crunches because they were showing how they make them on the show. But the place was like a ghost town. They must have gotten out of there so fast. I didn’t know you could close a restaurant in 15 minutes.

Since they couldn’t get Taco Bell, they headed to McDonald’s.

Grace: We got this scary lady. She was crack addict. I don’t even know how else to explain it. She had this really nasty, stringy hair that hasn’t been dyed in forever. You know, bleach blonde with black roots.
Tammy: What? Bleach blonde with black roots?
Grace: Not as bad as you. I’m just kidding. It was like the yellow blonde and she was all wrinkly. She was so scary.

They wanted McMuffins, but had to wait for 10 minutes because they started serving breakfast at 3 a.m.

Spirit Fingers

The next big thing?

Grace then walked me through the steps she was going through to put an image from the newspaper on her fingernails.

It involved her sticking her nails in tequila (remember we didn’t have rubbing alcohol) and putting a face of someone she cut out of the newspaper on her nails.

She went so far as to show me the complete process on YouTube.

Don’t Judge Me

Up next was a venture down memory lane with Grace as she hijacked the computer and led us to YouTube to watch some videos she and Kate had created over the years.

When she’d show us videos she made back in 7-8th grade, she’d get embarrassed.

Grace: Oh man, I was so fat. Don’t watch this one. Oh my gosh I look so bad. Don’t judge me.

We were impressed at how many videos they had made over the years, even though we didn’t really understand some of them.

They made one about their love of sportz. (We Like Sportz)

They even made one for all the Zoolander fans. (Hansel So Hot Right Now)

I told Grace it’s pretty cool that she can do all of that stuff with the videos but she didn’t see it the same way.

Grace: It’s because I’m such a dork and don’t have any friends. Well, that’s not true. Counting Jake I’ve got three.

At first I thought we were the other two, but she was prolly referring to Kate and someone else.

What’s That Smell?

Best smell in the world?

Grace: You know what my favorite smell is? You’ll never guess it.
Me: Taint.
Jake: Cinnamon roll candles?
Grace: Dog paw. (she lifts Savannah’s paw and sniffs).
All of us: Ewwww…
Grace: Seriously. I love that smell (sniff it again). I don’t know why.
Jake: That’s gross. They stand in pee and poop.

Late Night Cravings Part II

At this point it’s almost 10 p.m. and Grace put down Savannah’s paw and asked Jake if he wanted to go get some cookies and milk.

Jake: I’ll go with you. We’ve already got milk though.
Grace: Yeah, let’s go. I want some Famous Amos.

Even though Savannah was sleeping she knew they were about to go somewhere. She got up and followed them to the back door. Savannah even talked them into taking her with.

And with that our night was done as Tammy and I got into bed.

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