in which mr. john attempts adulting once again

When I was young, I always flirted with checkout girls. Since my lovely wife would frown on that behavior now, I stick to “Dad Jokes” and mind fuckery. Which suits me fine. Today I was in rare form.

Our story begins with a simple task. Drive down the street (literally), enter Publix, collect 3 Pub Subs and a gallon of Raspberry Tea.

After completing this task, I went to pay. Two Covid masked young ladies are at the checkout lane. The bagger askes “Is plastic OK?” This has bothered me for quite some time now. They almost never have paper anymore and since Covid, they only have plastic.

Years ago, I worked at a Publix for about 20 minutes.

Most of the time I ask for burlap, but today I mixed it up. I said, “Do you have something in a nice Chenille or maybe Egyptian Cotten?” She looked at me and down to where the paper bags would have been and replied rather bored. “Only plastic” Defeated, I asked “Then why ask?”. She seemed to ponder then replied, “I have no idea” Finally I got a chuckle and I moved on to bigger prey.

Publix cashiers have the most annoying tendency to ask cheerily “Did you find everything you wanted today?” As a shopper I know that the checkout is the end of the road. If I need to get items, I get them before I go to pay for them. I ask store clerks to help me if I can’t find something.

So, at the checkout this question grates on me. Often, I will ask if they have a hidden area that I should know about. Sometimes a “Dad Joke” like, “I was looking around for one hundred bucks on the ground but couldn’t find it.” will suffice if I am lazy.

I first realized that I was old when a pretty girl at a checkout line called me “Sir”.

Today though I was in rare form and took it to the next level. I said with the appropriate concern; “Yes, I was looking for your cannabis edibles and couldn’t find them” She started to speak and I cut her off, “I saw them in the paper advertised in the BOGO section.”

Doggy version of WTF.

She paused and I could see her thinking and slightly turning her head to the side. After a moment she had a visible “lightbulb moment” and said “Hang on I’ll go ask the Manager! She’ll know!”

As she turns, “Plastic OK Girl” slaps her on the arm laughing and says, “Girl, he’s just fucking with you! We don’t sell weed!

We all had a decent laugh and “Find everything Girl” said you are pretty cool for an old guy. 30 something years ago that would have been a win. 😊

The Clash – Lost in the Supermarket

“I came in here for that special offer A guaranteed personality”

About the Author

The Orchid Thief

John Edward Laroche (born February 19, 1962, in Florida) is an American horticulturist who was arrested for poaching wild ghost orchids while working for the Seminole natives in the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve in Florida. The subsequent trial brought him to the attention of Susan Orlean, who wrote an article for The New Yorker and the book The Orchid Thief about him. After the events of the Orchid Thief, he shifted careers to Computer Science. Notably, he went on to work for both National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institution designing school-age learning tools and online curricula.

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