Friday, November 10, 2006

Buy one, get three free.

I believe I've mentioned before that I spent my high school years and at least one post high school year working as a checker at a grocery store. It was incredibly stimulating work that required the ability to locate a UPC code on every product in the store. Produce throws ya for a loop.

For convenience I'll call the grocery store "Jim Beam's" even though it was located in Utah and there was no likker to be had in the store.

I remember my Jim Beam's years fondly. I dream about them. Jim Beam's Dreams. In my dreams I'm still employed at the store but I never show up to work. I then wonder if they've fired me yet. In other dreams I'm trying to check groceries with the power out and no money in the till. All the while I hear the constant beep of the scanner.




When I go back to my hometown to visit there are two categories I place the locals in. The first is "classmates and their relations" and the second is "people I knew because they shopped at Jim Beam's". I still remember what these people purchased. Yes, that's the man that purchased four enema kits, a large bottle of prune juice and a can of Comet cleanser.

Working grocery affords you exposure to just that kind of fine consumer.

There was also the man that purposely dropped his change just so he could dramatically bend over and show me his plumber's crack. I was just as amazed as he thought I'd be.

There was also the woman who chose to wear a bikini top under a tank that featured a neckline that dipped to near her belly button. She scratched her chestal area and absent mindedly removed one of her bikini cups off of her breast. She hung out like that for a while and no one seemed to notice except me and my bagger. How do you call attention to a customer's nudity without also calling it to the attention of the people standing all about her? Eventually she felt a breeze and covered herself, but not until the sixteen year old bagboy had the best workday of his life.

There was also the man that winked as he handed me a condom with the wad of bills he was using to pay for his beer and doritoes.

There was also the extremely sweaty man that came back into the store to hand me a note written on the back of his parent's electric bill...only to rush out again. The note offered me his phone number and a request for a date. Unfortunately I had to refuse because I was underage...yeah, that's the excuse. I still have that electric bill somewhere. Later that year that same man showed up at an art show I was participating in because my photo was with the announcement in the local paper. He avoided my parents.

Even though I haven't worked at Jim Beam's for over a decade, and the store has changed management, I still will get asked where items are located if I happen to go in there. Luckily my housewifely skills come into play and I can indeed locate bottles of wheat germ and diet pork rinds. You're welcome.

Don't any one of you dear readers and other hangers on tell my old boss that we used to make large dry ice bombs during our breaks and then blow them up in the trash compactor...ok?


  1. funny thing about grocery checkers...once in awhile I'll see one out in the world not in their work uniform and think they are some celebrity because at dfirst I can't place them but they are so of these days (soon) I'll be senile enough to ask one of them for an autograph.

  2. Those are great stories!

    But "diet pork rinds"? Seriously?

  3. Your secret is safe with me. At least you got to see uh...boobs and cracks, I never saw any of that during my grocery years.

  4. Drib...I will not even mention what I cleaned off the men's restroom wall at Jim Beam's, six feet up...which was still warm and an amazing distance of feet for the act.......


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