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  • Paul Davidson

When I Say Paper or Plastic That’s When You’re Supposed to Strike Up A Conversation With

When I say paper or plastic, that’s when you’re supposed to strike up a conversation with me. That, of course, is the second moment in our two moment communication exchange.

The first moment, of course, is when I sidle up to the credit-card swiping machine, having allowed the person before me to grab their bags, their errant change, and move along out the corridor ahead of me. That’s when you, the checker, make a point to look at me and say, “Hi, how you doin’?” and I make a point to say, “Hey, pretty good thanks!”

But lately, DAWN, you don’t seem to be engaging me on the second communication exchange. You seem to think everyone will just be satisfied with your first question, your happy smiley nod, and then your head and eyes are down to the register for the rest of our time together. Sure, your bagger asks me if I want paper or plastic, but when I answer you don’t even crack a smile.

“Plastic. I don’t want to kill any more trees in the Amazon rain forest.”

Such an opening for you, DAWN. Such a great opening for you to say a myriad of things. How funny I am. How you once went to the Amazon rain forest and were amazed at all the monkeys you saw. How cool it must be to go home with thousands of plastic bags, put them on my feet, and run around my carpet flailing and falling. How caring of me to think about nature before food. How if you were single and I was single you would so jump my bones because I am the kind of plastic-bag toting guy you have always been looking for.

Hell, DAWN, you could just say that it’s nice out there today and leave good enough alone.

But, no. You decide to ask me how I am and let your assistant bagger ask me the really important question and then even when I’ve answered, you still leave me out there in the cold. Alone, holding my plastic bags, wondering if you even know I exist.

You are the queen of the 10 Items or Less aisle, DAWN, and yet you do not address your subjects with any respect. You turn your eyes away from us, like you are above us. Like we do not belong in your line. If I hadn’t once before used the phrase, “I spit on you”, I would most likely use it here, DAWN.

However, I will say this. If you are reading this, I emplore you to think about how you converse with your register clients at the supermarket. I’d think about the fact that ignoring them could have an adverse effect on your productivity. Dare I say that there are self-service checkout systems at the supermarket now that are just as easy to use as your checkout counter.

When I say paper or plastic, that’s when you’re supposed to strike up a conversation with me, DAWN. Those are the rules. You have got to follow them or the universe of the supermercado is done for.

Me llamo es Pablo. Es la verdad.

In other news, tomorrow brings us yet another edition of the Emmy Award Winning “Words For Your Enjoyment”! At this point, if I have to tell you that you’re supposed to submit an idea for me to use in a post and that in return for such idea I will provide a link to your blog, well, then you’re either a new reader or I shouldn’t ever put “other news” like this at the bottom of a post about supermercados. Could be me, but that’s what I’m thinking.

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