Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Chump (Who is Not Me)

Once upon a time, there was a fellow (not me, you understand) who went food-shopping because his wife (not mine, you understand), who usually did the food shopping, was recuperating from knee surgery. He wasn't used to food shopping, this fellow who is absolutely not me, but he had done it before -- back in the days before kids. He (this other fellow) went into this adventure feeling pretty confident.

And he did okay, this non-Chrissian chap, in general. Sure, he got non-fat creamer instead of half-and-half. And he did get regular cheese instead of 2%. Small errors, on the whole. On the opposite end, he managed to find (after some significant searching and a silent [but energetic] imagining that he was Indiana Jones exploring the Temple of the Frozen Menace) crumbled bleu cheese; an accomplishment of which he was exceedingly proud, and after which, in silent celebration, he stood heroically for a moment, next to his shopping cart, and ran an hand iconically across the brim of his imaginary fedora.

Finally -- a reason to use this painting!
Yes, this stalwart shopping-hero did okay.

But when he got home (not to my house, you understand) he realized that he had left the huge bag of dog food (for his huge dog) on the bottom of the cart in the store parking lot. He took heart, though, this guy who was certainly not me (who also looks nothing like me, for the record), in the fact that it had only been a few minutes. Surely, the cart would still be there -- the dog food still curled up comfortably on the bottom, not unlike the creature who would soon devour it.

Alas, to his surprise, not so. Both food and cart were gone. He suppressed his usual reaction (There are too many goddam people in this stinking world ... ) and decided simply to go in and buy another bag of food.

He knew full well his wife (not mine -- his) would have chosen to have gone to customer service and (to have -- eesh) asked if anyone had found a bag of dog food on the bottom of a cart. But he also knew full well that the aftermath of this would involve Suzie at the counter calling Chico who would have to call Mel who is in charge of the carts who would have to go into the back and talk to Lou who (having shown no shame for having been caught by Mel, picking his nose) would have taken his grand time retrieving the bag and filling out the paperwork and then sending it up to the counter to Suzie who would ask for the food-losing fellow's receipt, which she would inspect for about an hour.

Just too much work for a bag of food. How much could it be? Eight bucks? Though certainly no Andrew Carnegie, the shopping swashbuckler decided that his time was worth eight bucks.

At the counter, the bored teenager (clearly offended by the idea that he had to exert himself by running a scanner gun over the bar code) yawned out the price: "Twuuuhnnty-one fifty."

Our hero (a guy so far from being me that he could just as well have been a salad) was shocked. How could dog food cost so much?

Yet, he paid, knowing he had reached the manly point of no return; for, how could he stop the transaction there and say: "Duh, um-uh, I kinda lost a bag of dog food and  . . . could you have Mel, the cart guy . . . because twenty one dollars . . . um-uh . . ."

All I can say is thank God I have more sense than this guy. And thank God my wife doesn't think I'm an idiot for spending forty-two dollars on dog food.

What a chump.


  1. I know a woman who did that once with a bag of charcoal before a Memorial Day cookout. Not me, of course. She didn't look anything like me. She was ... uh ... tall. and blonde, very blonde. (And the bag of charcoal was still on the cart in the cart return corral when she went back to look for it. Bullet dodged, there).

    (my captcha for this was 'dippywa' -- thanks for the editorial comment, captcha generator)

    1. She (not you) was certainly lucky. A memorial day miracle? (Doesn't have much of a ring to it.)

  2. mr matt do you teach any classes today at around one or two?

  3. Depends who is asking. Do I like you? If so, no. If not, I teach all afternoon.

  4. Did this guy's wife think HE was an idiot for paying forty bucks for dog food? Holy smokes! Funny thing is, the dog food probably was just sitting at customer service (all blurry behind this guy's shoulder in the not so distant background) waiting this guy to return, sitting there all lonely and dejected for hours until the end of the day when it made its lonely way back to the shelf where it would live in shame amongst the other unchosen bags of food.

  5. I had the misfortune of witnessing a girl, who, rather strangely, looked very much like someone I know quite well, do the same thing with her wallet at the self checkout lane. (This is why self checkout lanes are evil -- mess up one thing in the routine, and it all comes crumbling down). You'll be happy to know that your hypothesis about Suzie and Chico and Mel is pretty spot on, except in this case, no wallet waiting to be claimed. Instead this poor soul got a man of questionable intent ringing her doorbell 3 days later with the empty wallet and personal effects in hand, asking for a $20 reward for his efforts. Said woman would not have been stupid enough to have been carrying over $100 in said wallet when she lost it. That would just be absurd. Net loss = $120.
    ps - figured i was overdue for a drive-by comment ;)

    1. THC! Good to hear from you -- certainly overdue! Boy, that woman was as chumpy as the guy in my story. It's nice to know that we are better than these people, isn't it?

  6. The dog (of this person, whoever he may be) is grateful, I trust?

    1. The dog was at least (I'm told) not judgemental about his master's folly (in the way that some wives can be).