©2000 Bonnie Wren
I Was Cursed by the Wholesale Club
The woman behind me in the Costco checkout line looked up. "Yeah?"
"Maybe you should get out of this line. You know, pick another one."
She looked confused. "Hunh?"
"I said, 'pick another line.' You'll be sorry if you stay in this one. Everyone always is."
"Whatever for? It's the shortest, fastest line in the store!"
"Yes," I sighed, "that's why I picked it. But I'm cursed, you see, because no matter which line I pick, the people there hate me by the time I finally get my receipt."
The woman rolled her eyes.
"Don't say I didn't warn you," I shrugged, and handed my membership card to the cashier. She ran it through the register.
"I'm sorry," said the cashier, "but your membership is expired."
"Oh, no it isn't," I said confidently, holding up a receipt. "This always happens this time of year. So I took the precaution of getting written proof of paid-in-full membership from the membership desk."
"Well!" said the checker. "You just saved us some time."
"You see?" I whispered to the woman behind me.
The cashier ran the first item past the scanner. "Oops! The bar code isn't registering. I'll have to get another one."
"Stop right there!" I shouted triumphantly. "Take a good look at the contents of my cart. Notice how I have TWO of everything. Do you think I really need two 40-pound bags of dog food, two gallons of mayonnaise and two CDs of Three Australian Tenors Sing Brooklyn Ballads? Not on your life! I doubled up on all my items just so you wouldn't have to send some poor cuss back to find another bar code, which always takes forever."
The checker looked impressed. "Well done!"
I smugly looked back at the woman behind me, who was no longer trying to ignore me. "Today's the day," I gloated. "Usually they get me--but today I'm gonna break this curse, because I'm ready."
The checker totaled the bill. "That will be $198.52. How will you pay?"
I swiped my credit card through the machine.It rejected the card.
"No problem," I said. "Here's another one." I swiped that card, too. A minute went by. The checker asked me to swipe the card again.
"Sorry!" she said finally. "The system is really slow right now. It still hasn't approved your card."
"I'm prepared for that!" I whipped out my checkbook.
"Alright, but any checks written on a paper membership receipt need the manager's okay. I'll put a call out for him."
I smiled. "Good luck finding him. But don't bother, because I brought cash." I pulled out two $100 bills.
The lady behind me shook her head in disbelief. "I'm sorry," she said, "but I thought you were... you know..."
"Crazy? Yes, I get that a lot. But you see now why I tried to warn you."
"Oh, dear," said the cashier, looking in her cash drawer. "Not enough change! I'll--"
I stopped her. "Don't. You'll have to count the contents of the drawer, send it off in the tube, receive the necessary change, count it back into the drawer, and note it in your log. All I want is my receipt. $1.48 is a small price to pay to finally beat this curse."
The checker shrugged, closed the drawer and reached for the receipt. She frowned. "You won't believe this, but the paper jammed."
"No!" I cried. "That will be ten minutes to open the machine, unjam it, put a new roll in, restart the computer, count the cash in the drawer for your log, void my order, and re-total everything so I'll have a paper receipt for the door checkout!"
The woman behind me was already hurrying away.
"Run!" I wailed at the man who moved his cart into her place. "Save yourself! Pick another line!"
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©2003 Bonnie Wren. All Rights Reserved