It’s an inevitable fact of life that at some point during the week, you’re going to have to run to the store at a time that is completely inconvenient to buy something you really don’t want to bother with buying.
Maybe you forgot to buy sprinkles for the cupcakes your wife made for your kid’s shitty class party, and now Junior is wigging the fuck out. Maybe you’ve come down with a cold and you have to whip up a cocktail of vodka and NyQuil to battle your way through the night. Whatever the case, you don’t want to do it, but you have to interrupt your day and run to the store.
You’re only buying a couple of things, so it should be a quick trip. But it never is, right? There’s always someone waiting in the shadows to turn your 10-minute shopping trip into an afternoon-consuming nightmare. Here are nine of those people.
7 The Parking Lot Anarchist
This real-life example of hell on wheels has no clue that, even within the confines of a parking lot, basic rules of the road still apply. Instead, once they pull off the street and into a lot, all bets are off.
Those arrows painted on the ground that indicate which direction traffic should flow in a particular lane? Those are just suggestions. What’s it going to hurt if they have to execute a 16-point turnabout just to maneuver their SUV into a parking spot that is angled in a way that makes actually doing this in a reasonable amount of time next to impossible? Those 11 cars waiting to pass are just going to have to be patient.
And God forbid you get this maniac in a mostly deserted parking lot. Whereas most of us stick to entering and exiting through the traditional channels, the parking lot anarchist just tears a diagonal path from one corner to the other, pausing only to give you a dirty look if your attention to proper driving techniques forces them to briefly halt their disorganized progress.
And speaking of diagonal…
6 The Diagonal Walker
Along with the parking lot anarchist, this jackass is waiting to fuck up your shopping experience before you even hit the front door. But instead of wreaking their havoc in a car, the diagonal walker does their dirty work on their feet by failing to understand that the quickest path between two points is a straight line.
Instead, they opt for a more diagonal walking path, thus maximizing the time they spend directly in your way. This leaves you with the impossible choice of adding five minutes to your trip while you wait for them to waddle to the front door or picking up a vehicular manslaughter charge. We certainly wouldn’t fault you if you went with option number two.
5 The Fat Lady In the Scooter Chair
Finally, you’ve made it inside. Just a quick sprint to the appropriate aisle to grab your shit and you can be halfway to vamoosing this son of a bitch. You finally reach your destination and…damn. It’s a fat lady in a scooter. And she’s sitting right in front of the one thing you’ve come for.
We’re not sure why it’s always a lady; after all, fat dudes have to hit the complimentary scooter sometimes, too. But for some reason, it’s never the fat dude who throws it into park in front of the mac and cheese for 35 minutes while trying to decide between Kraft or Velveeta. It’s always the lady, and it’s always when you’re in the biggest hurry of your life. Completely infuriating.
4 The Aisle Chatterbox
What is it about the end of the aisle, right where normal people are trying to get in and out, that makes some shoppers see it as an ideal visiting spot? Look, take your conversation about your son’s softball game to the fucking snack bar or something. People are trying to get places, and your choice of meeting place is severely hindering that progress.
And besides, softball is for girls. You should be way too ashamed to speak publicly about your son’s burgeoning slow pitch prowess. Buy that pussy a baseball already.
3 Shitty Parents and Their Equally Shitty Kids
Get a fucking babysitter. There is no reason a husband, wife and six kids should all be at the grocery store at the same time dominating at least 50 feet of open space around them in every direction. One person shops, one person stays home with the dream killers. That’s how a just society should operate. If you do for some reason have to bring the kids along, at least do us all the favor of not strapping them into one of those Zamboni sized carts that look like a race car or fire truck or some shit.
If your kid is so ADD addled that they can’t sit still in a normal-sized shopping cart, adding a big red bus into the equation is just going to make things worse. Please, get a babysitter or leave them at home with the other parent. Nobody thinks your half-assed idea of a family outing is cute except you.
2 The Express Lane Illiterate
Finally, you’ve battled back the forces of tyranny in the parking lot, you’ve maneuvered your way through fat chicks on scooters and kids in school bus-shaped shopping carts, you have the stuff you came to purchase and now you’re headed for the checkout lane.
Naturally, you’re going to want to opt for the express lane, because express is the exact speed at which you hope to complete this trip. It goes without saying that, when pressed for time, there will only be one express lane open and the person in front of you has no concept of how this is supposed to work.
Sure, the sign says “12 items or less” but their cart is loaded to the brim and nobody is saying shit about it, not even the cashier, the last line of defense against fuckery of this nature. Instead of shooing this rule breaker off to a normal checkout lane where they belong, the cashier just goes along with it. And just like that, you’ve added another 10 minutes to your excursion. Awesome.
1 The Check Writer
Seriously, who are you fucking people? Checks? You’re still writing checks? Why not just show up with a jar of beans and see if you can barter your way through life? It would probably take less time to convince a Wal-Mart cashier to let you pay for a pack of batteries with two beaver pelts and a sharpened rock than it does to write a goddamn check.
At the very least, have the basic shit filled out before you get to the cashier. It’s bad enough that we have to watch you Parkinson’s shake your way through filling out the amount and signing your name. But did we really need to stand by while you filled in the name of the store and the date? You know what day it is, you know where you’re going. Fill that shit out in advance.
Also, if you’re still writing checks, kill yourself. The part of the world that moved on to using debit cards has places to be, still having you check writers around isn’t doing us any favors.