Saturday, February 11, 2006

Saturday Morning Post: The Chrome Horse Incident

Yeah, about 10 minutes ago I had one of those interesting life experiences. I am totally addicted to caffeine. If I could inject it I would. Seriously. I cannot start the day without a triple expresso. Peet’s Coffee had my attraction. Downtown Sacramento is one of those cool urbanesque areas with many little restaurants and cafes. A lot of unique coffee houses like Naked Coffee who’s signature drink is the Keith Richards. 4 shots of expresso iced over a Jolt Cola. Guarenteed to get you absolutely keyed. Today, as I said early, I chose the multi-million dollar conglomerate of Peet’s Coffee, who orignated in the 1960’s in the Mecca of Liberaldom, Berkeley California. Triple shot mocha with banana nut bread.

After picking up my caffeinated beverage of choice, I dumped off breakfast in the Hummer and proceded across the parking lot by the “chrome horse” to Safeway for a bottle of Knob Creek and some birthday cards. It’s a family birthday weekend with my sister in law’s birthday on the Valentine’s Day and my father in law’s sometime next week. It was the small honey-do list I needed to get done before today’s 10 AM tee time at the local 9-hole.

After picking up some funny cards and the bourbon, I headed for the express lane. There were only two lanes open in the whole store. The express lane was really short, in fact, they were just bagging groceries. I moved in to pay. And then the “incident” occurred. The checker, a wept kept lady in her 50’s looking Candace Bergen type looks totally disgruntled. She greets me alright but something was up. She apologizes as I sit and wait. An older gentleman and the store manager are arguing at the baggage area.

“So what’s up?” I ask the checker.

“Oh nothing.” “Candace” the checker replies.

The arguing is getting more intense and it seems to be directed at two twelve packs of Sprite. It seems the other day, Sprite was on sale and the store ran out. The gentleman apparently thinks he having to pay more for the Sprite than quoted on the rain check. He is going back and forth on having to pay a whopping 31 cents more than he intended to pay. 31 cents! His total bill is like 31 bucks and he is arguing over 31 cents? I mean, he looks like an average guy, with average intelligence and average wealth. What could possibly be the problem. He was being really unreasonable and belligerent. He offered no evidence of his claim either.

“WTF!!” I think to myself. I wanted to say it out loud but I have a bit of morality in public.

Five minutes has now passed. I sit and watch this incident. I don’t want to move because in the next line is an old lady with a check book and we all know how long that is gonna take. (I save my thoughts on the advent of the ATM Card for another post). With my patience wearing a bit thin on the 31 cents, I decide to act, NOW.

I calmly reach into my pocket and pull out a crisp new $1 Bill, JD Power had sent me the other day because I bought a GM vehicle and they wanted to hear about it. I place it on top of the two twelve packs of Sprite and don’t say a word. Another minute or so passes and the man says to me, “What’s that for? Money isn’t the point. These people intentionally ripped me off.”

“The dollar isn’t for your Sprite sir, it’s for you to call someone who actually cares. I’ve got a tee time to hit and you are bugging the hell out of me and wasting my day. You are ripping me off!” The kid on the other register is trying so hard not to bust up and “Candace” the checker is turning redder and redder.

The gentleman just dogged me while I just stared back with my best impression of the “liberal smirk” I could come up with. Three bucks for a 12 pack is pretty God damned cheap if you ask me.

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