Melinda sent me on a Costco run this morning. Normally I avoid that place like the plague, but on a Tuesday morning it’s not nearly as crowded as it is on the weekends. I can’t even get through the door on a Saturday afternoon there without getting chest pains.
The list Melinda gave me didn’t seem that long, but by the time I got everything checked off, my cart was loaded down like a Conestoga wagon.
While shopping, a Costco worker passed me with a pallet of paper towels, and I watched as he and another employee unwrapped it.
“You know the other day I had a lady ask me if we had any packs of paper towels that hadn’t been touched?” the first worker said.
“Not touched?” asked the second.
“You know, like nobody’s handled them. So they don’t got COVID on them or whatever, I assume. Anyway, I told her all of ‘em have been touched by SOMEBODY, at the factory or whatever.”
“What did she say to that?” the second worker asked.
“She asked me to check in the back,” the first said. “Can you believe that shit?”
They both laughed and shook their heads, and that’s when I approached and picked up a pack of the paper towels they’d just unloaded. “Excuse me,” I said, “do you have any of these that haven’t been touched?”
“I’m sorry sir,” the first man said, his voice now professional and cheery. He started into his bit about how they’ve all been touched until his partner started laughing and hit him on the arm.
“Yo, man, he’s fucking with you!” he said. “He heard us talking about it.”
I apologized that people had the nerve to ask them questions like that; the impossible requests, asking them to “check in the back” like it’s a magical land of infinite supplies.
Later, on the way out, Robert flirted with the receipt checker, waving to her and saying “hi” in his baby voice.
“You are the sweetest thing,” she said. She turned over the receipt and drew a smiley face on it with her Sharpie. “Here you go, darling. That’s for you.”
I thanked her and noticed her name tag read “Felicia,” and I used every ounce of restraint in my body to not walk away saying, “bye Felicia.” She’s got to be tired of that joke, right?