Thursday, January 24, 2008

Moral dilemma

So I'm standing in line at the Key Food this afternoon (by the way, there was some amusing graffiti there; they have the road and sidewalk tore up in front of the supermarket as they're building the new Second Ave. subway line, and there's a temporary bridge built from the road to the door on which someone wrote "Bridge Over the River Key." Who knew construction workers liked puns?) I digress.

Anyway, there's an old guy in front of me. He's got one of those weatherbeaten mugs, a bulbous nose, looks like he's been around the block a few times, and, not to judge, but he looked like a bit of a rummy.

The girl rings his purchases up and he goes to pay with - yes, I've complained about it before, the bane of my existence in supermarket checkout lines - a card.

Whatever happened to the days when senior citizens were afraid of technology? They sure as hell seem to love using their cards at the supermarket. Especially when they're in front of me.

So the usual routine began: she asks him if it's credit or debit. He doesn't understand at first, finally says debit. Doesn't realize he has to put in a PIN. Can't get it right the first few tries. Oy. It finally processes and then she says he doesn't have enough in his account, he's short something like $3.68! He pulls out another fucking card and says try this one. So she has to cancel the transaction and start all over again.

And, of course, I'm standing there fuming the whole time.

But again, not enough money. And he starts mumbling something about how he knows there's money in this account.

Now, angry as I am, I also feel sorry for the old guy, so I'm just about to say, "Don't worry about it, I'll pay the difference," when the girl asks him if he wants to take something out of his order.

He's got paper towels, a six pack of Budweiser and deli meat. Without hesitation he says take out the meat!! He keeps the fucking Bud and does without the meat.

Well, I immediately lost all sympathy right there. (And it was fresh meat from the deli counter, too, not the prepackaged processed crap that some people buy. I don't know what they do with fresh deli that is returned. It's wrapped up and no one actually touched it, but I assume they can't resell it.)


Anyway, I know it sounds counterintuitive. If he had got rid of the Bud and kept the food, I would have paid for the beer - he needs food, let him have his treat too. But when he chose the beer and said no to the food, no way. At that point I had no sympathy for that (senior citizen) devil.


Anonymous said...

Meanie you should have bought him his beer!!!

Anonymous said...

haha why do you always get behind people like that????

Anonymous said...

Whenever I give $$ to a homeless guy I always figure he's going to use it to buy alcohol.

Anonymous said...

No money in my account= Drinking for me!

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