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Monday, July 25, 2011

Have You Ever Gone to a Grocery Store, Looking for Your Favorite Product, Only to Find It Missing?

I did that.

I'm the one responsible for removing those jars of Hawaiian brand nuts that you loved so much. I'm the one who rearranged all the cereal boxes so you can never just pick up your god-damned Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch and go straight to check-out.

That is literally my job. I'm the gremlin who lurks in the aisles, shifting all order to chaos. I sneak into your grocery store. I mess up your shit. I get paid.

When I first started this job I honestly felt kinda bad about it. Women with curved humps for spines, using their shopping carts to hold themselves up, would shuffle up to me and ask why I'd do such a horrible thing and hide the Fruit Roll-Ups that their grandchildren love so much.

But now it's like some geezer comes up to me wheezing, "I'm looking for my heart medicine. I can't find it!"
And I'm like, "Yeah? What's it called?"
"It's in a blue bottle." He says, because even if they've used it all their life, they never remember the name.
"Hmm," I glance down at my diagrams of the pain reliever set, "Nope. No blue bottle here. Maybe if you gave me something more to go on I could help you find it."
Of course he won't know, and I'll just keep baiting him until he loses his god-damned mind or keels over. Whatever comes first. That's the monster I've become, and I enjoy every second of it.

But that all changed today, or at least it did for a moment.

While I'm rearranging the eggs in the dairy section I see a woman pushing her shopping cart with one hand, and with the other she's holding the arm of her teenage daughter. The girl is visibly trembling and, I swear to god, she's looking right at me and my half-finished shelves of eggs with these freaked-out eyes, like I was smearing shit all over the egg cartons or something.

The mother tugs on the girl and says, "Come on."
The girl makes an unintelligible groan that translates into something like: I'm really fucking upset right now.
And the mother replies, "Don't worry. They're not going to keep it like this. They're going to change it all back really soon. Let's get going, okay?"

And then they're gone.

And it took a second but then it hit me that the girl was hardcore autistic and having the eggs all rearranged had upset her on some fundamental level.

Sure, it might not sound like a big deal; just a minor upset, but trust me, she was totally freaking out.

I felt pretty bad about the whole thing.

Next time I'll do my job right and make sure she goes into a full seizure.

1 comment:

  1. Even just one of your illustrations would make this post twice as good!