Lost and Found?
On a recent trip to the supermarket a remarkable, odds defying thing occurred. A thing so against the odds of probability, I would not hesitate to use the term incalculable to describe it.
What was this thing? Was I abducted by aliens? Did I encounter Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster? Did I win the lottery as I was being struck by lightning?
Nothing that likely happened.
I was able to select my groceries without impediment. I was able to find a checkout lane astoundingly vacant of other shoppers. And most crucially, I was able to complete a successful transaction without incident.
None of the following things happened:
- The cash register malfunctioned.
- The cash register malfunctioned then burst into flames.
- The cashier burst into flames.
- A price check for an item that mysteriously seems to have never had a price.
- A price check for an item the store claims they don’t even sell. (That really happened!)
- A twenty minute argument between the customer ahead of me and the cashier over the validity of a ten cent coupon for instant vanilla pudding.
- Further complications when it’s discovered the coupon is from the nation of Sikkim.
- A twenty minute argument over what year the nation of Sikkim ceased to exist and to what extent that might have an effect upon the validity of the coupon in question.
But none of those things happened. Upon returning home, I was putting away my groceries and reflecting upon the ease of my trip to the supermarket. I contemplated the possibility of this day marking a turning point for me and my endeavors in commerce. Then I had a stark realization: I’m missing something; the cashier didn’t give me one of my bags.
I returned to the store. I returned to check out lane where I had been cashed out. I returned to the cashier who had cashed me out.
I explained to the cashier that I had not received one of my bags. She looked at me and loudly exclaimed: “I have never seen you before in my life!”
The level of certitude with which she made this claim was astounding. If I had asked her if she had met the ghost of Elvis on the surface of Mars, she couldn’t have been more certain of a thing not happening.
I pulled the receipt from my pocket.
“Is your name Veronica?” I asked her.
“Yes,” she replied.
“Is this cash register number six?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said again with slight unease.
“Then I would say you saw me not more than fifteen minutes ago,” I told her.
“Oh yeah,” she shouted as if in a moment of great discovery. It was a reaction comparable to Archimedes famous bath when he hit upon the principle of buoyancy and ran through the streets naked and shouting “eureka”.
Note: In Greek, eureka means: hey everybody, check out my penis.
She directed me to customer service (I sneer derisively at the term “customer service”) where my missing bag was said to be.
At customer service I was told, “the bag sat here so long, we put it back on the shelf.”
“It’s only been fifteen ####ing minutes,” I said, in complete control of me faculties. Then I burned the store to the ground.
I eventually got my groceries back and I didn’t burn the store to the ground…yet.