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A supermarket code of conduct

The grocery store is a problem. It’s getting way too difficult for me to shop. Because people.

A supermarket code of conduct

We as a society need to establish some rules. Like maybe a supermarket code of conduct. Failure to abide by the code would result in severe civil and criminal penalties — as well as the rescission of your rewards card.

I don’t want to sound all haughty and smug, but I’m not the one causing problems. I know how to operate the self-checkout so other people don’t have to wait. I also don’t turn my cart sideways and pretend I can’t see people trying to squeeze by. And I’m not the person who goes to the express lane and writes a check for three dollars. (But that’s only because it would bounce.)

When it comes to supermarket etiquette, I’m on par with Peggy Post. I’m such an effective, well-mannered shopper that you’ll never see me coming. (Unless, of course, my shopping cart has a squeaky wheel. Then I’m pretty hard to miss.)

But other people can’t seem to handle it, which is why we need some rules. Here are three to get us started. Feel free to add your own in the comments below. (Just be aware that I own the movie rights.)

Rule #1: No post-purchase lingering in the checkout line.

When the clerk hands you your receipt, that’s your engraved invitation to leave. You are not permitted to unfurl your receipt like a scroll so that you can stand there and itemize your purchases. So what if there’s a 25-cent discrepancy? If you got overcharged, maybe it’s the universe’s way of telling you you’re a prick. Consider it an asshole surcharge and get out of my way.

I simply hate standing there while my groceries are being scanned and the person in front of me won’t leave. In those cases, I usually give a gentle nudge with my shopping cart to remind them it’s my turn. But then they’ll glare up at me from the floor, where they’ve fallen, as if I’m somehow the jerk in this situation.

Rule #2: No sideways shopping carts.

I mentioned this one before, but it bears repeating. You are not, under any circumstance, to obstruct the smooth flow of traffic by turning your shopping cart sideways in an aisle. It’s hard enough to maneuver around your fat ass, and the last thing this obstacle course needs is a sideways shopping cart added to the mix.

There are those rare occasions when it’s not all about you, and this is one of them. I shouldn’t have to flatten myself against the wall and inch along ninja-style just so I can get to the Cheerios.

Rule #3: No disrupting good songs on the P.A.

This one’s for the supermarket employees. I don’t go to the store to listen to tunes, but when a good one comes on, some nasally voiced associate always interrupts to announce a cleanup on Aisle 4. It’s always in the middle of a guitar solo, too. Then, I’m lucky to catch the last 10 seconds before it switches to an ad for half-priced foot powder — or worse, a song by Michael Bolton.

I could go on, but until Congress takes my Supermarket Code of Conduct proposal seriously, it’s a free-for-all at grocery stores everywhere. But I’ll keep petitioning. Like they say, after all, it’s the squeaky shopping-cart wheel that gets the grease.

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