Saturday, September 26, 2009

Which Tomato Should I Pick?

The title of this post was an actual question that a young woman spoke into her cell phone today at Wegman's tomato bin. How many things are wrong with this picture? Uh, let me help you: 1. I was at Wegman's, a store that I love which also is a store that I hate, more on this later; 2. A young woman was chatting on her cell phone while grocery shopping; and, 3. She was asking for food selection advice. Now, quite apart from the notion that there is literally probably NO activity in which a cell phone conversation is now inappropriate (including in the can, which I have personally heard with my own ears and posted to this blog), how on fucking earth did this ninny expect to get any useful advice on food selection from the person at the other end of her cell phone?

And assuming that any useful advice could be gotten (go for the red, round one), how did it come to this? We are now unable to choose produce without first dialing a number on our cell phones and consulting with someone at a distance. I'm guessing that this person sustained this conversation long after she left the tomato bin with, presumably, the freshest, most lovely, most PERFECT tomato in the well-organized pile of hundreds. Yes, hundreds; it is, after all, Wegman's. I hear people on their cell phones all over every retail establishment I find myself having to endure. I hate shopping for ANYTHING, largely because it puts me in direct contact with other people which, I'm pretty sure I've made very clear here, I HATE.

"Do you think the white bra or the pink one?"
"I can't remember which shoes I have that will match teal silk can you go check?"
"Do we use Cottonelle or the brand that advertises with the bears that get pieces of toilet paper stuck to their asses?"

I CAN'T REMEMBER is generally the refrain that I hear in retail cell phone convos, that and seeking an opinion from afar on something that the other person can't see, smell, taste or feel. I think this whole obsession with checking via cell phone arises when people think that others judge them to be friendless losers if they aren't continuously engaged in a conversation with someone, ANYONE, rather than just, oh, I don't know, WALKING? through a supermarket-drug store-fast-food-emporium-department store conversation-free! People: it's're not being judged...we DON'T FUCKING CARE!!!

The worst, however, is when that ubiquitous cell conversation continues into the check-out phase of the shopping experience. This is the most heinous abuse of the technology of cell phones EVER IMAGINED...ANYWHERE! Here you have some hapless, minimum-wage slave checking out your pathetic purchases and you can't even give them the fucking courtesy of PRETENDING to pay attention. Halfway through the perp will do something like this:

"What? Oh, wait a didn't want that...take it off the bill. OK, I'm back"

This is ALWAYS uttered in the most annoyed tone possible as if it's the checker's audacious rudeness that is causing the cell phone talker to have to break off their critially important conversation to correct said checker's stupidity...they didn't read the cell phone talker's mind and take out that third gallon of ice cream which will now sit and melt until some other sad wage-slave gets stuck with the "shop back" cart. Let me say it here and now: these people should be zapped through their cell phones until their fucking little ears bleed. I mean, really...for the FIVE MINUTES it takes to check you through the grocery line you can't delay your cell phone conversation? Who are you, THE POPE?

So there you have it; cell phones aiding tomato selection. What could be more ridiculous? Oh yes, one thing could be more ridiculous, The ABIB in a place like Wegman's whose every aisle is crammed with other cart-wielding....people. But it's Wegman's, so I endure. Because Wegman's has a specialty area for everything from artisan breads to handmade friendship bracelets from some cooperative in Guatemala. Wonderfully helpful Wegman's employees in their Wegman's shirts offering me free samples of the most delicious sharp cheddar cheese from a boutique cheese maker in Frankfurt. How can I hate a store that has an entire SECTION devoted only to olive oil? I can love the message and hate the messenger, can't I? Can't I? Oh wait! Maybe I should call my friend Deb and check. Hello, Deb? I can't decide...