Thursday, July 07, 2005
Fourth of July in the Florida Keys
The 4th of July in the Keys…good times. Kimmie and I got down there pretty late on Saturday, thanks to the relentless Florida traffic. But, all’s well that ends well….
Kim’s boss, Patrick, was nice enough to let us use his house for the weekend (there’s your shout-out Patrick!! You are the best!) and, needless to say, the accommodations were FABULOUS. We dragged ass for a little while, since we were both exhausted, but we both agreed on one thing…we were going out. We went to Snapper’s for dinner (if you ever get the chance to eat at Snapper’s, do yourself a favor: Don’t.) and attempted to get into the partying spirit. That failed miserably, so we decided we needed some chemical stimulants, and headed over to Winn-Dixie to get Red Bull, vodka, and other assorted goodies for the weekend.
Now, allow me to this time to dissuade anyone who, in an effort to save time, decides that the Self-Checkout at Winn-Dixie would, as Kim so wrongfully put it, “be much quicker.”
At 9:00 p.m., the store was PACKED full of people stocking up for the 4th of July weekend. People with two (2) and three (3) carts were filling up each open lane, and allow me to add that it was hotter than Dante’s inferno in this store. Kim looked as though she were on the verge of a heat stroke, and decided that the Self-Checkout lane “would be muck quicker.” Although there were fewer people with far less items than the others in the Assisted-Checkout Lanes, this was not because it was “quicker” as it turns out. It’s just that, clearly, others have far more common sense than Kim and me.
We got in the Self-Checkout Lane that had only two (2) people in it, as opposed to the other lane that had four (4) people. Another critical error. I was busy reading the latest issue of STAR magazine, so I was not paying attention to the goings on around me, but when I looked up at Kimmie, beads of sweat had formed on her forehead and she looked….ill. Keep in mind that roughly ten (10) minutes had passed since we got into the line with only two (2) people in front of us. Anyways, unbeknownst to me, the man standing next to us had unleashed a great-American fart, which sent Kim into a tailspin of nausea. Fortunately, I was not affected by anything going on around me because:
1) I didn’t smell the odor emitted by B-Flat Bart at the adjacent Self-Checkout
2) I had my trusty iPod that placed me in my own world, far away from the freaks and
geeks that surrounded me.
Anyways, moving on, I tried to convince Kimmie that I could brave the Self-Checkout on my own, and that she should go wait in the car. Kim felt that she could stick it out with me. I thanked my battle-buddy for not leaving my side, and promptly put my ear buds back in my ears and jammed out to The Eagles. There was now only one (1) guy in front of us with a moderate amount of items to ring up, so I thought we were golden….we’d be out of there in no time. Twenty (20) minutes later, I realized I was wrong. Now, at this point, I deduced that some people were not made for Self-Checkout, and that this guy was an idiot.
Every time he scanned something, the sirens would blare, the lane light would blink uncontrollably, and the monitor would say “Please be patient. Help is ON the way!” Now, I still had my iPod on, although the volume was quite low, but Kim was on the verge of a breakdown. She looked…disturbed. I took turned the iPod off, and began to realize why she looked that way…..
The Winn-Dixie Self-Checkout Lane had turned into complete—and—total—mayhem. Stewart (Stu) Pidd in front of us—who, come to think of it, looked like Guy (our weekend cab driver)…more about him in my next installment—couldn’t so much as weigh his bananas and apricots without causing a store-lockdown. The three (3) greasy girls in the other lane were all huddled around the monitor trying to translate the transaction into Spanish, and their greasy boyfriend was leaning on the unopened Self-Checkout scanner, which prompted the speakers to blare “This lane is closed. Please try another lane. This lane is closed. Please try another lane.” And this went on, and on, and got louder, and louder, until Kim’s hair was, quite literally, standing on end.
Stu was finally able to finish ringing up his apricots and such, and then had to wait another 3-4 min. before the Winn-Dixie “Assistant” came back from her smoke break to give him change for the $100 bill he tried to feed the machine. It was finally our turn, and we experienced the same traumatic experience as Stu. It came to a point where the “Assistant” did not leave our side and monitored our every purchase since the machine seemed to be “malfunctioning.”
We paid for our goods; Kim strong-armed her way out, and then turned around to give a hardy double-bird to the entire store. I hope all of you have gained from our misfortune.
Please check back for Part II of our Islamorada Adventure, including fun facts from Drunk Lance and musings of Jeff-Rod and Charlie-Chris-Bob.
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