Sunday, September 23, 2007

The cook, the yapper, his sardines and her godforsaken salad

Other than the title, this post has nothing to do with the 1989 Peter Greenaway film. (Although I highly recommend it!)

This is a long post, and may not be particularly entertaining. Come back tomorrow if you want the scamorama action.

OK. I don't particularly like people with money, usually because it seems to be on an inverse correlation with manners and politeness.

My theory of "Please and Thank You" is that there's a magic tipping point drawn very narrowly around the middle class where you either ARE or RECALL "working for a living" and you're polite to the rest of the serfs. Above that line and you're a tool. BELOW that line and you're in the magic land of entitlement and "O hai, iz white trash day at the Wal-Mart?" Manners and breeding couldn't make it through that swamp with hip-waders and a machete. A-NEE-WAY!

I get the oh-so-lovely chore of doing Customer Service from 4-11 all by my lonesome on a Saturday night. Joyful. Joyful. How I effing adore thee.

Into the mix rolls a couple in the firm throes of late-yuppiedom. They're dressed in Late UMC New England Yuppie - khaki shorts and an Izod golf shirt for him and some really ugly seafoam green shorts that make her behind look huge and an even uglier pale pastel blocky-printy shirt for her. And white sandals. Ugh. Buy some taste. Or get better girlfriends who will point out your mistakes. I know you might not be into Ann Taylor territory yet. But not everything in Dillards is necessarily a good idea.

He Yuppie is returning, I kid you not, a can of salmon, a can of sardines and a can of olives. Without a receipt. This in and of itself is not a huge deal. Vacationing Yankees are all the time buying stuff when they arrive for vacation and returning it when they leave. I've seen one woman return more than $1oo in frozen dinners before. I just have to remember to defect out the returned food and not put it back on the sales floor. Anyway.

The real entertainment is the conversation between the He Yuppie and the She Yuppie, here-to-after referred to as Huppie and Shuppie. They each have separate carts, and she's too good to come all the way into Customer Service. While he's "attending to business," she's standing out by the ATM flipping through the pages of a copy of "People" she picked up off a buggy of returns I've yet to sort.

She's the disinterested sort that comes to Wal-Mart, picks up stuff on the shelf, looks at it, holds it out, puts it back on the shelf, picks it up again, looks over the top of her glasses at it and finally puts it in her cart. And returns it all three weeks later without the tags because her girlfriend Sue told her it looked like something a dog barfed on and she never really liked it anyway but "Target costs too much money" so she only shops at Wal-Mart. Anyway.

The conversation rolled out something like this.

ME: "Can I help you Sir?"
HUPPIE: "We want to return these." And clunks a Publix bag with the salmon, sardines and olives on the counter. This is obviously the royal "WE" because there is no other person around, and the woman behind him in line is fighting with a howler monkey and definitely NOT with him.

ME: "Okay. Do you have the reciept?"
HUPPIE: "No. Do you have the receipt?" This was directed over his shoulder to the woman in the funky pastel seafoam outfit. Which is when I noticed that Shuppie was to be a part of this little parade. The rest of the conversation and the return took place with him standing at an angle to the counter, although he had little to say to me.

SHUPPIE: "NOITHOUGHTYOUHADIT." Never looked at him. Kept flipping through "People." Because, you know, Jennifer Aniston is sooooo "ready to love again." See, I keep up!
HUPPIE: "I don't have it."
ME: "Okay. I just need your driver license."
HUPPIE: "That's fine." He forks it over and I start. I have to scan the items and print out defective slips and then write "RETURNED" on all the slips and tape the slips to the cans.

: "What are you returning?"
HUPPIE: "The salmon."
HUPPIE: "I bought three cans. We already had some. We're not going to use this unless we make salad and have people over."

SHUPPIE: "What about the sardines?"
HUPPIE: "I was going to bring them back too."
SHUPPIE: "Whaddaya do that for?"
HUPPIE: "We already got two tins."
SHUPPIE: "But I want to cook tonight."
HUPPIE: "Well we gotta go to Publix."
SHUPPIE: "Why we gotta go to Publix? I don't want to go to Publix."

HUPPIE: "You want to make salad right?"
SHUPPIE: "Who said anything about salad?"
HUPPIE: "Salad. You said you were going to cook tonight."
SHUPPIE: "What are we gonna cook?"
HUPPIE: "I don't know. Pasta and salad."
SHUPPIE: "Why do we need sardines for salad?"

HUPPIE: "That's why we're going to Publix?" I lost it here. I couldn't follow the conversation. I don't think they were either. I don't understand the link between sardines and salad, unless you chop them and put them on the salad. But they had a huge tin.
SHUPPIE: "What's at Publix?"
HUPPIE: "Salad."
SHUPPIE: "What are we doing here then?"
HUPPIE: "I got to return this stuff."
SHUPPIE: "Why are you returning it? Aren't we going to cook tonight?"

HUPPIE: "No. I told you, we already had some sardines and salmon. Do you want olives for the salad?"
SHUPPIE: "Maybe. I'll look at Publix."
HUPPIE: "So now you want to go to Publix?"
SHUPPIE: "Yeah. Are you done yet? I'm ready to go. I'll meet you at the jewelry counter."

HUPPIE: "You done yet?" And he looks at me.
SHUPPIE: "Did you hear me? I said I'm going to jewelry."
HUPPIE: "Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm almost done."
SHUPPIE: "OK. Fine. I'm going."

ME: "OK. I need you to sign this. You get $4.10 back sir. Thank you."
HUPPIE: "Thank you."

It was insane. It was like being trapped in a bad Woody Allen film (wait, that's an oxymoron). I just wanted to scream BAGGED SALAD IN GROCERY! TOSSED SALAD IN BEDROOM #1. PLEASE JUST PICK ONE, SHUT THE HELL UP AND LEAVE!

Thank you. Tonight's entertainment courtesy the thirtysomething Group and Yuppielicous Productions. Coming soon to an angst-bar near you!


Anonymous said...

You must not have seen any of his earlier movies. Come on, Sleeper is hillllarious.

Anonymous said...

THAT WAS HILARIOUS!!! I live in a medium-sized college town, where we get the alumni yuppies and I am sure they do the same thing while slumming away a football weekend in their million-dollar condo.

Keep up the writing. You are too funny to stop!

Anonymous said...

All that fuss for $4.10? What the hell? It's not like a) the dude couldn't afford it or b) it would go bad (since it's canned and all). Just hang on to it and use it the next time you want to do your salmon-pasta-salad thing and think you're being all Mediterranean even though you're using the cheap-ass canned food from Wal-Mart or Publix.

I bet they buy the off-brand stuff at Publix, too.

thordora said...

OMFG. I'm so confused.

And yes, that is one of the BESt movies ever.

j-yo said...

Can you imagine being these people's kids? You KNOW they're going to end up making some child therapist very wealthy.

Anonymous said...

What a weirdo. It's not like canned food doesn't last practically forever.

And he wasted a non-receipt return on $4.10? Moron.

Maybe they were faux yuppies? I'm nowhere near yuppieish, and I don't eat salmon out of a can. I bet they were going to buy iceberg salad mix.. Might as well have just bought it at the wallyworld and saved the gas.

Debo Blue said...

Who uses canned salmon except for kitty food?

Isn't that too much like Spam?

Anonymous said...

hey at least the guy was polite; think of how many other assholes bbc gets...

Anonymous said...

And I bet the canned food can't be donated to a food bank or something either. If they didn't want it they should have donated it to a food bank or something. Oh wait, I forgot that generosity is, like manners, a trait displayed almost exclusively by the middle class.

So thanks, faux yuppie asshole, for pissing all over the labor and energy put into those cans of food. Now, instead of feeding somebody as they were intended to do they'll probably just wind up in a landfill rotting. So you've wasted energy AND contributed to trashing our earth. You better hope this system holds up, because if it don't, we're going to eat the assholes like you FIRST.

Songbird said...

Dear, you didn't use canned salmon, did you?

/hey! I didn't even eat the mousse!

inspectorguy said...

Awesome reference to a great movie most people have never heard of. I always get strange looks and people ask what the hell I am talking about when I mention "The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover".

Anonymous said...

Canned fish from Wally World or Publix....bloody hell!!!!!!!!!

yoyo said...

"Dear, you didn't use canned salmon, did you?

/hey! I didn't even eat the mousse!"

One of my top ten favorite films.

No doubt the identical in every way except for the packaging tinned salmon they get at publix will be just as bad.Maybe it will poison them. Not kill them,just make them suffer a little.. said...

"bad Woody Allen film... an oxymoron"

Sorry to be today's English Teacher, but an oxymoron is a contradiction in terms. A figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”

So by saying that "bad Woody Allen film" is an oxymoron, your meaning is that Woody Allen films are actually good.

What I hope you meant to say was that "bad Woody Allen film" is redundant. However, I would rather sit through a WA movie with my nuts being smashed between two bricks than serve a shift behind the CS counter at house of Wal.

Boringscreenname said...

Bizarre conversation, but at least they weren't total assholes. The faux and real yuppies all come in droves to Target. I love it when they think I should be so impressed because they bought Marketplace cereal, or Choxie or any of Target's other generic crap, that they sell by sticking some fancy sounding name on it. I also hate the people who refer to the store as Tar-Jay. Like I don't hear that 50 times a day, and my you are so damned clever and original.

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't hate on the canned salmon! Salmon salad is good. Just remove the bones, season it, add some pickle relish, mayo (if that's how you get down), and add the regular salad veggies.

The yuppie conversation needs to come with a medical warning. I think it may cause your visitor's brains to bleed if they try to make the conversation make sense.

mackpayson said...

"...khaki shorts and an Izod golf shirt for him and some really ugly seafoam green shorts that make her behind look huge and an even uglier pale pastel blocky-printy shirt for her. And white sandals..."

I've always referred to that as "The Uniform." Was he wearing penny loafers sans socks? Please say yes! What a tool!