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.
SHUPPIE: "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?"
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!