I love embracing new technology. I was especially happy when self-service checkouts were introduced at my local supermarket. As much as I like communicating with the checkout servers as I admire their curved talons and vapid stares, I'm sure I can do my shopping in a more efficient manner. Of course I didn't allow for the natural adversary of the self-service checkout area: the middle-aged man.
Some middle-aged men are quick to grasp onto new technology. Others view it as a form of witchcraft. The middle-aged man in the supermarket the other week fell into the latter category. He also appeared to have no consideration for the other people doing their shopping. No other checkouts were working so I waited patiently in line behind him as my rage simmered away inside.
My rage nearly erupted when I saw what he was trying to do. He had a tomato and he was trying to scan it.
The machine wasn't beeping and he kept peering at the tomato like it was broken. The vacuous clerk monitoring the checkouts shuffled over and said "You'll have to look it up." The man nodded and smiled at her in a perplexed manner.
He stared at the tomato. Then he looked up. I swear I felt something pop in my skull.
He managed to bag his food and walked out. I shook my head in exasperation and the clerk smiled back and rolled her eyes. Then I looked down at the selection of Asian vegetables in my basket.
"Um. Hi. Excuse me? Is this bok choy or choy sum?"