Thursday, 7 April 2022

Out to Lunch

When your routine involves visiting something super, expect super consequences.

The aside: The language we're using opts out of the compounding of word pairs typical of our German originators, notorious for their overelongationizingness. But since "super" is at its base a mere attribute, not an attributive noun or other cumbersome association of substance, supermarket will do just fine.
In which I become he hwat begot me (or the begetter of my begetter, my superbegetter): First in the category of conversations only maybe mutually wanted, rambling to a person whose job it is to stand in the place where the rambling remains audible. Next paragraph.

Scanning my own purchases makes a bloop, accompanied on the screen in front of my face by the association of substance and its price, along with the instruction to place that substance on the surface just to the right. Occasionally there are other instructions — to wait for further instructions from store personnel, for example.

Today's exchange and eventual screen-prompt summoned the participation of an employee unfamiliar to me. First she looked at the gathered goods to my right, enquiring after the last item scanned. If I'd been a Berliner, I might have said none of your business. I'm not, so I'll just tell you I told her what it was and that it's none of yours.

She located the item and told me in the typically direct Berliner manner that yeah, duh, shit's hanging over the edge and thereby hanging up the system. I thanked her and continued.
An aside: The direct Berliner manner is really nothing personal, and it could take some getting used to. I am reminded of an interaction with a lady at a chip shop who I thought at the time must have been a most disagreeable person. In fact, she was more likely flirting with me.
Back to the action: The specialist in self-serving customer management must have subsequently seen I was just not getting it. Before another screen prompt could interrupt the competent part of my scanning activity, she mosied the step or so back over to let me know I could use more of the surface beside me (as I'd been stacking things up in a smaller area I'd thought I was restricted to). Well, this got me going.

The story: No, fortunately, I did not dazzle the nice Berliner lady by telling her about my background in scanning back when scanning was a baby, and how, that one time, when Dick Branch, who'd been brought in to replace Dick Brelage, to create an atmosphere that would bully all the cashiers on the old union contracts into quitting so they could be replaced with contracts friendlier to the ambitions of Big Supermarket, and how he'd overseen the integration of a timing device into the scanners that would clock our scan rates, and how one of the old union workers had figured out, if you got stuck too long between items, you could just hit the subtotal key and stop the clock until you scanned the next item, and how that would lead to the bigger of the two Dicks coming down to the floor from his observation nest from where he watched us through the wide dark window, and via the cameras he'd also had installed, to stand next to us and observe, like all direct-like, how efficiently we were able to scan, and how, that one time, the bigger of the two Dicks stood next to me, which, in spite of his being a big dick, would mean, due to his diminutive size, his head would be in good position to suck on mine, and how the whole experience was like a movie, because I found myself in an intense state of awareness, whereby my eyes switched from shot to shot, first of him standing to my right, near enough my elbow I could have elbowed his sniveling nose, then to a shot of the customer, who expressed animated interest in the scene unfolding before her, and then back to the task at hand, which I commenced apace and with dexterity that surprised me, a speed and skill so remarkable it made Dick's jaw drop as my movie continued with that shot of his being dumbfounded and then a shot of the customer's smirk of satisfaction, and then my punctuating it with a smack of the total key (only once this time), which would have been the proverbial "Cut!" except the scene continued with Dick wandering away speechless. Oh, and I was high as a kite. The only thing missing was, "I'll have what he's having."
Back to the point: No, I didn't tell the overseer of customer scanners that story. Instead, I told her how if my father could see me scanning my own groceries, he'd do that roll over thing the dearly departed do, and, as if that were not enough, commenced my superbegetter routine by telling her of a supermarket trip with the characters: my brother, my father, and me, which coincidentally fell a superstone's throw from the begetting of the begetting (the last detail abridged for clarity), and how when my brother had headed toward the self-scan area (and included the tidbit that this employee weeding application of the technology had reached these nether regions of American rurality (calculating for her benefit (or mine) nigh two decades back)), whereupon my father, visibly irked, yanked the bags from brother's hands and made a beeline for an actual cashier.

Call that a bargain: This reconvened an actual exchange that concluded with the observation that the presence of a person tasked with overseeing the customer scanning process mitigates the elimination of gainful employment. I didn't say it's only an ostensible effect that assists the same, but I imagine she thought it.

A box what jukes: I was doing my exercises with the music on random. No sooner than "Benny the Bouncer" dropped did I get triggered, as in a jolt with no perceivable intermediary mental activity. It featured the image of Carl Palmer playing his part, but, from the neck up, doing the mugging of Jerry Lewis' typewriter bit.

Time was I'd thought that song (along with the same band's versions of Copeland) were what lent credibility to its niche of rock because it could be played for the grups without their flinching. Now, their value is diminished for the same reason (which was supposed to've been the other way round), although I have to say the former is unavoidable as a lead-in to "Karn Evil 9", of which I's made acutely assured when the next song was something else.

What is poetry?
Soon the plastic dust
with its promise flaked from trust
Will choke us as it must!
Is it just? Is it just?
Who'd have thought the putative freedom-first loving logic in the charter spurred on by the European Coal and Steel Community — which was that economic cooperation would render war untenable — would turn out to be humanity's crux to bear?
Petroleum? You're soaking in it. Seriously, the discussion surrounding effective versus ineffective sanctions is too much. If we were to, right now, sanction every despotic state in the interest of human rights and democracy, the world economy would... tank.
This brings me back to my aphorism about the nagging programming of our Western consciousness by way of our religions and realities that would have us expect some kind of worsening of affairs, because, if you recall the gist, we know in our heart of hearts that after all the years of colonialist ambition, our reformed good guy brand has involved shifting the nature of subjugation to predatory lending and humanitarian intervention, which so often has propped up the despotic regimes and employment practices simply because it makes good business sense, or in the minds of the business savvy, makes anything else unthinkable. So, in an unconscious sense of fairness, why should we think we'd be spared the consequences?
Ad nauseam! Ad nauseam!
But, no. I want to state here, in spite of all that, in spite of having repeated my self-satisfied little commandment that eschatological paranoia is fueled by an awareness that others are enduring a personal apocalypse now and that none familiar with its cause should remain immune to its effects, that I am going to actively resist these expectations for the sake of another aspect of emotional survival that, namely, maybe things will get better. My own craven complicity notwithstanding, there are people who deserve it.
A whiter shade of hair: I wish there were a more recent version of this (of better quality). It highlights the beauty of aging women. Anyway, lunch is over.