I also break out in a sweat when attempting to use the self-scanner checkout at the grocery store.
But this week I was forced to use it. I was in a hurry and there were several hundred shoppers waiting for cashiers. So I walked nervously in the direction of the self-scanner.
“You can do this,” I whispered. “Become one with the machine.”
Carefully, I scanned a roll of paper towel.
Smiling confidently, I scanned a couple of canned goods.
Well. Well. Well.
I was quickly becoming the boss of scan mania.
So I placed a box of Pop-Tarts on the scanner.
“You should put those back,” a female voice said.
I looked around. No one was standing close to me. And I decided that I had to be losing my mind since it seemed that the voice was coming from inside the machine.
Thrown off guard, I threw the Pop-Tarts back in the cart. Instead, I placed three bananas on the scanner.
“That’s more like it, lard bucket,” the female voice said.
“Excuse me, but I don’t think that my grocery purchases are any of your business,” I hissed at the machine.
“I’m providing public service announcements,” the voice said with a sigh. “If you don’t want the advice, go ahead and eat junk food. But don’t whine when your thighs finally start an inferno on your inseam.”
“You are so rude,” I whispered. “Here’s an idea. Just calculate my bill and keep your mouth shut.”
“Well, I guess I showed her … or it …or whatever is going on here,” I whispered.
When I defiantly placed a bag of cheese popcorn on the scanner, that mysterious voice made oink sounds.
Quickly, I replaced the popcorn with a head of lettuce.
That’s when the female voice started to cackle. “Oh that’s a good one. We both know you will use three pieces of lettuce to make fattening tacos. The rest will wilt and waste.”
“Am I on some kind of weird reality show?” I muttered as I again looked around. “What’s going on? How can you know so much about my eating habits?”
“I am not actually speaking to you from this machine,” the voice said. “I am your conscience. I am reminding you to stop shopping like you still have pimples and buck teeth.”
“What do you suggest?” I asked nervously.
“You already know,” the voice said slyly. “Load your cart with Brussels sprouts and squash. Replace the cheesy popcorn with rice cakes. Give up the gravy and go for a garnished piece of yummy tofu.”
“Never, …” I said with far too much hysteria in my voice.
I grabbed my purchases and sailed toward the exit.
“See you next time, cellulite queen,” laughed the voice.
Sherri Coner is an award-winning journalist and humor writer who speaks to women’s groups. To learn about her books for ladies and to join her on Facebook, visit www.sherriconer.com.