Today, I went to Kroger to get a pack of AA batteries because my Xbox controller is dying. I hate going to Kroger. My fear and loathing has nothing to do with the store's location, selection, or overall quality. The reason I don't like to go to Kroger is the people. The majority of Kroger's "population" is made up of mothers (with 2-4 shrieking kids) and old people.
If you're reading this, you are probably familiar with the frustrations of being around children. Children are impulsive and rude, and being in public seems to intensify this. The tired-looking mother rarely gives more than a half-hearted attempt to shut her kids up. This is either due to apathy or physical and mental exhaustion (and I can understand the latter). On multiple occasions I have dodged a running child because it wasn't looking ahead. It's fair to say that being around children in any circumstance frustrates me.
In this particular Kroger, there are more old people than children, but they are just as bad. I have discovered that pushing a shopping cart through the aisles is almost exactly the same as driving a car. The old people move very slowly and erratically, don't look before doing anything, and stare at me as they pass. It frustrates me to have to pass them (just like on a road), only to have them make a sudden lurch into me, forcing me to dodge. I tend to move faster than most people at Kroger because I usually want to get in, get exactly what I need, and GTFO. I don't like to wait behind old people while they painstakingly try to find the cheapest jar of tomato sauce. I can understand that old people can't move as fast as they used to be able to, but that doesn't entitle them to block aisles while they try to save twelve cents. Going back to the car analogy, when exiting an aisle one should definitely watch the traffic before "pulling out." It has been my experience that old people do not do this. They simply walk out (albeit slowly) and force anyone to stop his cart i.e. slam on the brakes.
I think I have some kind of aura that makes people behave in unexpected ways when near me. As I mentioned before, I move pretty quickly through the store and often have to pass people, which is ok. I understand that they don't want to charge through the aisles. What I don't understand is the sudden urge to jolt in a random direction just as I make a move to pass. It happens to me all the time - I'll be coming up behind someone that is partially blocking the aisle. I'll try to sidestep behind her (leaving plenty of room), and then she'll jerk into me like someone just shoved her.
Back to the story.
Today, I was entering Kroger and one of the sullen cart-pushers was pushing a line of shopping carts into the line within the entrance area thing. I went to pass him on the right, which was clear, even if he decided to lurch as I passed. Well, lurch he did, except he removed the last cart from the line and swung it around, causing it to collide with me. Yep. Who does that? I know he didn't mean to, but who pulls the last cart out like that? Was he going to go shopping during his shift? I've never seen anyone do that before. I wasn't really pissed at him for hitting me, as I wasn't injured or anything; I was more pissed at my apparent bad luck with people. I mean, I guess I could start calling out when I'm going to pass people, but I think that would just be even more awkward. And the old people would stare.
3 responses to "Look before you lurch."
© 2017 Greg Hendricks