I’ve tried to simplify it. But I just don’t think they can make that message any clearer than it already is: 10 Items Or Less. It seems fairly self-explanatory, so where’s the confusion? What, exactly, do some of you think that sign says?
10 Items Or Less (except for you)
10 Items Or Less (just kidding)
10 Items Or Less (unless you have deemed yourself more important than everybody else on the planet)
Okay, maybe you can’t count. Well, I have a solution for that: DON’T GO TO THE GROCERY STORE ALONE. Now, I want to be perfectly clear on this point, so pay attention: If you cannot accurately count to ten you should not be allowed to leave your house without adult supervision. Got it? Good.
But you say you know how to count and how to read, you just choose to ignore the well-lit, strategically-placed 10 Items Or Less sign? Well then you belong in the same category as those assholes who think there should be valet parking at Olive Garden. And those people do exist, I’ve seen them.
And don’t tell me you don’t get it. I’ve been to plenty of grocery stores, in plenty of states. And every last one of them had a 10 Items Or Less lane. So the wolves who raised you must have kept you under a pretty big rock if you can’t get on board with this idea: 10 Items Or Less means 10 Items Or Less. Period. End of discussion. Let someone in with 11 items and you will find yourself on a very slippery slope, my friend.
And for those of you ready to pull the language card: forget about it. 10 Items Or Less translates (more or less). En español: 10 artículos o menos. Auf deutsch: 10 punkte oder weniger. På norsk: 10 Ting Eller Mindre. Did you notice anything? A pattern perhaps?
The number 10. Not 13, not 14, not 15, and because it’s not the “Divisible By 10” lane, 20—the very concept of 20—makes my brain hurt. And don’t insult my intelligence, I’m not stupid (I may have too much time on my hands, but I’m not stupid), don’t even try to put one of those little dividers between items 1–10 and 11–20. That molded piece of plastic doesn’t impress me and it doesn’t change a damn thing.
And now for the cashiers: listen up because you have a hand in this mess too. I realize that being a grocery store cashier may not afford you the same power as, say, being the Pope, but you have got to seize opportunities where you can. Put your foot down and OWN that shit...you rule your world!
The Express Lane can be a daunting and demanding mistress, after all it’s your deft agility and fierce commitment to getting me out of that store as fast as humanly possible that got you to the Express Lane in the first place. You don’t ask how I am or how my day was, mostly because you couldn’t care less—but more importantly, you don’t ask because you are focused. Focused on not seeing me for one second longer than is absolutely necessary.
And I love you for that.
So dammit, grab that Express Lane by the balls and don’t let go. You can’t let the inmates run the asylum. If you see someone coming at you with a basket so woefully overloaded that one shoulder may permanently hang lower than the other, take a stand. By God, put your foot down and end this madness. Believe me, I’ve got your back. I also have a 6-pack of Guinness and new razor blades that I am not afraid to use.