You Are Dumb: Patient Zero

  December 2003 »
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Memo to That Ass In Byerly's: YOU ARE DUMB.

Yes, you. The guy who answered the "paper or plastic" question with a tossed, over-the-shoulder "plastic" while arguing with yourdaughter about putting on her coat.

That doesn't make you dumb, though. What makes you dumb is making an issue over having wanted plastic when you saw the bagger with allyour stuff already in a paper bag. Then saying "plaaaastic" slowly at him a second time. Then giving a little eye-roll shoulder-shrug lookto the cashier, as if to commisserate with her nonverbally as two people who must, somehow, endure the never-ending mendacity of the Baggerrace.

Here's a hint. The very act of shopping at Byerly's more than once every three months automatically, by definition, prevents you fromdeveloping any kind of empathic link with anybody who works there.

Editor's Note: "Byerly's" is a Minneapolis chain of high-end grocery stores frequented by two groups of people. A group who stops in onoccasion because they're in a hurry and/or need a gourmet ingredient, and people who don't mind paying 30% more for their everyday stuff,wear fur-collared jackets, have big hair (females) or thinning combovers (males), and abuse the help in the guise of demanding customerservice. Me, I needed garlic, and their garlic was crap, too.

And then, as the topper, as the ultimate verification of your doofushood, he shot ME a look of simpatico. A kind of "Sorry, dude, I guesswe got a bum deal in the bagger department today. Boy, life sure is hard, isn't it? But what are you gonna do? You can't let these minimumwage slaves walk all over you. You ask for plastic, you damn well better get plastic, even though the paper bags have handles too and mylife is really a horrible lie.

I may have extrapolated a bit in that last paragraph, I'll admit. But even with such mitigating circumstances taken into account, I'mafraid the verdict stands, because I got to enjoy the bagger and cashier mocking your sorry ass the instant you were out of earshot. HappyNew Year, Byerly's Ass. Pity you'll have to spend it BEING DUMB.