Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pistol-pack the groceries, roll in the aisles

At a busy supermarket the other afternoon in Talpiot, a fellow customer left Izzy Bee reeling. This guy really put gross into grocery shopping for me.

At first, the man simply was nowhere to be seen, but an anonymous shopping cart heaped with soda pop, potato chips, canned goods, packaged fish and meats, laundry detergent, diapers, and toilet paper was blocking the checkout counter. With just four items in hand-- eggs, milk, tomato paste, and matches -- I made a beeline for the only cashier who was idle, and scooted around this abandoned cart. Not exactly chutzpah, but maybe this was a bit brazen. Within three seconds, a beefy fellow came hurtling back from the frozen food section and shoved me aside, gesturing wildly at his shopping cart.

Then came the coup de grace: he patted the pistol strapped in a holster on his hip. He wore an orange silicone band around his wrist, but I don't think it was a Lance Armstrong solidarity bracelet somehow. Better to grin and slink to the end of a line far, far away from him. Checkout rage is not worth bloodshed.

I got his point at gunpoint.
Now my neighbors tell me that this was an aberration--not a typical Israeli experience. "We don't behave like that here. Maybe it's a stereotype, but that boor sounds like some newly-arrived settler from America," Reena sniffed. "Most of them need to learn some manners. Oy vey." Well, it's one more reason to consider online grocery shopping. Israelity bites.


shelley said...

and in at least one ultra-orthodox neighborhood in w Jerusalem, the owner comes and ties a nasty wraparound skirt on unsuspecting female shoppers as they come in the door. (presumably so people will not be offended by seeing you shop your bluejeans.) Next will be single-sex shopping times. My girlfriend refused to shop there any more after the grubby skirt was thrust upon her. Oy vey

Anonymous said...

I've had some pretty terrible experiences in Talpiot grocery stores, but I've never seen anyone point at a gun like that.

The meat counter is just really bad in one of the stores! The line is always so long, and people always seem to cut in front of you.

And I've also been yelled out for going in front of someone who left their overflowing cart unattended when I went around them with a handful of items.