What's the code for peace???

by Jon Sullivan - 2019-09-01

<<<<< previous blog         next blog >>>>>

Sometimes buying vegetables is harder than it needs to be.

This story is from a few years ago. I was going to make some shrimp stir fry and headed to the grocery store to get all the fixins. Shrimp of course, green onions, mushrooms, pea pods, sweet onions, carrot, broccoli, a few other things. Good and good for me.

As I'm waiting in line to checkout I notice the checker is one I haven't seen before. He must be new. He seems confused, but no one appears to be mentoring him. He's obviously struggling a bit. But I'm next in line, so switching isn't going to save time anyway.

Let me say at this point, in the last few years I've tried to adopt a more patient and accepting attitude towards people that I might previously have pigeonholed as insufferable morons. I try to keep in mind that we're all in this together, and everyone gets through life the best they can. Being judgmental and snobbish helps nothing. Even if people seem objectively stupid. I don't know the struggles they deal with, and maybe me being pompous about it is really me being dumb. I've been super dumb many times in my life, so I should try to be more understanding.

But some things are just stupefying. Sometimes people just make it difficult to see past the dumb. You be the judge.

So the eventually the new trainee checker gets to my groceries. Right off the bat there is a problem. He holds up the bag of regular mushrooms. As he stares at them with a furrowed brow it seems possible he's never seen such a thing before. "Okay..... What are these?", he asks me.

Mushrooms. They are mushrooms.

He picks up the book with produce codes, apparently tries and fails to find the mushrooms, then turns to the next checker and asks what the code is. It's obvious that checker lost patience with the trainee hours ago, but they tell him the code. He enters it and grabs the bag of green onions. "Umm.... What are these?", he asks me.

Green onions. Those are...... obviously green onions.....

He grabs the book with the produce codes, seems to just pretend to look it up, then asks the next checker for the code.

At this point I and everyone nearby realize we have a big problem. I have a lot of produce. We're only two bags in. This could take quite a long time. And I'm not exaggerating at all. He doesn't know what anything is, and he doesn't know how to look it up.

He gets to the carrots. I'm mentally making bets with myself on which vegetables he'll recognize. YAY!!! He knows what carrots are. Finally. Everyone in the line smiles. But he doesn't know the code. So asks the next checker who is clearly reconsidering their career choices, and might be on the tipping point of violence.

This continues until we get to the pea pods. He has no idea what they are and asks me.

Peas. Those are peas.

"Peace??", he asks.

No... peas....

So he asks the next checker, "What's the code for peace?". Without even looking up the other checker gives him a code and he types it in. Bell peppers come up. He looks at my bag of peas, and somehow knows they aren't bell peppers. So he asks the checker again, "What's the code for peace?". They give him the same code. Now he's stuck. Like just locked up. He knows they aren't bell peppers, but that's the only code he has. He tries to look it up and fails. He stares at the bag for awhile.

Something clicks in his brain and he just gives up. Fine. They are bell peppers. And the computer is telling him bell peppers are priced as each instead of by pound. So he starts counting the pea pods. But stops, because this is silly. There are too many. So he asks me how many I have. All I can do is stare at him with my mouth open as I try to figure out what the appropriate answer to that question is. The best answer is probably, "You need to quit your job right this second and go home". But..... In the last few years I've tried to adopt a more patient and accepting attitude towards people that I might previously have pigeonholed as insufferable morons. I blink several times. We're stuck. I'm never going to get to leave. It's been 10 minutes so far and we're dead in the water.

He starts counting the pea pods again.

But he's not so good at counting, or something, so he has to start over a few times.

At this point I'm starting to realize this can't be real. I must be on one of those gotcha TV shows with a hidden camera. I start looking for the cameras. This can't be real. The minutes pass.

He finally comes up with a count for the peas and enters it in. I have $26 in pea pods. He knows that's not right, looks at me, I'm shaking my head no with a frightened look on my face.

At this point he starts to ask loudly, apparently to anyone who will listen, "WHAT'S THE CODE FOR PEACE???"

A manager looking person finally comes over and enters the correct code and walks away. My other items can just be scanned, and he manages to get through that. I go home and make some delicious shrimp stir fry. And I never see that checker working at the grocery store again.

For those wondering, the code for peace is 4065.

<<<<< previous blog         next blog >>>>>
Sharon Sullivan
2019-09-01 07:15:37 : This is, truly, on of the funniest things I've ever read. Like EVER!! Loved it then, love it now. My stomach hurts from laughing.

Jon Sullivan
2019-09-01 07:21:34 : North Park is a weird place sometimes.

SHARON SULLIVAN
2019-09-01 07:45:16 : Earlier it only gave me one of my Google account options to comment, now I have both. Weird.

Also, I'm assuming I can't edit my above comment for the spelling error?

Jon Sullivan
2019-09-01 07:53:01 : How Google handles the login is a black box unfortunately. I'm going to make extending the login session longer a bigger priority. But it will still be a while. And yes, comment edits aren't even on my to-do list right now.

Morgan Dickinson
2019-09-01 10:01:46 : This is freaking hilarious! I love all of your funny stories Uncle Jon.

Jon Sullivan
2019-09-01 10:07:14 : Thanks Morgan. I'm happy to be a role model for you. Next up : The time I drank all the Everclear and puked in front of the Prince of the East.

SHARON SULLIVAN
2019-09-01 10:31:03 : Ba Haaaa HAAAA!

Sign-In With Google To Leave a Comment:
<<<<< previous blog         next blog >>>>>
News
Got the archive section here done finally. Fires and power outages in CA haven't effected me. I doubt they will. I'm fairly close to downtown with no brush to wory about.
Recent Posts
- Holiday music
    For the Thanksgiving food challenge in Montana a few weeks ago, Sharon was nice enough to indulge me in listening to my Thanksgiving playlist while we cooked. It's a bit non-traditional.
- Building character
    I was mentioning to someone a few days ago that since I grew up on a farm in rural Montana, I'd surely paid my dues in terms of "the simple life". Shoveling animal crap, digging ditches, endlessly fixing endless fences.
- Garlic Peppercorn Ranch recipe
    Ranch dressing is the multi-tool of sauces.
- Thanksgiving 2019
    Celebrating the holiday in Montana with family.
- Into the Frozen Hellscape
    Or..... Traveling to Montana for Thanksgiving.
- On being, old.
    When I was a younger man I found it curious how some around me had lived before TV, frozen food, zippers.
- After Beer Week is Recovery Week
    I'm not the heavy drinker I used to be. And my one-meal-a-day life style doesn't like all day drinking either.
Food I Cooked
Old School Blogroll
kottke.org
Home of fine hypertext products.
MetaFilter
A community weblog.
A Chicken Is Not Pillage
You forgot his exclamation point! It defines him. He put it there for a reason, to show how in! your! face! he is.
jessamyn.com
abada abada - twenty years of jessamyn
Matt Haughey
A Whole Lotta Nothing
dooce
Heater, Mother Of Lance
Anil Dash
A blog about making culture. Since 1999.
Some Bits
Nelson's weblog
Everlasting Blort
proud member of the reality-based community
Whatever
This machine mocks fascists
Scripting News
It's even worse than it appears.
Flutterby
Short attention spans in a world full of flowers
mimi smartypants
Seriously, though: what's with the penguins?
Montreal City Weblog
Stupid Evil Bastard
What the fuck is wrong with you people?
Idle Words
brevity is for the weak
Making Light
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.
wilwheaton.net
50,000 Monkeys at 50,000 Typewriters Can't Be Wrong
Justin Hall
Growing & breaking down since 1994
Mike the Mad Biologist
Helping idiots who desperately need my assistance by calling them fucking morons since 2004
jwz
MSSV
AKMA’s Random Thoughts
Ruminations about hermeneutics, theology, theory, politics, ecclesiastical life… and exercise.
things magazine
An occasional weblog about objects, collections and discoveries
Miscellaneous Heathen
Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.
kimberussell.com
where it's always Virgo Season
Cockeyed
World of Warcraft
Getting it ready for you.
Recent Trips
Getting it ready for you.