Counter Culture

When you live in Manhattan (like I do) and have absolutely no patience (like I do — or would that be “don’t”?), and people insist on imitating sloths (like they do) despite the fact that they’re in Manhattan, a city with a reputation for being on the go go go!, you tend to spend a fair amount of time murmuring, if not out and out shouting, “MOOOVE! Just fuuuuuuucking MOVE!” and wanting to kick the offending slowpokes in whatever body part you think will do the most permanent damage. Or, if you are I (yes, I prefer being grammatically correct, even if it means I sound like a pretentious monocle- and tweed-wearing twit), you want to avail yourself of the scalpel you keep in the watch-pocket of your waistcoat, slice a gash into the doughy flesh of the offender long enough to insert your foot, and kick him or her directly in the spleen.
I reserve a special variety of loathing for people at checkout/cashier counters that is in the same family of loathing as that I enjoy for people at toll booths. You know the type. They’ve been waiting, bumper to bumper, for what seems like decades, and don’t have the werewithal to get their money out before they get to the booth. It’s only when they’ve finally gotten there that they realize they have to pay and then root around in all the junk food-related detritus accumulated on the passenger seat to find their wallet. And then take six years to count out the money and hand it to the toll-taker. And then remember they don’t know how to get to Great Adfuckingventure after all and ask for directions, all the while oblivious to the fact that they were not, indeed, the last people in the traffic backup and there are, thus, 14 billion other people behind them.
People at checkout counters are of the same brain-exploding breed. Their offenses are many, but the one that rankles the hell out of me more than any other is the one whereby, after paying, they have to do all their post-transaction business right there at the counter. The offender is usually a woman (please, ladies and extra-sensitive gentlemen, spare me the hate mail) who has to make sure all the bills are lined up according to denomination, serial number, year of issue, and crispness … then slide them lovingly into the super secret special compartment of her wallet … fold the wallet shut, slowly snap the little snappity snap snap with a nifty *click*, and then place it into a color-coded, cross-referenced compartment of a shoulderbag even larger than her ass. And then put her gloves on finger by finger, zip her jacket one zipper tooth at a time, all while humming a buzzy little idiot tune.
How hard is it to move aside? How difficult it is to not be so goddamned oblivious to the FACT that there are other people in the world (and Duane Reade) besides you and that those people just want to pay for their paper towel and Dr Pepper and soap and Sweet Tarts tofuckingday and get on with their lives and don’t have the time, patience, or desire to watch you lovingly caress your money and fondle your wallet?
Apparently, very.