I was in an accident yesterday. I can't say it was a fender-bender, because there were no fenders. It happened on Checkout Number 5 of The Devil's Playground.
There I was, operating my cart according to the rules of the mart, when a wizened little man in front of me on a beeper back-up cart started beeping. He had just put his items on the conveyor. Two cans of spray paint. Black. I didn't peg him as a huffer. I hear they prefer the metallic paints, gold and silver. And Backy didn't have that telltale splatter ring around his lips.
The woman in front of him was still filling her regular cart with her purchases. She had been conversing with him earlier. I sensed some kind of connection. He was apparently paying for the paint on his own. But that was pure conjecture, because Backy threw that differently-abled-rod in reverse quicker than you could say, "Hey, I'm back here, Backy!"
With nary a glance o'er his shoulder, Backy gunned it. I tried to move out of his way as fast as I could. Backwards. Because I learned from John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit that it's best to always go backwards when you're backing. But I could not prevent the collision of Backy's seat-back with the front end of my cart. Which resulted in the push bar jamming into my ample gut. I may or may not have emitted an "Oof!" upon contact.
Backy apologized. "Oh, sorry. There's no rearview mirror on these things!" He wheeled out of line and sped back into the merchandise. I was bumfuddled. What to do? Wait for him to come back? Unload my cart onto the conveyor? Backy's cans sat lonely and unattended on the motorized mat.
I asked The Devil's Handmaiden, "Should I wait? Or set out my groceries?"
"Well...that's a good question. He left his stuff."
The woman just leaving turned around. She knew Backy was gone, because it was she who told him the location of some item he said he forgot. She paid for the cans of paint, and took them with her. I threw my stuff on the counter. I did not want to be there when Backy returned. To look at me accusingly. From the level of my navel.
It's all fun and games until somebody loses a pinky toe. And if it's MY pinky toe, there'll be The Devil to pay. Because I will push the issue of mirrors sadly missing from the sit-down beeper carts.