I call shenanigans on The Devil!
Yesterday I bought a pack of fried chicken from the deli. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom does not live by gas station chicken alone, you know! In fact, The Devil's Playground has their 8-piece deli chicken for a dollar LESS than the gas station chicken store. Farmer H prefers The Devil's chicken, while I like the gas station variety. Birds of a feather, I guess. Which infers that Farmer H is a devil, and I am full of hot air.
I fiddled around that hot case for nigh on five minutes. Were the packages in the front OLDER than the ones in the back? Probably. I had to look at both. I couldn't see the time written on them without my glasses. My cheeks were ruddy from the heat by the time I made my selection. I didn't want pieces that the crispy had fallen off of, you know. The pack that appealed to me most did not have one of those wrap-around labels that sticks to the plastic bag. I have learned my lesson about entering the checkout line without a label. So I took my second choice.
Well! Once home, picking out pieces to put on a non-stick-foil-lined pan to warm them, I discovered that I had bought a MUTANT chicken! Oh, it had triple-D breastesses all right. But my chicken had THREE LEGS! I don't like the legs. I prefer thighs. And I saw nary a one! There was a strange appendage that looked like a leg with a backbone attached. Since it seemed like dark meat, I put it next to my breast. Upon eating, I still could not declare with certainty which part of a chicken that was. Farmer H was unconcerned, as he had three legs and a breast. Not exactly every man's dream, as voiced by the clientele of the gas station chicken store a while back when I ordered two breasts and two thighs.
Today I decided I wanted more chicken. I was cheated, you know. So I headed back to make a deal with The Devil. Again I perused the hot case. A woman waiting on her deli order actually stepped aside. "Oh, am I in your way?" There is no truth to those thought bubbles over your head declaring that I must have grunted and elbowed her in the hip.
Sometimes, the Universe smites you royally for your folly. How dare I think that I deserved chicken two days in a row! After being so good with the Christmas dinner goodies and leftovers! Nope. No reward for Mrs. HM. There were TWO checkout lanes open. This is a Devil's SUPERPLAYGROUND, my friends. Two is not enough. I was SEVENTH in line!!!
I picked that one because there was not the man on a beeper cart pulling his grocery cart. And because the Devil's Handmaiden is one I've had on numerous occasions, who acts gruff but is really nice and efficient and a logical bagger. Even though the old lady ahead of me was holding a pen. The thought crossed my mind that she might write a check, but then I looked in her cart and saw various baking supplies and metal loaf pans, and figured it was only to scratch items off her shopping list.
So there I was, with my cart holding an eight-piece chicken from the deli, and a pint of slaw. That's it. Don't point out that The Devil has self-checkout lanes for people like me! NO HE DOESN'T! Sure, I passed no fewer than FOUR open self-checkouts on my way to that line. FOUR open self-checkouts with FOUR attendants standing by. They were all empty. Ain't nobody wanna scan their own purchases at a superplayground! So let's just stop paying these attendants to twiddle their thumbs, and put them on a regular checkout so the customer is not always SEVENTH IN LINE.
While waiting my turn, TWO separate customers, first a man, then a woman, RAMMED MY CART with theirs. Seriously, people. I was sideways to allow room. You only had to pass between me and a rack of women's shirts. And you want me to believe that I was the softer choice to run into?
The people at the register were having Old Home Week with the Devil's Handmaiden. Asking her all kinds of stuff about working for The Devil. Why this, and why that. They should wake up and realize that there IS NO EXPLANATION for The Devil. The Handmaiden was polite, and answered them, though she didn't crack a smile. She never smiles. The next customer had a problem with her card. The chip. It's the bane of my existence. The cards never work there. Don't even get me started on the people in front of me a couple weeks ago. I may launch into THAT tirade at a later date. Anyhoo, this gal had to figure out another way to pay. Several cards later, she moved on.
Luckily the next three cartloads processed uneventfully. By now I had a line of people behind me. Who WOULDN'T choose me? I only had two items in my cart! The Devil's personal assistant called ONE EMPLOYEE up front to check. I couldn't even see where. There are a lot of checkouts at The Devil's Playground, you know. Just not OPEN ones.
This Handmaiden always puts the black rubber bar thing on the conveyor so you can have your things ready. And the old lady in front of me did. I passed the time looking at impulse purchases. I'd already read about how Angelina Jolie has an eating disorder and is near death. And how that Blake Shelton guy is having a baby. And the sad last days of Barbara Walters and some dude I can't remember. So I grabbed an Aloha Coconut Chapstick. Because my lips were dry, and yesterday I bought the Key Lime Pie version. And the Pumpkin Pie and Sugar Cookie didn't tempt me as much. I also threw in a bag of Lifesavers Wint O Green mints. I'm sure people behind me were heavily sighing. I had just doubled my items!
THEN it happened. As my chicken and slaw and mints and Chapstick chugged along to the scanner, the old lady in front of me finished putting her bags in her cart and OPENED UP HER CHECKBOOK.
SWEET GUMMI MARY! She'd had five customers worth of time to have everything filled out except the amount. But no. She started with the date. You know the machine will fill out the whole check for you, right? I'm sure this old lady knew it, too. But she was not going to be rushed.
As if that wasn't enough, A NEW HANDMAIDEN SHOWED UP! To take the place of the efficient one, who was going on break.
Speaking of breaks...I just can't catch one in The Devil's Playground.