Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Do you feel as stupid as I do ringing the little bell at a service counter?

You know the deal: you’re in a small store and you’ve picked out which chocolate filled goo-egg you want to satiate your craving with, so you walk on over to the check out. The store is EMPTY and quieter than paint drying at a grass growing convention held at the Bell Labs acoustic testing center. There’s no one at the counter, so you take your time getting there in hopes that Mary Lou or Trevor will walk out from the store room... but no one appears. You cough lightly, or sniffle, or squeak your shoes so that SOMEONE will hear that there’s a customer waiting by the counter… but that doesn’t work. SO- You notice the little silver service bell with the hand written sign that says “RING for SERVACE" and after realizing that NO ONE’S EVER GOING TO COME OUT, you as gently as possible depress the tiny tack-like button on this little inverted Tibetan monk bowl, in the hopes that a pleasant “a-hem” like ring will emanate and inform the staff that there indeed IS someone waiting to make a purchase. You press the lever on this truly smaller than small device, and in pure ridiculing and impossibly obnoxious fashion it goes: “KA-LANG FUCKING RING DONG RING BOING BELL-PEEL FUCKING RING!!!” and both Mary Lou AND Trevor yell from the back “I’m COMING!” with the intonation that reveals that they left off the end of their sentence, which was probably something like “… YOU IMPATIENT FUCK!”

This happens to me all the time. Sheesh. Often, I’d rather go and walk around the isles and BUY MORE SHIT, in hopes of out waiting Break-Take-Fred, than stand by the counter and ring the bell of doom.

I was once in a 24 hour supermarket, and at 1:00 AM the morning the checkout conveyor had a miniature cowbell on it with a sign that said: “Ring Cowbell for Service.” Yes that’s right. A COWBELL. You were supposed to actually lift up this thing and ring it by swinging it back and forth as if you were auditioning for “third shepherd” in the stage production of Heidi- or perhaps were trying to play the pivotal scene as Ben Franklin in Town Crier II: Cry Hard.

AGAIN- as I attempted to QUIETLY ring the bell, it sounded like ALL THE COWS IN PENNSYLVANIA WERE RECREATING THE OPENING SEQUENCE FROM 28 DAYS LATER, and Chad or Brad or Trent or Kyle walked out from the back with a PISSED OFF LOOK on his face.

I thought-


I guess it would be ok, but it always seems like I’m COMPLETELY ANNOYING the person who’s hiding in the back, and come across as IMPATIENT. (Of the many horrible things that I am, impatient-in-public is not one of them.) Service boy usually gives that EXHALATION, and approaches you with the attitude of “… great…ANOTHER fucking customer.”

Is it ME?

Yes. Yes it is.

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