The politics of shopping and waiting in line

I MADE the mistake of chatting to a woman in the checkout line in Coles the other day.

I don’t usually do it but I’m trying to regulate how much time I spend clicking away uselessly on my iPhone when I’m bored.

So instead I was tapping out imaginary messages on the trolley handle and looking around nervously like an addict searching for their next fix.


In front of me was a woman with an overflowing trolley who managed to get half of her bounty on the counter before, for some reason, she started rearranging everything.

She stopped suddenly and I felt her eyes on me so I dragged mine away from the nearby magazine rack and the latest celebrity pregnancy alert.

“Are you tapping your fingers,” she said accusingly.

“Well, no, I’m just trying to keep them away from my iPhone,” I said nervously while thinking ‘uh oh, wacko alert’.

For some reason she decided we could now be friends and out of nowhere she started discussing the recent federal Budget.

“I think it’s fantastic,” she told me as she rearranged her enormous shopping haul.

“It’s about time the government started doing something about those lower socio economic people who need to grow a backbone.”

That would be poor, disabled, young and unemployed people she’s talking about.

Well, it’s going to be pretty tough for some, I ventured, stupidly.

“Well I’m going to be self-funded when I retire. Those people need to look after themselves as well,” she returned.

“I think we will find looking back that Tony Abbott was the best prime minister in Australia’s history.”

Oh come on now, I don’t think Tony Abbott’s mum even thinks he’s going to be the best PM we ever had.

Now you are taking it too far lady.

She took one look at the incredulous expression on my face and advanced menacingly.


Holy crap.

This really happened – in Coles!

Proving that God also thought the lady was crazy, a new register miraculously opened at that moment and I made my escape.

I’m going to Aldi from now on.

Have you experienced any grocery line nightmares? Write them in the comments section below.
The Meddler

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