Checking Out

These self-checkout machines they have in stores suit me.

If I am buying ice cream for the third day in a row, they do not judge me. They accept my scanned products, and talk to me in a soothing voice, asking if I have a phone number I’d like to enter, how many bags am I buying, or if I am ready to pay for my purchases. It’s purely transactional, but am I there for a party? No, I am not!

I’m in a building the size of twenty houses, wandering aisles stacked ten feet high with a blurring array of goods, and if there are any other people similarly wandering I don’t know them and they don’t know me and we are alone together in this warehouse paradise. When I’m ready to get my stuff and get out I probably don’t want to make conversation with the cashier, and odds are the cashier feels the same way about me.

The machine takes care of business without asking about my plans for the weekend. I have no plans for the weekend, except for this carton of ice cream.

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