It all started with a trip to Costco. We needed a few things for home and the office and since Ali, who usually does the Costco shopping, had a large wholesale order to get ready, I volunteered to go. With a full shopping cart, I got in line to pay and started unloading the items onto the belt for the cashier. Before I even got half of the stuff out of the basket, a lady moves in front of me, places a divider bar on the belt, and plops her purchases down!

"Ma'am," said I, "please take your things off the belt and wait until I finish unloading mine before you put them back on it. I'm not finished!"

She looked at me like some alien life force had thrown me in her path for no reason other than to test her patience. "How am I supposed to know when you're done?" she asked without moving anything off the belt. She turned to look at the elderly woman who must have been her shopping companion, raised her eyebrows, and waited for my answer.

It didn't require the brilliance of a rocket scientist to figure out that the woman had been shopping before. It didn't require the deductive reasoning capabilities of Sherlock Holmes to figure out that if she had been shopping before, she knew the rule about waiting for her turn to check out. Or maybe it did. . .

"Keep your eye on the cart I'm using," I responded. "When it's empty and I've pushed it to the side of the belt where the cashier is, I'm finished. When I'm finished, it's your turn." I picked up one of the items she had so rudely plunked on the belt and handed it to her. "Now, if you'll get the other things, I will finish unloading mine in less than a minute."

Insulted, she heaved a clearly audible sigh, grabbed the rest of her purchases off the belt, headed to another line, and the remainder of my day went downhill from that point.
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