Well, well, well, take a look at who has an unexpected item in their bagging area. Did you really think that shaving cream was going to scan without protest? And look who has to come crawling back to me. You thought you didn’t need any help, but who’s laughing now?

I see shoppers like you every day. You skirt right past my line. Perhaps you thought the bright light illuminating my sign, “line 10,” was more akin to a lighthouse than a beacon? There is no danger here! Only the sweet caress of my gentle hands on your groceries, ensuring you have a pleasant shopping experience. And yet you scorn me! You approach the self-checkout, full of verve, thinking you can do it all alone.

The nerve! The audacity! A self-checkout is no lackadaisical process; it is not for the faint of heart. And as hearts go, yours seems like it wouldn’t make it a mere step down the produce aisle, much less the self-checkout!

Every shopper has directed their impatient gaze to you, anxiously waiting their own hubristic turn at the self-checkout, and you stand helpless! If only this could have been avoided! If only a humble employee had graciously opened their lane to you! Oh wait, someone did? And you spurred their generosity? And now you’ve become the grocery fool? The jester of foodstuffs? The clown of comestibles?

Your register beeps and squawks and you are lessened to a misplaced pint of ice cream, helplessly melting amongst the paper products of aisle twelve. Well have no worries, I am a forgiving soul. Here I come! Here I come to rescue you! To return you to the gentle embrace of the freezer!

See how I manipulate the register with dextrous ease? This is no paltry task. And you thought you could do such a thing! So answer me this, before I bid you farewell: Is there anything else I can help you with?

No?! What hubris lies within your heart! Fine! I shall retreat to my line, which lays EMPTY, and await your next peril.

I will never understand why you people scorn me so. Was I not welcoming? Was my selection of gum too sloppily aligned? Was the arrangement of my magazines all so displeasing? I can change. I can reorder things. I could place Time front and center, to let you know I’m erudite. Or I could sex things up a bit. The cover of Men’s Health is particularly steamy this month. And oh no! I seem to have misplaced my sheer magazine censor! Feast your eyes on these nipples so brazenly displayed. Is that not enough? I’ll sneak in a Playgirl. I’ll do that for you.

Oh my, would you look at that, your card isn’t scanning? How very unfortunate that yet another problem rears its ugly head. It’s almost as if you aren’t up to the task of a self-checkout. If only you had simply fallen into the tender embrace of a loving employee who could have guided you through this treacherous process. Yet you refuse, and how now will you pay for your groceries? I suppose I could come assist you again, but what a scene that will cause! Are you prepared? Have you properly seasoned your crow in preparation for the impending feast? Are you ready for the oozing sensation of so much egg cascading down your face?

It’s okay. I forgive you. Your card is scanned and your groceries are bagged. Twice you have scorned me, but like Jesus before me, I offer you a third chance. What will it be Peter!? Shall I surfer another denial? I will extend the olive branch, you need only accept it.

Would you like help out to your car today?

Oh you utter fool! You buffoon! Again you refuse me! You even left behind your cart! I shall watch without a hint of pity as you crumble beneath the weight of your plastic bags laden with hubris. And I shall smile as you fall.