part of series on cashiers that started w/ the post “good intentions”!!!!::::
The other day, I bought a muffin. Just a snack. To be honest, I’m slightly embarrassed about it. It’s such an extravagance, to buy a muffin. It was only 1.95, but what possible use do I have for it– besides, of course, to keep my blood sugar up. Sometimes it’s hard to pace your biology. But to really be honest, I only bought the muffin so I could shoplift a yogurt and a bottled smoothie. Those are useful, more useful than a muffin, although they certainly are still extravagant– Unless they’re free. So I’m not sure where that leaves me, with regard to embarrassment. On the one hand, I’m no longer loose with my money, buying things like muffins when some people have trouble buying more biologically necessary foods; but on the other hand, I shoplift, and it’s always a crapshoot how people will feel about shoplifting. Both yogurt and smoothies are perishable, so that amounts to roughly zero seconds for Au Bon Pain shareholders, but the retail value, for the yogurt, and the smoothie, combined, was like seven dollars, so that’s like a half-hour for me. But people don’t always think about shoplifting in such utilitarian terms. It’s a strangely emotional subject. The only reason I bring this up at all, is that I thought of a pretty funny joke I could say to the cashier. The muffin cost 1.95, so I thought it might be funny, if I gave her 2.05, and I asked, “Hey, I can just give you 2.05 and you can just give me a dime in change, if that’s easier.”
To be completely honest, it wouldn’t entirely be a joke. I really do prefer a dime to two nickels. The marginal convenience makes the difference between “will get used” and “will sit in a pocket or on a desk until eventually it gets lost.” But it’s funny, I think, to care about such a slight difference in convenience, and I also think it’s funny to pretend to make a suggestion for someone else’s sake, when clearly you’re just asking a favor. So, in these aspects, it would still be a joke. I took out the two dollars, and I took the extra nickel into my hand, and I chuckled a little bit, but then I put the nickel back and just took the extra nickel as change. I just already felt embarrassed because I was shoplifting, and if it wasn’t apparent that I was shoplifting, I was still just buying a muffin from Au Bon Pain, and it’s hard to tell jokes well when you’re embarrassed.