From the Belle Tower | 20-inch long receipt for 2 items, just what I needed

From the Belle TowerMarch 29, 2013 

So I went to the grocery store last week and bought a bag of Easter-themed Kit Kat miniatures because, let’s face it, nothing celebrates our risen Lord quite like bite-sized chocolate crisps wrapped in limited-time pastel colors and, what else? Oh, yeah. A 6-pack of Dasani because I like my water like my men: odorless, tasteless and wearing little green caps. Or something like that.

Anyway, that’s all I bought. So why, pray tell, was the cash register receipt more than a foot long? WHY????

I know what you’re thinking: “What difference does that make?” “What an odd thing to get worked up about.” “Wonder how she sleeps at night talking so flippantly about Easter candy.” “Is Hillary going to run in 2016?”

Ok, that last one was me thinking.

But, honestly, why must every trip to the grocery store result in enough register tape to rope off a “Dexter” crime scene? Isn’t this the same store that scowls when you don’t bring your own bags? Shouldn’t some of these shiny happy faces be concerned about how many trees are murdered just so I can see my yearlong savings to date using my frequent customer card, how many points I’ve earned toward a free sub sandwich (that would be 0) and another 6 or 8 inches worth of offers for stuff that will be on sale next week, a “just for me” announcement that I can save 20 percent on prissy “artisanal” cheeses and a definition of the universe giving two examples.

Well, almost. Another inch or so was given over to a rather self-serving paragraph stating how much money, TO THE PENNY, the grocery chain has donated to public schools in the past few years. That’s nice but everybody knows that it doesn’t count to do a good deed if you’re just gonna crow about it to everybody. These people must not be Southerners.

Another inch and a half (I measured because, you guessed it, “Army Wives” was a rerun and I had time on my hands) was spent letting me know the store’s policy on returned checks and fund transfers, more gibberish about how valued I am as a customer and a rather needy entreaty to follow them on Facebook.

I shouldn’t pick on the grocery store because the same exact thing happened at the big “mart” store I went to afterward. Four items resulted in a cash register receipt measuring 20 inches long including a reminder that this store “estamos escuchando!” Which, because I had three years of high school espanish, I happen to know means: “John and Mary are in the library.” No? Well, I’m probably close.

This was followed by a reminder that the store’s return policy was printed on the reverse (in comically light, unreadable type) and, finally, a request in Spanish and English to visit the store’s website and answer a short questionnaire about my shopping experience.

No thanks. Something tells me I can’t trust their idea of “short.”

CELIA RIVENBARK is the New York Times best-selling author of seven humor collections. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

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