Late in the evening at the downtown Metro (24-hour grocery store), one expects to find all kinds of crazies hanging about. Given the store is conveniently located directly between three homeless shelters, one always expects the clientele to be a bit sketchy. Yes, it's mostly just young people in search of munchies after an evening of drinking, but you do get the odd oddball.

We stopped in on Wednesday evening – to pick up a couple of items we had missed on our Tuesday night grocery run – and ran smack into a seriously queer duck. It still makes me laugh to think about it. Here's how it played out.

When we arrived at the front, the cashier was pleasantly ringing through about 10 items already on the conveyor belt, and there was one other customer waiting in line: the Queer Duck (let's call him QD for short). QD had about 3 items. Some meat and a couple of limes. Not important. What's important is that he was standing back a little bit from the conveyor holding his items in his hands. Made it awkward for me. I wanted to unload my heavy basket. Move up, dude!

By this time, the cashier was nearly finished – the conveyor belt was clear – and QD still hadn't moved forward. The conveyor belt was running, because there was nothing in front of the sensor, so I started to move forward. I grabbed a plastic divider, placed it down near the back of the belt and started emptying my basket onto the conveyor belt – figuring QD would step up and place his items in front of the divider. Nope.

He moved forward only after the customer in front of him had completely moved out of the way. By this time, because the conveyor belt was running, my plastic divider had hit the front of the queue, and QD finally decided he needed to put his groceries down so the cashier could ring him through. So he placed his stuff down (pretty much on the scanner) and then proceeded to try to push my groceries back – as if it was just too much to have the stuff touching!

But – and this is the part that makes me laugh every time – when he pushed my stuff back, the belt started moving again. Nothing in front of the sensor, right? And before he could move to plop his stuff on the belt, mine had moved back to the front of the line! Hee hee! Schmuck.

The cashier grabbed his stuff and rang him through, but he just seemed so despondent about the whole situation. I figured he had OCD, but Junkii didn't think so, and I generally defer to him on matters of mental health. So I guess that means he's just socially inept and I can make fun of him without feeling guilty.


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