Whenever I do get myself into a grocery, I almost always reward myself with a magazine at the end - it makes the whole ordeal bearable. On this particular night a few months ago, I was waiting in line and flipping through Cosmo, the gold-standard of trashy newsstand literature. When I was the next person in line, I said a quick "hey" and kept reading while the kid behind the counter scanned and bagged the few items I had chosen. I casually tossed the magazine onto the conveyor and began pawing through my bag; as I began pulling my debit card out of my wallet I realized that the teenage boy had picked up the magazine and was holding it, reading the cover.
Anyone who can read has probably had their attention grabbed by the overtly sexual cover story/headlines/cover art of Cosmo, and I immediately thought, oh great, homeboy-checker is staring at the barely clothed actress on the front page, isn't he supposed to be wrapping this transaction up so that I can get out of here? This, gentle reader, is where things got sketchy REAL QUICK. The following conversation has been re-created as best as memory serves me:
Checkout Teen: "So, you uh... like magazines?"
Me: "Um sure, sometimes I guess."
Based on that small interaction, you would assume that the kid was just being friendly, and that we would soon part ways. Wrong! The overall tone of that short exchange was such that I immediately realized not only was the youth dragging our commerce along at a leisurely pace, but he was actually trying to chat me up! I swear on all that is holy that I never assume myself to be the recipient of flirtatious advances (much less from teens) and so the fact that I got that vibe is proof positive that Romeo was coming on STRONG. Imagine my horror as our communication advanced, my eyes catching the cover of the magazine as he continued:
CT: "Wow (gesturing to a headline along the lines of "the sexiest rules for sexy sex") yikes."
Me: *blink blink*
CT: "It's kind of sad, that like, people need tips on how to do stuff. Like, you know?"
Me: *blink blink* "Well, I uh, guess everyone stands in need of improvement in something,"
Internal Monologue: SWEET MARY - STOP TALKING. DON'T INSTIGATE THIS. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP RIGHT NOW.
CT: "Yeah, like, I mean, I don't think it's like, that complicated..."
ME: "Ha ha ha... yeeeeah....."
Internal Monologue: Surely this conversation is illegal! He is a minor! For the love, something please make him stop saying words!!
CT: "Anyway, I guess some people must need help or whatever..."
Me: "Yep. Guess so."
Internal Monologue: I should have gone to self checkout. I think my mind just imploded.
At this point, I had been swiping my card and haphazardly jabbing at any/all buttons on the keypad, in hopes that if I didn't manage to enter my pin, maybe I would manage to at least overload the machine and attention would shift to the now-in-flames plastic box in front of us.
By the grace of something, I successfully paid for my purchase and snatched the receipt from the juvenile Casanova while speedily making my way to the exit door; I practically sprinted to my car, half watching over my shoulder for the "To Catch a Predator" filmcrew to screech up behind me in an obscured-windowed van.
And THAT is the reason I generally avoid the American Fork Fresh Marketplace - you just can't be too careful these days.