At the supermarket: after trying out various lines for size and finding that it's the sort of day where people ahead of you will seem to have only the little hand basket, but will have filled the hand basket with well over 2,038 individual, tiny items, no two of which appear to be the same, I settled on the express lane. This assumed that the cashier would accept a bag of eight bagels to be one item, rather than eight; I fit comfortably under the ``About 10 Items Or Fewer'' sign with a ruling of one bag of bagels as a single item, but far above it if they're counted as eight. My guess would have been that any sane cashier would treat a bag of bagels as one item, but earlier this week I learned that I can't necessarily count on that.
My earlier disillusioning about the cashiers was based on a note I found in the morning to please pick up some moist cat food as otherwise ``there will be a mutiny tomorrow morning''. The cat food had run out the previous day, and my mother substituted the cans kept around for just this sort of emergency, and the cats were not happy, although they were hungry. At the cat food section I got a couple of trays and the little plastic packets, buying a variety but making sure to get three of each flavor because, I am told, when the cats are given different flavors they shop around and trouble ensues. The cashier, though, after looking at the cat food and seeing that it was 24 packs of cat food, didn't scan it as 24 times (one packet), or even three times (one packet, broken down by flavor), but rather scanned each one individually, messing up my nice organization. So I'm not making any predictions anymore about how they count multiple purchases of the same time.
My cashier this time around counted the bagels as one item. Ahead of me, though, was a fellow who was buying one 20-ounce Coca-Cola, and nine bags of ten latex rubber globes each. Clearly, this is a person with plans for the weekend. I'm left wondering what it is that requires 90 latex gloves for which an even 100 would simply be unacceptably many.
Trivia: The number of ships passing through the Suez Canal peaked in the early 1980s at 22,000 annually. By 2002 it fell below 15,000. Source: Parting the Desert: The Creation of the Suez Canal, Zachary Karabell.
Currently Reading: And Four To Go, Rex Stout. It occurs to me that someone must have written Adrian Monk/Nero Wolfe crossover fan fiction. I don't know if I want to read such a thing, but their sidekicks would probably share a number of horror stories.