I wanted to run into the Supermarket, grab some fresh fruit and get out as quickly as possible. I was concerned about the virulent variants of Covid. There was the Brazilian strain, the British Strain, the South African Strain and the latest reports said there was a deadly Indian Strain. I had decided to only go out when necessary and to always wear a mask and gloves.
I could have ordered my grocery order online and had it delivered, but I thought if I went early enough I would avoid big crowds and could move unimpeded. I figured from my house to the Supermarket and home again would only take a half-hour.
My plan was off to a stellar start. I arrived, got into the store, grabbed some bananas, strawberries, blueberries, red grapes, and a Watermelon. As anticipated there weren’t a lot of people around. I moved over to an aisle with spreads and bought a couple of bottles of Pear and Peach jam. Next was a flat of eggs, a litre of two-percent milk, some yogurt, and finally five cans of dog food. Last but not least I threw a carton of freshly squeezed orange juice and a bottle of apple juice not from concentrate into the cart.
I was very pleased with how I could have qualified to go on an episode of Beat The Clock, I was on schedule. There was an area to line up to cash out. There were signs reading ‘’You will be directed to the cashier who is open, please wait to be called. Please allow six feet between you and other shoppers while waiting in line. Let’s all be safe and not sorry.’’
I noticed four people already in line, so I stood as the fifth person and gave the person in front of me plenty of space. I was minding my own business and I was lost in thought thinking about things I wanted to accomplish that morning when I felt a cart hit me in the back and bum. I turned around and I was appalled. There was a woman in her thirties pushing her cart inches from me wearing no mask.
I looked over and politely said ‘’Could you please back up your cart, this isn’t six feet and it’s making me very uncomfortable.’’ I didn’t think it was an unreasonable request. Her response was something from the Twilight Zone. ‘’Oh you’re one of those people. I feel sorry for you.’’ I didn’t want to have any kind of confrontation, I just wanted to pay for my groceries and leave. I was already agitated that she wasn’t wearing a mask.
Two seconds later it became apparent this woman was itching for a fight. I heard her say ‘’Hey, guy in front of me. I want to talk to you. I’d like to know why people like you drink the koolaid.’’ I ignored her and watched as the person at the front of the line was directed to cashier number seven.
‘’Hey dude who thought I was too close with my shopping cart, do you really believe all the bullshit about Covid.’’ Again I ignored this maskless twit. I kept thinking you don’t argue with someone brain dead. The next thing I knew she had taken it too far. She was standing less than a foot from my face.
‘’I bet it bothers you that I’m not wearing a mask. You know people in this store have no balls. They talk a big game but nobody enforces the mask in store law, you know why, cause it’s all bullshit. People like you are victims of brainwashing. You think you need a mask and gloves to survive the so-called pandemic, well I can tell you, you don’t. You are being manipulated. You are a fool. You should take your mask off right now. The next person in line was called to Cashier three, I was two away from being called. I was really trying to keep my cool.’’
The crazy women wouldn’t stop. ‘’You know this is all a way to control the public. Everybody has to fall in line or they’ll be in trouble. I believe the whole Covid thing is a big fake, it’s all about controlling people like you. You probably will go for a vaccination like a sheep goes to slaughter.’’
I studied the woman for a second and couldn’t understand it. She seemed attractive on the outside, how could she be so deluded and ugly on the inside. ‘’Lady, please step back six feet. You’re in my space and you’re not wearing a mask, it doesn’t make me feel very comfortable.’’ She laughed. ‘’I’m not going anywhere, we aren’t finished our conversation. I need people like you to listen to me.’’
That was it, I raised my voice against my better judgment. ‘’Please step the fuck away and give me space. I don’t want to hear your conspiracy theories. You probably think the earth is flat and the moon landing fake. I am sorry that people like you are wrecking society. You think you know something, well lady my Sister was in the intensive care unit with Covid for eighteen days. She was on a respirator and a feeding tube. It is a miracle she’s here today. Michael Del Persio died from Covid when he went for Physical Therapy for his knee and caught the virus. I have heard of you ignorant Facebook Doctors, but up until this morning, I have never met anybody like you. You come over to me without a mask trying to lecture me. Fuck You. I don’t want to hear your nonsense. You should be ashamed of yourself. You might be spreading the virus right now. What the Fuck. I come early to avoid contact with people in general but you feel it's necessary to get in my face and try to sell your nonsense. You are a Fucking nut case. Go to the hospitals and volunteer to greet Covid patients without your mask on and see how that works out for you. Now please leave me alone, step six feet back and Fuck off.’’
The woman didn’t move, I saw a store employee heading towards us. Maybe she heard me shouting. The maskless woman didn’t budge. The woman in the first spot in the line went to Cashier number one. There was now only one shopper in front of me. Escaping this psycho woman couldn’t come fast enough.
The woman started up again. ‘’You think you’re so smart wearing your mask. You don’t know anything. Have you ever heard of herd immunity? I am trying to save your life and you are treating me like an imbecile. I happen to know that Covid is not as dangerous as getting the flu.’’ I wanted to yell and I think I did. ‘’What is your fucking problem. I told you I am not interested in listening to your stupid and not science-based arguments. I asked you to get away from me. You’ve been in direct contact for way too long. You are a FUCKING Head case, leave me alone. I didn’t invite you to share your wacked out theories. Go home, lock yourself in the bathroom and talk to your mirror cause normal people are not interested in one word you’ve been saying.’’
The store employee finally made it over to where the woman was standing. ‘’Uh, you need to put your mask on, or you’re going to have to leave the store now.’’ The idiot who had been bothering me turned her venom on to the store employee. ‘’Right, mind your own fucking gawd damn business. I am a citizen of this country and I have every right not to wear a mask if I don’t want to. I am going to buy these groceries and there’s nothing you can do about it, so Fuck You and this store.’’
The woman who was in front of me in line turned back from going to the check-out line and stepped towards the store employee. ‘This psycho has been harassing this poor man for the last ten minutes because he is wearing his mask and following safety protocols. I hope she hasn’t infected us all with the virus. I would appreciate it if you would call the Police, I would like to lay charges against her.’’
The woman who had been bugging me all of a sudden heard another voice from the young girl who had been behind her in line. ‘’I will press charges also. That woman was treating this gentleman with no respect. He kept asking her to step away and she refused. She was spouting so much nonsense it was making me sick. Please ban her from your store. I was finally called to check out line number ten and I glared at the woman who had been bothering me. I tried to calmly talk to the store employee. ‘’This woman has been assaulting my brain with her idiotic arguments. I wanted nothing to do with her, but she insisted on standing a foot away from my face. She wouldn’t give me space. Please call the Police, I will also file charges.’’
For the first time since I had been in line, the woman without the mask didn’t say anything. She simply shook her head ‘’You’re all a bunch of idiots. You are losers. I tried to warn you.’’ She then left her cart of groceries and walked away. The store employee followed her and ran over to the Customer Service desk. Two people ran from behind the desk and there were now three people trying to get the woman to stop as she headed for the exit.
I went to pay for my groceries and I told the check-out person everything that had happened. She looked at me and shook her head. ‘’Unfortunately, we see stuff like that every day. We have people who wear their masks on their necks, some who won’t put them on over their noses, it’s just ridiculous they are putting us all at risk.
I paid forty six dollars and headed to my car. I got outside and was watching as the three store employees were writing down the license plate of the woman without the mask as she was driving away. I kept wondering if it would do them any good.
I put everything in the trunk went home, rinsed the groceries off, and jumped into the shower. I prayed that the Maroon in line hadn’t given me the Covid virus. As I was being hit by a stream of hot water, I kept thinking only one thought. I was going to shop using an online grocery service. By not physically going to the supermarket, there was zero risk that I would have to stand in the checkout line with an idiot.
I kept on thinking in twenty twenty-one with all the technology and resources at a person’s fingertips how could a person be so completely clueless. How could they be so ignorant? It was something that I would never be able to get my head around.
That night I said a special prayer for store employees, I never realized how many ignoramuses they had to deal with in a day. After what I personally experienced at the Supermarket, I had a new found respect for store employees. They deserve kudos and credit for showing up every day. There is no question in my mind, we really are living in crazy times.