The Punch And Susie Show

When did your average supermarket turn into the Roman Coliseum? I half expect a lion to come up behind me toting a rib roast.

The aggression in the check-out aisle for example is really getting out of hand.

Life With The Top Down in one of her comments said, how she kindly let a man go ahead of her and rather than thanks she got a, “Well I do only have two items,” like it was his due to go before her.

It made me think how it’s become, dog-eat-dog, when you’re just buying milk.

I remember one man in particular who was outrageously rude. He was in front of me getting annoyed at the young cashier who wasn’t moving fast enough for him. I was watching his impatience, biting my tongue, because I don’t know about you, but we need to give those truly doing their best a break. As I stood there, my urge to club him with my baguette was ballooning before me.

He did everything but jump behind the counter and ring it all up himself. He was a man I’ve seen before…very rich and effeminate…Gucci shoes and a solid gold belt buckle kinda  guy. He was seventy at least, dressed in running attire that made him look like he was trying too hard. Shorts on a man that age make legs look like two sticks of gum one could break in two, an alluring thought as I watched him steal this girl’s self-confidence right from beneath her.

I couldn’t control myself any longer…Joan of Arc or Bark, as Camille likes to call me, stepped up to the plate. Just imagine Joan, rather than armor, wearing a SWAT suit.

“You know sir, with all due respect, she’s doing her best.” (here it comes)

“And what business is it of yours may I ask?” Oh boy, did I want to take his dozen eggs and crack them one by one over his hair-plugged head. Steady Susannah, he’s an old fart that could easily go into cardiac arrest.

“You know sir, rather than argue I’m going to pray for you. I think you need it.” Did he go off the rails.

“I don’t need you or anybody else to pray for me. Don’t you dare!” The cashier and I, a little Spanish girl who you know prays, started to laugh. It wasn’t nice but couldn’t be helped. You would have thought I said, I’d stab him on the way out, the way he yelled at me like a lunatic. All this because he was being momentarily detained.

“What did you say lion…there are a lot of assholes out there? You’re not kidding.”

My favorite story though is the little, old black lady who more or less challenged me to a duel. She had to be close to ninety dressed in her church clothes on a Wednesday. I remember what she wore: a Chanel type suit in a deep burgundy with the cuffs of a very crisp white blouse peeking from its sleeves. She also had on those granny shoes with the square heel buffed to inky black perfection…her pearls in place. I was behind her and all I did was put my few items in back of hers that made her go postal.

“Don’t you rush me…I’m takin my time…so don’t you rush me now.”

I of course was gracious since she looked like Rosa Parks and kindly said, “Of course I won’t…my things are just heavy.”

“That’s why they have baskets, ” she snapped, clutching her pocket-book like I was about to steal it. The cashier carefully put that strip of wood between her things and mine but that only made her madder.

“You don’t need to be doin that. I know what’s mine.” She then took out an ancient wallet counting her money like a seasoned croupier. “Don’t you be lookin over my shoulder, you hear me?” Again, grace descended upon my mouth like a divine gag order.

“You know ma’am, you really have no cause being this angry at me. I’m the last person who would rush you.”

“Then stop lookin at me then.” Whether it was done on purpose or not, she took forever. I could have gone home and back in the time it took for her to pay and write out her delivery slip. When she finally finished, she turned to me and said, “Don’t you ever rush me, I have my rights ya know.”

“Yes I know,” I said, trying not to smirk..she was so cute. When she got outside, she stopped to look at me through the window still jabbering about her rights, and how great she looked in her Sunday clothes telling me off through the glass.

How about the guy who cuts you off with his cart to get ahead of you. This was one time I lost my temper. Might have been his smell that prompted it…cigarettes and sweat with a little beer breath thrown in. “Excuse me sir, but I was here.”

“I don’t think so since I’m here now.”

“That’s because you rudely cut in front of me.”

“Tough…haven’t you ever heard if you’re not the first in New York, you’re the last?”

“Haven’t you ever heard of manners? But of course you haven’t…why? Because you’re a schmuck.” Yes I did…he pressed my ‘you are so way out of line’ button a little too hard.

“Who you calling a schmuck?”

“If the shoe fits?” Then I pulled out my trump card..what I call my, lady in distress Queen.

“Where’s the manager…excuse me…get me the manager…this man is frightening me.”

Mr Rodrigues came to my rescue ASAP and told Smelly if he caused any more trouble he”d be barred from the store.

You see, I’m really nice to Mr. Rodrigues every time I see him…ask how he is, how are his kids doing? Pays to be pleasant. This is why they give me extra pickles at the deli whenever I get a sandwich.

However,  I just wish one didn’t have to put up their dukes so often buying cleanser, salt and a lousy loaf of Levy’s Jewish rye.

funny-animal-photos-monkey-riding-dog One would think grace would be more present where daily bread was sold…one would think.


Photo: Google Images


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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21 Responses to The Punch And Susie Show

  1. micklively says:

    It’s just the same here. What alarms me is how quickly things have changed. I’m only fifty-four and it seems to me that, for most of my life, such behaviour was just not considered acceptable. Nearly everyone you met was polite and courteous only thirty years ago. What went wrong? I used to think it was a product of Thatcher’s Britain, when greed became “good”, but I can’t blame Maggy for manners in New York (much as I’d like to). How can it all have gone to rat shit in little over a generation?


    • Rat shit…now there’s a phrase Mick and an apt one. I try so hard not to take rudeness personally but fail most of the time. It only makes me politer and know I’m looked at like a kook or better yet, a people pleaser. The truth is, I treat others always the way I wish to be treated. We need to be the example Mick…so keep opening those doors and saying please and thank you. It’s our only hope 🙂


  2. Thanks for the nod! There was a sign outside of he Whole Foods Market announcing a sale on Wild Caught Halibut, which is normally around a million dollars a pound so I made my way over to the fish counter and low and behold I was alone. There were no people holding sticks with flames waiting for their fish. That’s because it was Friday and the sale was Saturday. The young guy told me I could come back the next day and I calmly said …. “A Halibut sale on a Saturday, no thanks my SWAT gear is at the cleaners” He knew exactly what I was talking about.
    I’m not sure what is going on, but it needs to stop.


    • So no halibut for you? Now that’s a shame. You’d think Wieser behind the counter might have sneaked you a few scales…a favorite fish of mine by the way. Yeah, I think manners are a thing of the past. Just now I was exiting Starbucks and the guy in front me let the door swing in my face. Nice way to start the day. And I don’t think it’s just in New York and Philadelphia. I think it’s everywhere. Soon they’ll be an inoculation for rudeness.


  3. Since moving to the south, I haven’t had to deal with many rude grocery shoppers… of course I have heard many life stories while in line… C’mon down y’all!! And yes, that is the first time I have used y’all….


  4. Patricia says:

    I don’t run into many rude people. I do live in the South where the fine art of rudeness is practiced so it is more subliminal. Either that or I am so deep in my own ditzy daydream world that I don’t notice.


  5. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Sounds like New York is occasionally living up to its reputation. I have met some awfully kind people in NY, though. I guess Oregon is pretty laid-back, I’ve never seen anything like that here. I, on the other hand, have been known to be very impatient when it seems like people are chatting too long with the cashier, or just taking FOREVER to pay for their stuff and go. I don’t say anything, and I try not to let it get to me, but I just hate grocery shopping and want to finish and leave as quickly as possible. But that’s my problem.


    • We have a thing here called Fresh Direct where you shop online and they deliver. A little pricey though but one gets to avoid the turnstile turbulence of the market. Oregon always makes me think of Field of Dreams even though that took place in Iowa. Go figure.


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