The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

"Good evening, sir. You certainly do have broad, manly shoulders."

I looked up from the Star Trek Collectible Special Edition of TV Guide. ("Cover #6 of 15. Collect them all!") The supermarket checker was smiling broadly as she ran my orange juice over the scanner.

"Ah. Thanks," I said.

"My pleasure. Our deli has a wide selection of ready-cooked meals, but I've never seen a dish like you."

Normally I would be flattered, but it had been a long day and I hadn't been able to find the crackers I wanted, so I wasn't really in the mood. I was considering being flattered nonetheless when I heard a suggestive voice saying "It must be jelly, 'cause 100% fat-free Lean Choice brand fruit preserves don't shake like that."

I looked behind me. The voice had come from the checkout person in the line next to me, and he was talking to a middle-aged woman with three children who had the confused look of someone who had just been elected Prime Minister of a country she had never heard of.

"Why is everyone throwing around bad pick-up lines?" I asked.

"Company policy," replied the checkout lady. "In order to provide a more pleasant and personal grocery-shopping experience, all checkout personnel are required to flirt with the customers. Stud."

"Oh," I replied, punching in my ATM code. "Can you not do that?"

"Sorry. Company policy requires me to inform you that you can mist my produce anytime."

"Nice basket," said the bag boy.

I had had enough, but my groceries were packed, so I decided to just get the hell out. "Thanks. I can get it to the car myself."

"All right, you throbbing wad of cost-conscious virility. Look me up if you're ever in the market, Mr..." she peered at my receipt. "Suh-joe-berg."

"SHOW-berg," I corrected. "Bye!"

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