A couple weeks ago, in the context of conversation in which such a confession was appropriate, I mentioned to my pal Nicci that I’d never had a Red Bull energy drink. She was kind of surprised…but that’s not really the point of this story. I’m just leading with it because it adds to the bizarre-ness of Sunday’s mystery.
Dr. Darling and I were doing our usual weekly grocery shop in our usual poorly-laid-out grocery store. (Seriously, I’ve been shopping there for four years and I *still* have problems finding stuff.)
As is typical, we were working from the grocery list in my iPhone and each carrying a shopping basket, and because of the aforementioned lay-out issue, we often split up while gathering some of items. This gives each of us ample opportunity to grab something that’s not on the list and without the knowledge of the other. (For the Swede, it’s usually some kind of disgusting salty licorice. For me, a pint of Haagen Dazs Pralines & Cream.)
We split up once again in the check-out line, with one of us unloading the baskets for the cashier (in this specific instance, me) and the other bagging the groceries at the bottom of the conveyor belt…because there are no pimply teenagers employed as grocery baggers in Sweden even though I’ve seen plenty of Swedish teens who could use the discipline of a part-time job.
When I finished paying the bill, I joined Dr. Darling in bagging up our multiple purchases, at which point she held up a small blue and silver can and said, “I take it you want to try a Red Bull?”
“I didn’t buy that. Isn’t it yours?”
“It’s not mine. Tried it at work once, it makes me too speedy.” (The Swede is a bit of a light-weight when it comes to chemical substances.)
“Maybe it belongs to the person who checked out it front us?” (It’s not unusual for shoppers to accidently leave an item behind. After all, most are not professional grocery baggers…see above.)
We then checked our receipt, and were kind of shocked to find we had actually paid for it.
Now if neither one of us picked it up in the store, and neither one of us recalls seeing it in either of our two shopping baskets (including when I was unloading them for the cashier), how the hell did it end up on our grocery bill?
In the end we decided to keep the lone can of Red Bull, partly because I’m kind of curious to try it, and partly because we figured the cashier would think we were nuts if we challenged its presence on our receipt.
Especially since the one plausible explanation that we can come up with is that the cashier was in on it!