November 28, 2021


Report by MR. BISCUITS🐈

I frequent my local Dollar Tree enough to realize that shopping there requires a different approach than visiting other stores. I understand that there will never be anything on those shelves I actually need, nothing that’ll improve my quality of life and certainly nothing worth waiting in line for.

Which means whenever there’s only one open checkstand, gridlocked with a line of other shoppers impatiently waiting on an underpaid teenage clerk to give a shit about expedience, I usually decide the bag of ‘Onyums’ in my hand ain’t worth it. I do make exceptions when my local Dollar Tree chooses to stock movies, which is infrequently. Even when they do, it’s often crap I’ve never heard of, random episodes of old TV shows or made-for-TV cheapies starring Dean Cain. 

Last time, however, I caught them on a good day, finding Blu-rays of
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek Generations. And wasn’t that a copy of Black Hawk Down tucked behind a Lindsay Lohan shitfest? Hell, yeah! All four were worth the Blu-ray upgrade, especially for a grand total of four bucks. I celebrated my good fortune by grabbing the Onyums I put back last time (maybe even the same bag, since I’m pretty sure I’m the only one buying them).

The check-out line didn’t seem too bad, at least until the elderly woman in front of me - with a cache of doo-dads, knick-knacks and trinkets - started unloading her shopping cart. She must have had 30 items, but that wasn’t what brought the line to a screeching halt. What ultimately forced everyone behind her - most importantly, me - to spend more time at Dollar Tree than the Surgeon General recommends is the fact she insisted that each item be rung-up separately, along with individual receipts.

“These are Christmas gifts,” she explained to the stonefaced clerk. “I want people to be able to return or exchange them.”

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

Has anyone ever actually needed one of these?

I’m not passing judgment on the lady’s decision to do her Christmas shopping here. If I had a large family, most of my in-laws would certainly be treated to the best Dollar Tree had to offer (meaning Onyums for all). But come on...who the fuck ever takes the time & trouble to return something to a dollar store? It ain’t like taking a Saint Laurent cardigan back to Sak’s Fifth Avenue so you can afford a luxury suite at the next Super Bowl.

The lucky recipients of this lady’s Christmas spirit would literally spend more on gas driving to Dollar Tree than the trinket is worth. They’d be better off throwing it away, using it as a clay pigeon, or better yet, regifting it back to her next year (along with the same receipt).

But more importantly, she wasn’t just burdening her friends and family...she was forcing me, the other customers and the hapless clerk - undoubtedly questioning her life choices - to put all of our lives on hold. She even had the nerve to use this time as a social opportunity, striking up casual banter with the clerk, slowing her progress to a crawl. After what felt like an eternity, the manager opened another register, but everyone behind me jumped there before I could react. Crafty bastards. I figured I might as well stay put. After all, how much longer could this take? 

That rhetorical question was answered. The lady insisted on bagging everything herself, carefully inspecting each purchase before trying to Tetris them into two bags.

“I’m walking with these,” she offered matter-of-factly. “The fewer bags, the better.”

Oh, by the way, did I mention she was maskless? So not only was this woman oblivious to how her actions were affecting others, she was a COVIDidiot.

Like the clerk, I was now questioning my own life choices, wondering if the four movies and bag o’ Onyums in my hand were worth the eons this lady has so-far stolen from my life. After all, I did already have them on DVD. But dammit, I just knew Black Hawk Down would look awesome on Blu-ray.

Ultimately, my quandary was solved when the manager waved me over to his checkstand. He quickly rang-up my purchases and sent me on my way while this Wicked Old Time Thief was still bagging her shit.

Look, I get it...learning basic public etiquette takes a supreme amount of cognitive effort. I mean, who hasn’t turned the simple act of achieving the posted speed limit into a long-term project? And of course, the middle of a grocery store aisle is the perfect place to stop and yack on your phone. After all, it’s everyone else’s job to put their lives on hold for you to bask in the smell of your own farts. 

But hey, nobody needs gift receipts from Dollar Tree, especially 30 of ‘em. Your friends and family will resent you for it, as will the strangers in the store who’ll be howling for your blood.

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