1. Supermarket express lanes are for fewer than x items. Adults who *should* be able to read and count irritate other shoppers by ignoring that limitation. This gives young people a chance to practice all of that.

  2. This was a minor joke when published, but is woefully out of place now, given that supermarket cashiers have advanced to become one of our most essential assets in the battle to keep society supplied and functional.
    P.S. I agree with Arthur that it was probably the kids playing “customer” who were supposed to learn “irritation”. In that vein, the limitation printed on the box should have read: “For ages 6 or less”.

  3. Interesting take by Arthur. I didn’t think of it as being irritated by other customers with more items than allowed. I just took it as the irritation of express checkouts in general – trying to find the bar code, a voice telling you to bag your item as you’re trying to separate the bags, etc.

  4. The version made for 6-10 year olds focuses on when it is appropriate to speak to the manager

  5. Mark M – the voice thing (“unexpected item in the bagging area” is a particular UK favourite) comes from self-checkout tills rather than the 7-items-or-not-as-many-as-that express lane.

    Kilby – maybe the box should have read: “Age: 6 or fewer”.

  6. (Mark M, you seem to be focusing on self- checkout, not so much the attended express lines,which I think were the cartoonist’s intent)

  7. Also very irritating are BOTH the phrasing with “n items or less” and the pedantic graffitists who try to turn it into “fewer”.

  8. Where I am, one must line up outside to get into almost anyplace selling food. People are pretty good about keeping their distance in line. Grocery stores and larger drug stores that have a grocery section as well (thought here is a Shoppers Drug Mart) near my home that doesn’t have lines as the volume does not seem to require it). They limit how many people are allowed inside. If one needs to use a clerk, there is usually a central line and enforced two-metre separation. The whole process of waiting to get in usually doesn’t take too long (I’ve not waited more than 10 minutes, often less). Checkout takes longer, since everyone is buying a lot of stuff if they can.

    So, my roundabout point–is this even a thing? Express checkout? Does anyone even go into the store for just a couple of items? If I go into a place selling food, I’m going to buy four loves of bread, a couple of cartons of cream (for coffee), probably some milk, and some fruit and veg. I should be good for about a month before that’s needed, though.

  9. I had the same take as Arthur.

    Kilby, I don’t see that the increased emphasis on supermarkets cashiers as essential makes this joke out of place.

  10. Yes, this to me is definitely training for the “Are you unable to read, or unable to count?” problem.

    Currently, of course, it’s “Six carts or less”.

  11. Arthur, we’ve already had a bunch of on-topic comments. It’s time to go off-topic.

  12. “Topics? We ain’t much on topics. We don’t need no topics. We don’t have to stick to no stinkin’ topics!”

  13. My opinion is Wayno has a *really* poor sense of knowing when a joke is painfully obvious and been done a million times and nearly always better.

  14. I’m one who gets irritated when people abuse the Express line. One time I was in a regular line, and the Express cashier called me over because she didn’t have anyone. I was worried that someone would come up behind me a be annoyed that I had too many items.

  15. We’ve tried express checkout here in Norway. Because we do obey the signs here, there’d be a line of 20 people at the single “12 items or less” register while multiple regular registers were idle. So we don’t have express lanes any more.
    PS: Norway’s high compliance rate is coming in handy during these coronavirus times.

  16. Yes, SingaporeBill, people are still buying fewer than a dozen items in grocery stores.

    However stores may or may not have an operable Express Lane depending upon staffing or other considerations.

  17. We were last out of the house – other than to the mailbox at our front door (me) or to start our vehicles/RV generator (Robert) – March 26 when we bought food. People seemed to have no idea of staying 6 ft part – many even bumped into us. At that point there was not yet a wait line to go into stores to keep the number of people down, requirement to wear face mask, etc.

    Still working off what we bought then and in 2 trips to supermarkets before. Robert was concerned that we should buy food for 2 weeks – I figure, especially since only eating 1/2- 2/3 of normal meals – we have about a month’s worth or more still in the house.

    We are lucky that there are few people who have been ill at mom’s assisted living residence. They were taking everyone’s temperature at each meal in the dining room, cut off visitors coming in rather early in the disease’s progression, and when one resident (who had been in her room for 10 days) took ill with the virus, they had all residents stay in their apartments – meals and meds are brought to them. Since then they have had about another 5 people become ill. For a period everyone who was testing ok (by temperature) including mom who has not any raised temperature at all, were allowed out of their apartments to walk around a bit – she headed to the coffee house room for pastries. Since the latest 2 cases they are back on” stay in your apartment” for all.

  18. The supermarket I use most has rearranged things for the new social distancing. There are only two lines now, one for the self-check and the other for any human registers. The latter has a new barrier where you used go into the check lanes that you have to stay on the outside of in line. Then next person in line gets called to the first available one.

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