auto mate me

mes amis,

qu’est ce que on peut dire? beau coup des choses, bien sur! mais au jour’dui, i will just say a few things.

in line with my recent missive on foam soap, you may be nonplussed to learn i have some thoughts on ‘automatic’ or ‘self’ checkout machines… found most often these days at CVSes in nyc and grocery stores in le beantown.


(this image comes from the website of the delightfully cantankerous lord belmont of belfast. cherrio old chap… and merci pour l’image!)

anyhoo, what is there to say, really about automatic checkouts? auto mate me? oh how i long for a mate quando faccio la spesa! a checkout person to chit chat with, perhaps make a joke or two with, or share a commonplace philosophy or perhaps even a commiseration.


kippy: lordy, i am no longer a teenager. i played soccer the other night and my hamstrings are tighter than my jeggings.
checkoutperson: ooh i hate having a tight hamstring!


checkoutperson: what did the duck say to the wheat thin?
kippy: wait a minute, i’ve heard that one before!

or even:

kippy: glorious weather isn’t it?
checkoutperson: why yes, it’s absolutely splendid. (finishing a tally) that’ll be $8.93.
kippy: mmm hm. ooh i can pay with cash. (fumbling with a dossier and wallet)
checkoutperson: how old fashioned!
kippy: i know! born in the wrong century, i was.
checkoutperson: sigh. oh don’t forget your peanut m&ms.
kippy: i certainly will not. (crunch) merci, mon ami. a bientot!

but no. with the automatic self checkout, there are no longer such exchanges. (even if there never were any…)

these machines are bonkers indeed! sure, there is a fun novelty in “doing it yourself” for the first time but in my experience, the self checkout most often includes the feeling of lonesomeness and alienation. meanwhile an attendant peers over your neck saying, “yes that’s right!” or “good job” or  “now wait a minute, did you hit that button already?” as they juggle between you and an octogenarian.

everyone ends up feeling foolish. ooh and i blush like the dickens! then i feel the need to overly thank l’attendent instead of hopping along on my merry way. i realize stores believe they are saving money with these self checkouts but ooh how they are loosing in luxury! in comfort! and in sensible human contact!

such small scale woe.

nevertheless, i was pleased as punch the other day when i bought some shampoo at a cvs for 53 cents. now that’s what i call a bargain of christmas tree shop proportions!

btw, with fashion week buzzing about in the greater gotham area, i have returned to an age old quandry. why is it that jeans and heels are a high/low mix of sex kitten appeal while  skirts and sneaks just make for frumpy? unless you have twig thighs the latter is impossible.

yours in the jeans + heels pairing,

ps and per fashion week read this.


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