This week, a short scene, based on a real-life experience that occurred this weekend at a local retail outlet in Opelika.
(Stage Setting: Checkout line at your average big box retailer. Local news editor waits in line while lady journalist friend who sold her soul to do public relations stands while Current Cashier is checking out her items. Outgoing Cashier passes by, presumably on her way to clock out to go home for the evening.)
Outgoing Cashier (OC): Done.
Current Cashier (CC): Better go by the pharmacy while you can. Don’t you need to get your pill? OC: Girl, I’m not on the pill.
CC: You ain’t on the pill? Why not? (Aside to News Editor and Lady Journalist: “Y’all need anything
(News Editor and Lady Journalist shake heads “no” hastily).
OC: Girl, I just got done being pregnant. I’m good.
CC: Girl, I’m on the shot and still worry.
CC: Yeah, I’m going to go get that test done when I go in. You know, just to check.
OC: Huh. Well, I’m not worried. We use protections.
CC: Then why are we talking about this!? Go on, girl. Get home.
Current Cashier handles the shopping transaction for Lady Journalist’s credit card purchase.
CC: Thank you. You have a good night.
Author’s note: The dramatic recreation crafted above for you was kinder than the actual event. The
language may have been a bit much for some of our readers to handle, so we cleaned it up and cut it out. The McCollumn: Shrink-wrapped and sanitized for your protection.
We couldn’t make it out the door before we started laughing. We tried. We didn’t do it at the register, thank the good Lord.
I’m not entirely certain what possessed these two young women to discuss their preferred method of birth control a) in their workplace; b) at a cashier’s stand; c) in a public place; d) with a line of three people behind Lady Journalist and myself; e) spoken loudly enough for multiple lines to hear you.
Unfortunately for them, they were unaware not one, but two overly reflective journalists heard them and immediately began dissecting what we had seen.
We became stumped, however, almost immediately by some of life’s great questions that often come into play in situations like this one:
Who on Earth would do that? Who thinks that sort of thing is okay to do?
We have yet to answer either of those. We will keep you posted on further developments as they occur. Maybe we were raised differently, but your preferred method of family planning is not a topic for the
checkout counter, or most anywhere in public really.
One of the great things about our generation is our ability to speak our minds, to say exactly what we’re
thinking and feeling at any time.
We’ve been raised largely to believe that we have an absolute and irrevocable right to freedom of all
sorts of speech no matter where we are.
That right, however, is not as absolute as we wish it to be.
Save the conversations about that business for the break room.
And, Outgoing Cashier, Lady Journalist and I would like to be the first to congratulate you on what will
more than likely be another child in your home. Here’s cheers, dear.