Flattened in Aisle 4

This week, I got to experience being roadkill once again. Specifically, Target roadkill.

Going through the checkout line lately, I’ve gotten the distinct sense that the cashiers have just had it with parents of little kids, specifically little boys who howl and carry on if one pries an open container of Goldfish out of their sticky, grimy little hands just long enough to let a clerk scan it.

Fair enough. I see their point.

But why are we getting looks from other customers, too? I mean, come on. If you don’t have young kids yourself, what the hell are you even doing at a Target? The clothes there are not actually wearable. That’s just something new moms tell themselves so they can come to terms with only having time to buy anything for themselves at the same place where they get teething biscuits and butt thermometers.

It’s only parents who need the store’s massive cartons of diapers, baby wipes, and hand wipes — pretty much every paper product created to absorb all manner of foul dampness that comes with a human of less than 50 pounds.

Anyway, I guess the Target people must have discussed this new policy — that is, shaming you away from the store by ignoring your inability to load your cart with lightning speed — because they have decided they are just not gonna help you at all. At all. And by that I mean, they are not putting a thing in that cart for you. Nothing. You’re on your own, baby, even if you’re actually juggling two or more, well, babies.

The cashier will stand there and watch you drop it all. Sure, the employees will put a nice little handle on your massive package of paper towels, but they’re dumping it at the end of that register counter, so you better hustle, and get your two loads of paper towels, 36 rolls of toilet paper, 178 diapers, and 428 wipes in there — before the college student behind you in line buying a container of shower gel and a douche barrels over you and your screeching banshee-kids.

Meanwhile, the clerk will keep scanning everything new on that belt, rapidly, even if you’re still struggling to reload your cart as fifteen customers have passed you by while your children wander around putting AAAs in their mouths and you nearly lose the $150 worth of stuff you just paid for.

And that’s it. You’re Target roadkill. Again. Repeat as needed, generally every two weeks. –Jillian O’Connor

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