Every so often, we will have a break from the sciency posts and do posts highlighting the hilarious and odd things in our society. This will be the “What’s up with that?!” series. Enjoy!
We have all been there. Beginning of the month. Everyone is out of toilet paper and cooking oil. People have just been paid and want to stock their fridges with ham and Afia juice. The local supermarket is always jam-packed at this time. There is therefore never a worse time for people like me who don’t have heavy shopping to do. People whose daily shopping will only include a packet of fresh milk. And maybe some chapati. Queueing at this time of the month for me always feels like those guys in Subarus caught up behind the trailer lorries going to Rwanda on the Naivasha highway. Always trying to overtake using those plenteous turbos, but often to no avail.
First of all, there will always be that mama who has one of those questionable weaves we are always warned about with those Facebook posts that we have to share unless we want to die. You know, those weaves that look like they have never been washed and could use some of that Mov’t hair oil always in the telly? These mamas will always wait until all the items in the shopping trolley have been scanned for them to start fidgeting with their handbags looking for money. It always takes three to five minutes to pull out the monies from the many flora and fauna in women’s handbags. Why is it that they will never do that sort of thing as the first item is being scanned? Why do they always wait until the 20th item? What’s up with that?!0
And then there will always be the ones who come to regale us with those silly ATM cards. You always see them with huge trollies full of assorted items, some even from the hardware section of the supermarket, places that no one ever goes to. Seriously, the hardware section is always that place that has one attendant looking lonely standing amidst chainsaws and nails. It is never known for actual customers scrambling to get some, ummh, toilet plungers for instance. After everything is scanned, these customers will always pull that Equity Bank card and hand it over to the supermarket cashier. The cashier will always reach below the desk for the computer’s mouse. You will then get shocked that the supermarket computers actually have mouses (or is it mice?). You then wonder why they are always hidden under the table. Why can they never have a counter big enough to contain the mouse and whatever else is hidden down there…maybe office glue and sticky notes. Or is because when you place the computer mouse out in the open, it will one day get near someone’s bread and they will scream “Oh no! My bread has a mouse in it!” which will sound like a lawsuit?

Rare photo that made rounds on Twitter of mandazi with a mouse in it.

I digress. The cashier will press something using the mouse and another dialogue box will appear on the screen. He will swipe the card on the swipe thingy. He will then remember that he needs special authorisation before completing this type of transaction and call out for Mwangi, the supervisor. Mwangi will come over and the cashier will hand them a fingerprint scanner. He will place his thumb and try to scan three times and it will refuse each time. He will be handed a dirty cloth to wipe some milk he was just handling from his finger. He will scan the forth time and there will be success. The cashier will type the Equity card number in, all twelve digits. Argh! And then will remove a dog-earned book to jot down something about the transaction. I like to think that they usually jot down the names and addresses of these people using cards for punishment later on. Meanwhile, the guy that packs everything will be busy cutting those long bar soaps in half and separating the Omo from the nails. All this is happening at 7:30pm when everyone is tired and hungry. The clouds were dark and pregnant when you went into the supermarket. You reach your turn just in time for it to start drizzling. The barcode sticker on those chapatis you bought is acting up. The cashier removes it and scans it while stuck on his thumb for better positioning against the scanner. He scans twice as you bought two chapatis. You are one of the normal ones, so you had cash in hand, ready to pay. He quickly hands you your change of two sweets and one orbit. As you make a beeline to the exit, past the photos of those people with Eliantos between their legs taken after they were caught stealing, the rain starts hammering down. You are stranded. And its all because someone decided to hold up the line with silly cards and money lost in handbags that requires Sonko’s search and rescue team to find. Seriously guys, why do people do these things? What’s up with that?!

Share more “Whats up with that?!” stories on the comments section. We need a break from all those science posts thats for sure.