You know those automated checkouts at grocery stores? Well, my mom and I had a giggle fest at one this afternoon.
Okay, so there’s a lady’s voice that says everything out loud for you at the self-checkout, right? Usually, she is somewhat bland and middle-of-the-road with her interest in your shopping spoils. “Please, enter your alternate ID on the keypad now,” she says with command and a certain ‘Hurry up, you idiot,’ edge to her voice.
This is how she usually talks. Her sentences are prerecorded as sentences. They are all somewhat monotonous and easily ignored. We still mute the sound whenever we use the self-checkout, nonetheless, because we don’t want to listen to the noise, since it isn’t pleasurable in and of itself.
Today, we discovered that, when she did the recordings for the individual names of the fruits and vegetables, she did them in a somewhat happy mood. Instead of plain old, regular “Bananas,” you have, “Bananas!” And we discovered this by overhearing someone else’s station, of course.
Our station is silent. My mom and I are scanning and placing the juices in our homemade bag without much conversation. In between the few comments we have been exchanging, slightly annoyed with one another, we suddenly here the self-checkout lady’s voice come from the checkout station next to us. An older man, grandpa style, is scanning his shopping selections. We hear the regular monotony of the lady’s voice at first, but then, mid-sentence, we are surprised with her joy before she finishes in the original monotony.
“Please, weight your… Bananas!… now.”
We catch one another’s eye and practically convulse with silent snorts of suppressed laughter. We aren’t at all sure why we find it so hilarious. We remain silent, and continue our checkout routine.
The cashier lady voice continues a few moments later, “Please place your… Bananas!… in the bagging area.”
We bite our lips, finish checking out, and walk out the door. By the time we are in the parking lot, we are almost falling down with deep, full laughter. Getting into the car, I attempt to repeat the voice’s phrases, and fall apart at “Bananas!” both times. “The fact that it was an old man…,” I manage to say, shaking my head, “…and she was just so… Happy… about the bananas…”
My mother agreed, and we continued our fits of laughter as we drove off from the store, feeling ridiculous for having laughed in the first place, but enjoying the incident nonetheless. At least, now we know that the fruit and vegetable names are happy recordings. I guess the lady likes fruits and vegetables. Or, rather… at least, she likes bananas.
P.S. Yes, I know that I am ridiculous. I am aware. 😛