How come I can't get through the grocery checkout lane without the clerk or the bagger commenting about how many cans of cat food I buy, which inevitably leads to questions about how many cats I own, how much I feed them, and why I need so many cans? Has nobody in this state heard of stocking up? For their information, I have one cat who eats two 3-oz cans of food a day, which is more than a typical cat but not unheard-of. Is there something wrong with my buying her three weeks' worth of food at once? All I do is go to the Fancy Feast shelf and buy one can of each flavor, right down the line, and apparently I belong in Ripley's Believe It or Not! for this extreme shopping practice.

Six Replies to A Pet Peeve That's Actually About My Pet

Lori Lancaster | August 8, 2006
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Jackie Mason | August 8, 2006
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Anna Gregoline | August 8, 2006
I personally think it's rude to comment on any customer's purchases.

Scott Hardie | August 9, 2006
I guess I don't mind being talked to about my purchases – just between you and me and the Internet, I have this little thing for supermarket checkout clerks – but to be made to feel weird about a particular purchase that I can't skip, and nearly every time I buy it, just turns me off. The next closest grocery is another 15 minutes away, but I'm tempted to switch.

Aaron Shurtleff | August 9, 2006
HOLY CRAP ON A POGO STICK!!! You buy 42 cans of cat food at a time! What's wrong with you??? jk Wait...42...why does that number seem significant... ;)

Seriously, though, I think it's universal. I buy a lot of fish (I have a modestly small aquarium, and a fish from hell that won't stop eating all of my other fish...and I can't bear to part with him), and the checkout lady always asks me why I don't buy the cheap feeder fish (they are ugly ugly fish), or advises me to check out the pH (or conductivity, or one of several hundred water quaility parameters that I know isn't the problem). Checkout people are just funny like that!

Also, at Wal-Mart, I used to have to buy lots of jalapeno peppers (like 15-20 pounds at a time) to maintain a colony of wasps (gotta love the entomology!), and I'd always get questions! I used to make stuff up sometimes! I would tell them that I was trying to break the Guiness record for the biggest fajita, or that I was getting revenge on my echeating lover by mixing them into his protein shake (hey, if I'm lying anyway, I might as well be gay!). It entertained me, and the cashier got to have a story to tell everyone, so no harm no foul, right? ;)

Amy Austin | August 13, 2006
Well, I don't know about "no foul"... (da-dum-dum!) ;-D

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