I read the sales flyer for the grocery store nearest me.
I went to a branch of Pete's Sur Sav (which already is annoying, surly yu meen Sure Save, rite?!) and asked for two bottles of (brand) vodka and a pack of (brand) cigarettes. She (the "human" behind the counter) looked around and said we're out of the vodka.
"And the cigarettes?" I asked that already expecting the worse.
"Um, would you like (weird "urban" brand name menthol) instead?"
"No. Do you have a non-menthol equivalent of what I asked for?"
"Uhh, (she said this looking around to co-workers) we don't even know what non-menthol is."
Spotting the display bottle of vodka I wanted with a sale-price note taped to it I said, "well, there's a bottle of the vodka I want right there." (I pointed to it.)
"We can't sell the display bottle." She seemed to be getting irrationally angry at this point.
"Why can't you sell it? Why advertise it on your shelf if you have none to sell?"
(She calls the manager over.)
"We can't sell the display bottle."
(She says this to the manager not as a question. The manager looks at both of us. Looks at her and motions for her to grab it for me and walks away. He was cool and seems like a decent human. Right when he walks away she goes back into annoying bitch-mode.)
"You're holding up my line. Some of us want to get out of here!" (The store closes at 9:00 PM and it was 8:42 PM)
"What?! You don't have what I'm asking for. That's not my fault."
(She makes eye contact with the guy behind me.) "What do you need?"
"Hey. I was here first. It's not my fault you don't have what I want."
"Well I wish you'd make up your mind."
"I knew exactly what I wanted when I walked in. And it was stuff from your flier I got in the mail yesterday. You don't have what went on sale yesterday. That is NOT my fault. Gimme the vodka and whatever NON-MENTHOL cigarettes you carry."
"Well, we have these uh, Silver brand (which I'd never heard of) that aren't menthol (the word 'menthol' was somehow exaggerated to about six syllables). You want those?"
"Well okay, already." (Like that's what I should have asked for in the first place.)
"Oops." Yes, she said 'oops.' "I rang up one of the items for the guy behind you." Long pause like she expected me to just pay for the guy's thing. "Let me just take that off." Another big pause.
When I got home I checked the receipt. The smokes were really cheap but read "SILVER 100 MENTHOL."
Great holy fuck! Maybe they really don't know NON-MENTHOL.
(It was an "urban" store. And probably the last pack of smokes I bought. I quit the habit.)