Shalom Life | November 01, 2014

Be Careful Before Lining Up in the "16 Items or Less” Line

Hopefully My Shopping Experience Resulted in a Convert

By: Daniel Horowitz

Published: January 22nd, 2012 in News » World

Be Careful Before Lining Up in the "16 Items or Less” Line
I think I’m fairly recognizable as a Hebrew.

That is to say, I’ve never been confused with Thor or any other God from Norse mythology, or as say, an Aryan.

My once-golden locks long ago turned brown, now, sadly, with some grey cracking the surface.

Everything about me says “Jew”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as proud a Jew as there is.

I usually offer my religious affiliation to any and all, regardless of whether or not it was requested.

Today, while shopping at a neighbourhood grocery store, my Jewishness clearly led a fellow shopper to the dark side, as she showed her true, unsavoury colours.

As I made my final purchase, I gently pushed my shopping cart to the least busy aisle, which happened to be the dreaded “16 Items or Less” aisle. Not having the time – or the desire - to count my items, which consisted of 6 cases of drinking water (you never know when the Avian flu might hit), a carton of eggs, and various fruits and vegetables, I figured I was close enough to the assigned maximum so as to not set off the 17 alarm.

If I was a betting man, I would have chosen the “under”, something pseudo-relevant what with the Super Bowl quickly approaching.

Anyway, as I turned to look at the growing line behind me, I saw who appeared to be a lovely “40’ish” blond lady with who I assume was her 75-year-old mother.

As I greeted them with a warm “hi”, I was greeted with a stern look as she perused my cart, followed by a snippy, “You do know this is the 16 item aisle, don’t you?” I realized right then and there that an affair full of wondrous afternoon delights was not in my immediate future with this attractive woman.

I looked at them both as they stared at my cart, and, using my powers as a writer who is never at a loss for words, I responded with, “um, ok.”

Wow. Way to go, Daniel. You don’t take crap from anyone, now , do you?! You show them who’s boss!

Suddenly, sensing their eyes on firmly planted on me as I took items from the cart and placed them on the cashier’s conveyer belt, I’m pretty sure I heard one of those old fashioned calculators whirring, as they added up my merchandise.

With tensions rising, and as I approached the magic “16” without my water being included, I was becoming nervous. Would this start a riot? Was she counting my carton of eggs as twelve items?

I pretended not to notice as I paid for my (gasp) 22 items, and proceeded to leave. It’s then when I heard something that really makes me ponder the ignorance, and self-loathing of some people.

The mother, who looked as if she had just fallen from a Norman Rockwell painting, whispered to her daughter, “what can you do, it’s just the way they are. ____ are just no good. They don’t care about anyone.”

The blank space above was filled in with the “J” word. Unless the old bag (and you know who you are, Ava) was talking about the store’s orange Juice, I believe I was the on the receiving end of some bad old anti-Semitism.

I looked at them, making sure they knew that I heard them, to which they both gasped when they saw my eyes. And you can be sure, I gave them both the stink eye.

Roughly 5 minutes later, as I filled my car with my 22 purchases, I heard a woman shouting. Instinctively, I ran to see an elderly woman sitting on the parking lot’s pavement having slipped on a piece of ice.

As I got closer, I noticed it “her”, the lady who doesn’t appear to like Jews.

It was hard for me, and my first instinct was to say to her, “you’re right, we don’t care about anyone.” And simply walk away. But, no, I bent down, helped her up, and even helped her gather her groceries (which I was dying to count).

Shocked to see her rescuer was me, she gave me an embarrassed smile and thanked me profusely “for being so kind.”

I responded with a simple and sincere, “Shabbat Shalom” before turning and starting my walk home.

Birthright Honeymoons To Israel Are Now A Thing Birthright Honeymoons To Israel Are Now A Thing TrendingThis Israeli Prison Hosted a Fashion Show for its Inmates This Israeli Prison Hosted a Fashion Show for its Inmates TrendingHaaretz Publish Cartoon Depicting Netanyahu as Pilot Behind 9/11 Attacks Haaretz Publish Cartoon Depicting Netanyahu as Pilot Behind 9/11 Attacks Trending
 

Chelsea Handler Mocks Vladimir Putin With Topless Photo

October 31, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Chelsea Handler Mocks Vladimir Putin With Topless Photo

The comedian posted a hilarious photo mocking the Russian president on his horse.

Read More

Hulu Orders Comedy Series From Jason Reitman

October 31, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Hulu Orders Comedy Series From Jason Reitman

'Casual' follows a brother and sister raising a child together.

Read More

Sarah Silverman Receives "Woman of Vision" Award

October 31, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Sarah Silverman Receives "Woman of Vision" Award

The comedian was honored at the Adrienne Shelly Foundation event last week.

Read More

Amy Schumer, Kevin Hart Star in 'Comedians in Cars' First Look Trailer [VIDEO]

October 31, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Amy Schumer, Kevin Hart Star in 'Comedians in Cars' First Look Trailer [VIDEO]

Jerry Seinfeld shares that the trailer is his favorite part of the show.

Read More

Latvian Musical About A Nazi War Criminal Causes Uproar

October 31, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Latvian Musical About A Nazi War Criminal Causes Uproar

A new musical celebrating Herbert Cukurs, deputy to the leader of the Arajs Commando during the Holocaust, is being met with rightful criticism

Read More

The Israel Association of Baseball Launches Their First Ever Baseball Academy

October 31, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
The Israel Association of Baseball Launches Their First Ever Baseball Academy

Ten players between the ages of 14 and 21 will be selected annually to participate in the academy, and participate in a grueling, one year intensive training program

Read More

Birthright Honeymoons To Israel Are Now A Thing

October 31, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Birthright Honeymoons To Israel Are Now A Thing

Honeymoon Israel hopes to bring North American newlyweds on a near fully subsidized trip to Israel to help keep the Jewish faith alive

Read More

Dry California Welcomes Israeli Water Expert

October 31, 2014 | By Abigail Klein Leichman
Dry California Welcomes Israeli Water Expert

'As an issue of national security, Israel has successfully made itself water independent,' says California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird

Read More

More Headlines