Date not needed

The audio for “Date not needed” is featured in this episode ☝️ of the Without a hitch podcast

“Key please!”

A checkout assistant is calling for the supervisor. I’ve scanned a bottle of wine, and now the red light on top of my self-checkout station is flashing.

People are generally happy to get ID’d at the supermarket, and take it as an endorsement. The supervisor has taken a cursory glance at their face, and thinks, okay, there’s an edge chance this person is relatively young. Better check their ID.

I don’t get ID’d. Generally never have.

On this occasion, the supervisor takes in my white beard and haggard look, and determines there is not a shadow of a chance that I am underage. She then jostles past me, sighing at having to deal with this bullshit 100 times a day, inserts the key, and mashes a button that reads “Date not needed”.

“Date not needed.” Such an indictment. There is no need to consider your date. Your date was such a long time ago.

After the supervisor leaves, I add the reusable bag at the wrong step, and the machine pipes up with another alert: “Unexpected item in bagging area!”

The supervisor, halfway back to her desk, turns on her heel, sighs heavily, and comes back for a better look, not just at my face but at my groceries too.

The judging is not quite over, although we both wish it was.