Sunday, August 7, 2011

Vowel Sounds

Greetings! It's been awhile and I have lots of things I want to write about. But, first, for my 20th blog post, a short story:

I'm going to try my hand at writing down stories I tell, so please give feedback as this doesn't come as naturally to me as telling the story.

Oftentimes, when I don't have enough information about an issue I care about, I tend to assume the worst. Personally, I don't like that I do this, but I do take some solace in the fact that I'm not the only human being who behaves this way...

Several years ago, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things on a Saturday afternoon. Preferring a computer screen to a human face, I decided to stand in line for the "Self Checkout" even though the line had two people waiting in front of me, and all of the Self Checkout kiosks were taken.
This was when the whole concept of "Self Checkout" was still new, so we all waited in line patiently for a few minutes as the people at the kiosks bumbled their way through the screens, the scanner, the scale and the payment process. Finally, after an agonizing 5 minutes, the furthest-most right kiosk opened up.
There were two women ahead of me, and the woman at the head of the line was perusing the covers of periodicals when the kiosk was vacated. She didn't notice, and we all patiently waited for all of 10 seconds before the other woman in front of me declared, "Ma'am, you can go now." The lady at the head of the line briefly looked up at her, smiled and continued to read the magazine covers.
Puzzled, myself, the woman in front of me, and the 3 or so people behind me all waited, watching her, wondering who of us, this group of people who went into this line to avoid human interaction in the first place, was going to speak up. Again, it was the second in-line in front of me, "Excuse me, miss. The terminal is free. You can use it." This time, the lady at the head of the line didn't acknowledge this statement at all, having grabbed a magazine on the rack to start fingering through.
And we waited. Nobody wanted to be rude and I had already started to sweat, nervously. Incredulous, the woman in front of me raised her voice to a level that was heard throughout the front of the store, "Hello?! Are you listening to me?!" Peoples' heads turned. Conversations between checkers and customers stopped. Blips and bleeps from grocery scanners were silenced. The elevator music continued.
The woman at the head of the line looked up from her magazine and turned her attention to the crazed lady behind her who continued, "The lane is open! We're all waiting for--"
And at the moment, the woman at the head of the line cut her off, frustrated, "I ant eah u," while motioning to her ears.
She was deaf.