CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{March 30, 2007}   15 Items or Less


I’m not exactly a young guy anymore, but old people either crack me up at the grocery store or totally piss me off.

I was in line at Keller’s IGA in Clifton, kind of in a hurry to get in and out – had an appointment to make. All the lanes were full and I only had a couple things to get. I went to the express lane – 15 items or less.

In front of me was this older man putting out his groceries so the cashier would ring him up. 15 items or less my ass. The guy’s shopping cart was full.

As the cashier was ringing him up, he would look at certain items he had purchased and would say “I don’t need that. Take that off.” He did that at least three times – the cashier was being patient. I was pretending to be.

When it was all said and done, the man with at least 30 items owed the cashier around fifty bucks. Try to imagine how long it took him to find his wallet. Try to imagine how long it took him to learn how to swipe his credit card on the machine.

Paper or plastic? He wanted plastic. When the cashier was all done bagging up his groceries – shock – he changes his mind, better make that paper.

I felt like I had been in line for over an hour, just to get a couple things. I felt like killing the old man.

I’ve written about adventures in the grocery store before – click here to read another one.

Anybody out there have any grocery shopping stories to share?

Larry Gross

(Photo from


Matt says:

What I hate about grocery shopping are people who think they own the aisle with their grocery cart. I feel like running them over sometimes.

Polly says:

I usually hit Bigg’s fairly late at night. I can’t stand a crowded grocery store. I want to get in and out quick.

Jane says:

Sometimes people at the grocery story have no sense. I hate it when I’m in the can goods section and see a frozen item that somebody decided they didn’t want and just ditch it there. That bugs me.

Amber says:

My mother was always an aggressive grocery shopper. I come from a large family so she always had a lot of groceries to pick up.

I remember once she was really in a hurry and an old lady was blocking the aisle with her cart. My mother waited a few seconds to see if she would move it. When she didn’t, my mother yelled “MOVE IT LADY!”

It was so funny.

Jim Stanton says:

I’ll do just about anything for my wife EXCEPT go to the grocery. I don’t have the patience for it. People go “nuts” there.

Brenda says:

I love to grocery shop! Selecting food for my family is one of my favorite things to do. I think the only thing I don’t like are people who are in a hurry. I like to compare prices and take my time. I think some just want me to get out of the way!

jake says:

you mention in your column that little kids running wild in the grocery is something you don’t like. Same here. Why can’t parents control their kids?

Biscuit says:

1. The fumbling for payment annoys me. People wait until the last item has been scanned and the total is presented to them and THEN theylook for their wallet, which is generally at the bottom of the weekend bag they call a purse.
2. If you owe $19.26 just pay with a twenty don’t try to locate all the pennies in your purse. Women seem to do this more then men.
3. Do you really need to pay for the 60 cent candy bar with a debit card? If you don’t have 60 cents in ‘cash’ then you don’t get a candy bar.
4. When the bagger is having sex on the conveyer belt with Teri when they should be bagging my groceries. (just kidding teri)

…wow I never realized how much i hated shopping.

Rita says:

I like to shop in the same store so I know where everything is to make this the least painful experience. I have deviated from this a few times. One of these times was in a Thriftway – the aisles were so close, I couldn’t get by anyone; children were screaming; nothing was where it should have been. After being about 80% done with shopping, I scoped out the check out. The lines were so long that it looked like the Rapture was coming and everyone was getting food.
I assessed the situation, realized I could not emotionally or politely handle this, picked up the frozen goods and put them in a cooler, and walked out.
Nothing is that important. There must be an old can of tuna somewhere at home.

hard as nails says:

. When the bagger is having sex on the conveyer belt with Teri when they should be bagging my groceries. (just kidding teri)

i’m pretty sure, teri has done this at least twice.

Ben says:

Children should be BANNED from grocery stores. New law.

Judy says:

I have small kids of my own but I must say it burns me to see other parents let their kids run wild in the grocery. It’s all I can do sometimes to contain myself.

Frank says:

I think the only thing I don’t like are people who are in a hurry. I like to compare prices and take my time. I think some just want me to get out of the way!

You must be the one I wanted to kill last week. Not all of us have time to spend hours in the grocery.

Marilyn says:

December, 2003, nearly Christmas. It was my first excursion out in public in a wheelchair (except for doctor visits).

Rita took me to Cherry Grove Kroger to get some groceries. We were in the Christmas spirit, I was going to live after all.

People were not just in a hurry, but downright rude to the person in the wheelchair (me). Not only did I get cut off at every stinking juncture, when we got in the checkout line some nasty woman cut in front of us, literally pushing my wheelchair aside, mumbling something about how she knew we wouldn’t mind.

By that time, I minded big time, and I’m the mildest person you’d ever want to meet.

I neither asked nor expected special treatment being ‘differently abled’. But what I experienced showed me that once a person is in a wheelchair, they become something less than human to the abled bodied folks out there. I was a stray dog they didn’t want to bother with.

Brian says:

I live in Clifton so I’m in Keller’s a lot. Maybe I have a dirty mind. Whenever I hear the page “meat department, line 3” I have to laugh.


I love keller’s. i love the little old ladies and the shuffling old men there. i love the indian women i see shopping in saris. i love hearing a different language on almost every aisle. i like that it’s small like the IGA down home where i grew up. i love how the cashiers get to know you. i love that i can walk there. i love that they keep the shallots in a full bin, not in stingy little plastic bags like other grocery stores. i love that i run into friends every time i go there. i LOVE keller’s. i am more patient there than in any other store. i cut everyone slack. i smile, and never get annoyed, even at the “penny ladies” or the 30 items or more-ers in the 15 items or less aisle.

conversely, i HATE the Queen City Kroger. looooooooong lines every time you go, and BAD attitude from baggers and cashiers. I only go there when it’s a dire necessity.

and, if you want to get a real good look at Fat America, go to a meijer on a saturday afternoon. hoo boy!

Jeff says:

You pay more at Keller’s but for the diversity you see there, it’s well worth it.

Nance says:

My complaint about groceries? Super stores. Who the hell wants to spend the day in the grocery store?

Becky says:

Agreed. Super stores suck, especially when you go into one you’re familiar with. Keller’s suits me just fine.

Kevin says:

Lately, I’ve taken to doing a lot of my grocery shopping on line. Did you know that Amazon has really good deals on groceries? They don’t have milk or dairy, but good deals are to had on box and can items.

Janet says:

I totally agree about Keller’s in Clifton and they have the best paper grocery bags!

Hector says:

If it wern’t for my wife, our family would strave to death. I simply hate gong to buy groceries.

Biscuit says:

So do we all shop at Keller’s? Let’s all meet there tonight at 6:00 and shoplift.

Marilyn says:

My father never grocery shopped until after his retirement.

One day he and mom were standing in line, ready to ring out. The cashier asked him “Paper or plastic?” They answered, “Plastic”.

The cashier then turned to my father and said, “Your total is $125.89.”

My father, without skipping a beat, answered, “You want paper or plastic?”

He could be funny for an old grouch!

Gus_J says:

You should try Trader Joe’s, if the one there is like the one here you’ll have a pleasant shopping experience. The house brand stuff is excellent. Huge organic stock too if you’re into that kind of thing.

Deb says:

I love Keller’s but I’m on a budget. I go there when I can but most of the time I end up at Bigg’s – just better prices.

Del says:

I go where the prices are and most of the time that’s Biggs. I feel like I save money there.

I live fairly close to Clifton and I’ve been in Keller’s. It’s a nice store but too expensive. Fruits and produce are way overpriced.

Jay says:

What’s this big hangup on Keller’s IGA? This is the most overpriced grocery in the city. I shop at Meier’s – best prices in town. I don’t need to feel ripped off at the grocery store.

dooly says:

why a post about grocery shopping? just a weekly hassle.

Kim says:

Keller’s IGA is the best thing about Clifton’s Gaslight district. They totally give the people in Clifton what they want…and those paper bags with the handles. Where else do you find this?

CA says:

If you put a million carts in front of me, I will always, without fail, choose the one cart with the broken wheel. And I am always too lazy to get a new one. There I am, shopping to the sound of thump, thump, thump. I just keep on pushing it as if nothing is wrong.

I mix up Kellers and Biggs. I’m equal opportunity. Trader Joes…good vitamins, gus.

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