July 10, 2002
Class Wars

I am the milkman of human kindness,
I'll leave a (sour) pint....

Remember when wage slaves used to hate the rich? Apparently that's long out of fashion.

At least it is at the neighborhood grocery store where I sometimes shop in the mornings. One of the regular cashiers on that shift is a surly guy whose favorite activity, it seems, is to grump about the underclass.

"I won't ride the bus," I overheard him fuss at the bag boy one day. "It's so hard to sit there with the masses."

Yesterday I found him trying to explain a one-item limit to a woman who apparently spoke very little English. It seemed to get resolved, and she had left with a jaunty enough air. But he was still grumpy when I got to the head of the line.

"These people, they come in here and take our time, when other people" (gesturing at me and the woman behind me, who is loading up on onions) "have to get to work!" The bag boy made a conciliatory sound. "Well, I think the answer is to abolish the entire food stamp system," the cashier spat. Then he handed me my change and receipt. "Thanks, and have a great day!"

I tried to think of something to say, maybe a little bit nicer than Dude, you do know your life's work is operating a cash register, don't you? or You know, you'd probably feel a lot better if you were a Socialist. But I get the feeling he might not see the point.

*Apologies to Billy Bragg.

Posted at July 10, 2002 08:58 PM