Some Self-Checkout Therapy

This is the story of a new mommy, a moody self-checkout machine, and a bunch of bananas. Enjoy! 🙂


I only had a few items to buy: toothpaste, cream cheese, deodorant, and bananas, so I made my way to the self checkout lane.

I scanned the toothpaste. Beep!

I scanned the cream cheese. Beep!

I scanned the deodorant. Beep!

I put the bananas on the scale and entered the produce code — It’s 4011, in case you don’t know. That’s one of the small bits of useless information I keep stored in my head.


“What? Seven dollars for five bananas?! What the…”

I wave over the handy-dandy helper man (HDHM), along with his tiny computer, to assist me. He deletes the last item and walks away.

Let’s try this again…



A LOUD female computer voice: Please remove items from the scanner.

I remove the bananas.

Please remove items from the scanner.

“What?! There isn’t anything on the scanner.” I back up and take a gander at the machine. “Nothing looks wrong…” (somehow those two years at Bible College made me an expert in all things computer).

The error message went away so I put the bananas back on.

4011…weighing…Please remove items from the scanner.

By now, people are staring and I’m ready to go Hulk all over this god-forsaken contraption.

I try to go tell the HDHM again but, as soon as I walk away, the machine starts working.

“Oh good grief. What’s wrong with this thing????”

I walk back up to try it again…Please remove items from the scanner. 

By now, I know the HDHM man personally. His name is Tim. He has a wife, four kids (two boys, two girls), just moved here a year ago from Tallahassee, and is hoping to pass level 103 of Candy Crush tonight. If Tim the HDHM couldn’t help me, no one could. I was beyond help.

Please remove items from the scanner.

Please remove items from the scanner.


Just then a very embarrassed-looking young man (probably in his mid-twenties — man, I’m old) came over and whispered, “Ma’am, it’s your stomach. When you stand close to the machine, your stomach is laying on the scale and confusing the machine.”

I didn’t blink.

I didn’t say a word or make a sound.

I didn’t break eye contact with this complete stranger.

I stared into his eyes, my face screaming something like, “This is how I’m going to die. Fat. Clutching my bananas in the self check-out lane.”

I just turned away and put the bananas on the scale once again. To avoid confusing the machine and humiliating myself further,  I moved the lower half of my body away from the register as I stretched my hands out to enter the code. It kinda looked like when you have to hug a creepy person you don’t want your genitalia close to.



I look around, grabbed a handful of Butterfingers, and completed my transaction.

To this day, I still stick my butt out when I am weighing my bananas.