Turnip Wars

abandoned_shopping_cartA few years back I was at the grocery store picking up some items.  As I waited patiently in the 10 items or less line, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation between a customer ahead of me, and the cashier.  The perturbed patron, who looked to be in her late sixty’s, was vocalizing her displeasure with the apparent cost of an item. The young cashier, no more than 17, politely explained that the particular vegetable was no longer on sale, however the customer was undeterred.  Intrigued, I looked over at this point, spying the item in question – some type of giant elongated turnip, the likes of which I’d never seen before.  As the back and forth continued, it was to my chagrin that I realized the ensuing delay, and moreover the confirmation that I yet again picked the wrong check-out line, was all over a 50 cent price discrepancy.   And, as the others in line realized the breadth of the predicament, each cursed quietly under their breath, wondering why in God’s name they hadn’t chosen checkout number 3, which was moving at warp speed.

Eventually the turnip drama resolved itself, the boisterous lady appeased, and the line moved on.  When my turn came, I gave the young cashier a mild head shake, and an “all for a turnip” remark, assuring her of my unflinching moral support.

But it didn’t end there.

As I left the store and approached my car, I paused to watch as the Turnip Lady climbed into her white Lexus and pulled away, her errand complete.  It was then I noticed that she had neglected to return her shopping cart, the carriage left abandoned, like an obsolete relic, askew, taking up an entire parking spot, not 20 feet from the cart return area.

I shook my head, vigorously this time, returned the cart, and climbed into my car.

Minutes later, my thoughts elsewhere, I slowed for traffic only to realize I was directly behind the Lexus.  She’d put on her blinker, awaiting an opportunity to turn left into a driveway.

And I watched.

As she pulled into one of the most beautiful residences in town, a sprawling manor, huge circular driveway, wrought iron fencing, an acre of meticulously landscaped grounds.  I knew the home well.  It was a prominent century old estate on the main drag, a showpiece.  As a kid, it was my favorite house in town, a mansion by my standards, one I’d passed by many times and wished I could live in one day.

Only now, with the realization that my childhood dream home belonged to a pinchpenny, a shopping cart abandoning Turnip Queen, the magic dissipated.

And I wondered, as the honking of a car horn brought me back, had I lived my life arguing over 50 cents, had I cared about no one but myself, had I gorged on giant misshapen turnips, perhaps I’d have a mansion to call my own.

But at what cost?

I realize everyone has bad days.  I also believe casting stones based on presumptions and snap judgements is wrong.  And I am no saint. 

But I think I’ll stick with returning shopping carts, treating people well, and leeks.  Normal sized leeks.

Until next time,



57 thoughts on “Turnip Wars

  1. I enjoyed your spin on the tale of a mundane day and the observation that many of share – if i turn into a douche will I be rich too! Thanks for the laugh, currently at work, in retail so I needed it.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Happy to oblige! I was at work too (unfortunately), great to be able to schedule posts and then forget about them. Turnip girl probably was a nice person once upon a time. Too much roughage changes a person over time. Cheers Theresa

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike- Great blog! This is precisely why I detest going to the grocery store! I waited in line at the Starbucks in our store to place an order while this lady proceeded to unload her groceries on the cashier. Good times. Because I am evil, I hope Lady de Turnip had a rotten vegetable! You are a saint for returning her cart.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I find myself counting the items of the person in front of me if they look like they’re skirting the 10 item limit. I don’t want to turn into that person, I may have to rely solely on take-out from now on. Cheers Susan, always a pleasure when you stop by!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh that’s why I’m not rich. lol. I am sort of a pinchpenny, but don’t think I’m douchy enough. I laughed so hard when it looked like you were following her. You we behind her the entire time. Lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Our paths were aligned that day, but for what purpose, I have yet to understand. Perhaps the answer will reveal itself now that I’ve written about it. I’ve not seen her again, although I drove by the house just a few hours ago. No lady or turnips in sight. Cheers, thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. KARMA: some day an unreturned shopping cart will be bumped by another, and both will roll smack-dab into The Turnip Lady’s Lexis, costing her a great deal more than 50 cents to repair the damage – and more than the accumulated time of every single person who had to wait for her to haggle to jump through all the fix-it hoops.

    Don’t you sorta’ wish you’d be there to see her reaction?
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh dear Mike, there are many of them. Sadly. I have often wondered the same and actually, it remains an incessant debate in my head because I really want a mansion and a Lexus RH350 will be nice, too, but heck, darned conscience, manners, common courtesy, etiquette, etc. keep nagging me and tugging on my shirt like a determined toddler. What do we do with them? The likes of your Turnip Queen, I mean. 😆

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like to think there’s always a possibility for redemption, but it’s not worth much if it only happens on your deathbed. I’m sure there are plenty of mansion owners who managed to acquire wealth without stepping on others, yet still return their own grocery carts. At least I’d like to think so. I’m just inherently lazy sometimes, haven’t earned my mansion yet. Cheers Anne, thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The mansion is not important enough. Perhaps? I wish I knew how it works. I really wanted one and I worked hard, made sacrifices… Haha. Maybe I stopped just as I was almost there.. ☺ All the best to you and me. 😆 💖🤗

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Family, health and happiness is all that counts in the end. Although I’ve dreamed of riches like everyone else, I’ve realized it’s all how you choose to perceive things. Rich people can be miserable, the poorest can lead happy lives. But that doesn’t mean I won’t still buy the odd lottery ticket. Cheers Anne, best of luck to us both!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. At that supermarket they had different size trolleys, there was quite an interesting selection to choose from.
        Hmm, that reads like they were for sale on a shelf lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. True, muscles the size of hand baskets are required. However I´ve recently noticed a proliferation of baskets with handles and wheels floating about. Bit dodgy when going round a corner though. All those bottles of wine stacked up at the end of an aisle means there´s a definite risk factor to take into consideration.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Mike, I love this post!!! I’m a fan of your writing but this one really moved me. It all makes sense as to why I don’t have a mansion and a yacht of my own. It’s okay, my life is satisfying as it is!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheers, thanks so much! I’m never quite sure how some of my stuff will go over once I hit ‘publish’, and it’s comments like yours that inspire me start my next article. I appreciate the visit, and the feedback, I look forward to following your Blog. Thanks also for the follow!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. OMG. Working in retail means having this customer several times per day….each one thinks that if they make up a number, pitch a large enough argument, or threaten to go to Amazon for a few pennies less that they too can get the item for the cheapest ever available price — never wondering where ALL of the business (especially SMALL businesses) have gone and why, or what those precious pennies are about to cost them. Why can’t we be satisfied purchasing a good deal instead of having to get the best ever? And what is even more disturbing are the ones who price tag switch to do it….If Jesus comes back as a retail clerk, we are ALL in deep trouble!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard similar horror stories from a couple of friends who worked in the restaurant trade. Rude people, complain about everything, demand free meals, 25 cent tips. I wouldn’t have lasted long in either profession. And I can only imagine the tunes you deal with who price online before they come marching in. Yikes.
      Cheers and thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I believe you may need to do a little research on this. There very well may be something scary going on in the world of turnips. Or, at least, in the world of people who EAT turnips.
    This sounds like a cultish kind of thing you may want to steer clear of.
    On the other hand, hmmmmmmm. Really nice house, eh? You may want to give this some thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny you should say, I drove past the house just yesterday and a different Lexus pulled out. I was tempted to follow, but my daughter was late for her ballet class. I may have to do some reconnaissance in the future.
      Cheers, thanks for visiting, much appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mike you’re a true mate! I keep thinking your well crafted thoughts need some pocket size book to live in as one rides the subway or waits in the doctor’s office or needs a respite with pm tea. I hope sometime you collect all these appetizers and present a sweet buffet for such occasions. :). Douglas

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Douglas. I’m hoping to create a ‘best of’ collection at some point this year, one of my goals for 2017, along with some longer fiction.
        I appreciate the support and kind words, it’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. That is precisely why those people have so much money, because they count every penny. I lived next door to someone like that, she was an old spinster now dead. I am a widow, when my Husband died I was left with two young Sons to bring up, money was tight yes I had a big house, still do can’t for legal reasons sell it, but we struggled and I saved every penny I could, so I could treat my Sons to littler things, they never went without and never ever complained. My Sons still live at home, grown up now but independant, do they spoil me indeed they do and I am very fortunate to have such good Sons. We were happy in our own way, do these over rich people really enjoy their money, no they are too busy worrying where it is going. Lovely blog, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for commenting. I agree with you. I have come across a few of these people over the years. I truly believe it becomes a sickness, a mental illness when obsession about every penny controls your life. People spend their days miserable, and die with millions . It sounds like you did a wonderful job with your sons, congratulations. Thanks again Anna, much appreciated.


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