My Sparkling Wit Is Wasted On Supermarket Check-out Girls

Written by John Butler

Sunday, 5 March 2006

image for My Sparkling Wit Is Wasted On Supermarket Check-out Girls
One of the countless supermarket check-out girls upon whom my wit is lost

Points Of View Gregory Fensworth - A Very Witty Person

Why do I continue to kid myself? These check-out girls will never appreciate my wit. Why should I go to the bother of composing sumptuously ingenious puns when they are destined to fall on such uncultured, irony-deaf ears?

I don't wish to come across all egotistical, but really my wit is unrivalled by anyone who has ever lived anywhere in the world. I know people talk about Oscar Wilde but, I'll be honest, the clever, quickfire nature of my wit makes Oscar Wilde's wit seem more like Oscar De La Hoya's wit.

Here's a question: Have you ever heard Oscar De La Hoya say anything funny? I very much doubt it - he throws punches not punchlines. See that's what I mean - "punches not punchlines" - I'd like to see Oscar Wilde come up with a line like that. He might try but he would be destined to fail just like Woody Allen, Groucho Marx, or any of the world's great jokesmiths would. My wit is quite simply without peer.

"My sparkling wit helps people to smile again when all hope seems lost".

Seriously though, I'm so witty I once made a guy who was attending his mother's funeral laugh uproariously during the eulogy. And this was no comic eulogy either, this was deeply poignant stuff. But still I managed to reduce the bereaved guy to hysterics. My devilish wit knows no bounds, certainly the solemnity of a church packed with mourners can't hold it in check. It is, as they say, irrepressible.

Afterwards the son thanked me for helping him through what he described as "the excruciating pain of losing a mother". You see, my sparkling wit helps people to smile again when all hope seems lost.

For the record the joke I told during the eulogy was "hey your mother died of lung cancer didn't she, maybe that's why she's still "coffin" - do you get it "coffin" - "coughing" - people with lung cancer tend to cough a lot and now she's inside a coffin". It took a while for the already tearful son to get it but eventually he began to giggle, a little at first, then uncontrollably. I knew I had him at lung cancer.

But that brings us to these supermarket checkout girls... this is a different story entirely. These girls wouldn't know sparkling wit if it came up and bit them on their stupid ugly faces. What can I say... I guess they're just not on my level. I suppose very few people are - but they could still at least laugh. Whatever the reason for their total "(ab)sense of humour", it is highly frustrating.

"But did the checkout girl laugh? Nope. She didn't even crack a smile. Suffice to say I shook my head in disgust while bagging my goods".

Like the other day. I was in Dunnes Stores (Irish Supermarket). I was buying a few things, a frozen pizza, 3 or 4 potatoes I think, but all I had was a 50 Euro note. So I handed the checkout girl the 50 euro note but as it happened there was a shortage of notes in the till. She said, "I'm sorry I'm a bit short of notes, I'll have to give you coins instead. Is that ok?"

My instantaneous and, might I add, side-splitting retort was, That's okay, it's "note problem".

Do you get it? Not alone is it a pun on the commonly used phrase, "no problem", it also alludes to the cash register's "problem with notes". False modesty aside, that is a witticism that works on so very many levels (namely two). But did the checkout girl laugh? Nope. She didn't even crack a smile. Suffice to say I shook my head in disgust while bagging my goods.

That reminds me- when I pay the bag toll I sometimes like to joke, "15 cent for a plastic bag! I wouln't pay that for a plastic explosive?". Again though this almost always is met with lamebrained silence.

I often find myself struggling to accept some supermarket checkout girl's seemingly imbecilic incapacity to appreciate my sparkling wit. I mean what the hell is wrong with them all? Don't they like witty people?

Another example. I was in Tesco the other evening. Yeah it's not just Dunnes Stores by the way. It's across the board. Tesco check-out girls are as, if not less, receptive to my inspired punnery than Dunnes Stores check-out girls. I would say "Punnes Stores" but I don't think it deserves to be made fun of in such a clever way, or should I say made pun of in such a clever way. God sometimes my wit is too sparkling for my own good.

"The way I worked that old proverb about apples keeping the doctor away into a real life situation. It takes a great mind to do that."

But anyway I was in Tesco. I was buying an apple. I brought it to the checkout. It was a young Asian girl - Japanese I think... or maybe Chinese.... or Korean possibly.

But anyway, as I was handing over the money for the apple I sneezed. As quick as a flash I said, "God I have had this cold all week. I should see a doctor. I thought these apples were supposed to keep the doctor away".

Wow man, looking back, that was classic wit. The way I worked that old proverb about apples keeping the doctor away into a real life situation. It takes a great mind to do that. But did the Asian girl laugh at my hilariously great mind. Nope. I'll say it once and I'll say it again... she didn't even crack a smile.

Another time I was buying a packet of Knorr Soup, and the check-out girl kindly pointed out that there was a "two for the price of one" offer on Knorr Soup and I could go fetch anouther packet if wished.

After a couple of seconds of quick-thinking, I gave the reply, "Yes that's "SOUPer", emphasizing the first syllable to make sure she didn't miss the pun on the word "super". But even with that emphasis, all she said was, "yes it is good, isn't it". She thought I was being serious whereas in reality I was merely making yet another delightful pun. What is the world coming too, that's all I want to know.

I could list hundreds of instances in which my sparkling wit, luminous wordplay, and general hilarity went completely over the heads of supermarket check-out girls - pearls of drollness lost amid the vacuous drone of muzak punctuated by the occasional "Sarah to Customer Service please, Sarah to customer services".

Worst of all, these witticisms are unlikely to ever again be quoted unless I choose to do so myself. I know however that I have already forgotten some of my own great, great lines. I remember I came up with a mince-related pun that was so funny even I thought it was funnier than what I would come up with generally. I've forgotten it now. What was it? Some comment about how gay people like to eat mince but that I wasn't gay... oh I can't remember. It was incredibly hilarious though, rest assured.

In an ideal and just world, supermarket check-out girls themselves would remember all of my great lines and relay them to their own friends when they got home. That way more and more people would know just how sparkling my wit can be not just my friends and family.

I mean it's not as if I'm not a funny person. Like I said my wit is unrivalled by anyone who's ever lived anywhere in the world including Oscar Wilde.

"You see, that's the key to my wit - I pick up on things that people are aware of but never think to say".

Like one time, I even made a Buckingham Palace guard laugh for goodness sake and it wasn't by tickling his neck with a feather either as most people expect when you say I made a Buckingham Palace guard laugh. Nope - I made a joke about how his hat was so funny looking... coz do you know what -they are - that's the truth- their hats are funny looking - they're big black furry things - hilarious.

You see, that's the key to my wit - I pick up on things that people are aware of but never think to say. Everyone knows that Buckingham Palace hats are funny looking but only a great mind like my own would possess wit sparkling enough to say it. Certainly supermarket check-out girls wouldn't think to have said it. I'd bet, between the lot of them, they've never even come up with a single witty comment... ever.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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