Old ladies are aplenty at the Stop N Shop. Maybe they need denture cleansers or hard candy so their jaws play music while watching Jeopardy. Maybe they are there to test the patience of younger men who want to buy a few necessities as quickly as possible so they may continue their wretched lives.
It’s beyond me to definitively answer and yet it’s not below me to observe and judge these slow-walking antiques of vitamin-deficient bone mass. I myself am not without faults and likely to be the most efficient author of their catalog, yet my purpose here is to be rational in explaining why I would not give a second thought to prodding elderly women with an electrically charged jousting stick in the supermarket.
Firstly, the market is not a graveyard of their peers. As unfortunate as it is that most people their age are no longer breathing and accumulating viscous masses on the side of their mouths, these women should be limited to how many times they may come to the store each week. I say once per week is enough; they don’t move much nor need as much sustenance as the fully living.
Like a well worn shoe with tattered velcro straps, the limbs of older women have seen many miles. Unlike the tension building in my shoulders, which grows stronger while walking behind them, the legs of elders get weaker with each inevitable step in my foiled side-stepping direction. There should be a roped-off section of the market solely dedicated to geriatrics. That way, if I decided to waste time in the grocery store to watch them slowly grab for sought items like a blind toddler searching for hidden Easter eggs on Christmas, I could do so at my own volition.
Of course they know more than several people throughout. These slugs of human form are centuries old and have seen every living man, woman, and child before. Also, the fact that they live at a pace that is unnervingly slower than the shift of tectonic plates, makes it entirely plausible they’ve had time to squint long enough to notice each person that passes by. They should be provided with two tokens at the onset of their weekly visit and allowed to engage in an awkward conversation with unfortunate victims who later redeem a token for discounts on purchased items. Some lotteries invite the opportunity to be stoned to death. This one will allow for saving 25% on seasonal fruits and overpriced balls of smoked mozzarella.
I’ll kick an old lady in the back just as swiftly as I would their chaperone who should know better than to bring mobile-challenged lifeforms out into the light of day. If you live or care for those who are above the age of sixty-five, keep them locked safely in the basement where they belong and will pose no threat to those who can still tie laces and chew with their mouth closed. You are not being a good person by taking elders out of their first-floor living spaces. You are waging cruel and unusual nuisances on the rest of us who know that it’s much easier to tell these senile, walking corpses in gown pajamas that they have already gone to the supermarket for the week.
I’m not insinuating that old ladies are entirely useless. They can provide insight via the same stories told each time you see them, which is very convenient if you’re not an auditory learner or really paying attention to them the first few times you hear the tales. However, it’s time to omit them from the supermarket aisles so those with straight backs and visibly veinless legs can be a happier and have a few more moments to make disparaging observations regarding other people, places, and things.