Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Dog Owners I Hate.

I admit I’m not really a dog fan. I wasn’t born that way; they just seem to hate me. And after years being intimidated, chased, bitten (from both their slavering jaws and their fleas), slobbered on, sexually violated (don’t ask), kept awake all night by relentless barking, and unwittingly trekking dog excrement through the house; I don’t have much love for 'Man’s Best Friend'.
But one day, after a being struck by a crystal clear lightning-bolt epiphany - I realised something important: there are no bad dogs - just bad dog owners.
Roll call:

Cerberus – this dog owner has at least 3 heads whenever he goes out for a walk. Leashes fan out in all directions from Cerberus into an unpredictable whirling maelstrom of barking incisors and malevolent spittle designed to ensnare unsuspecting joggers. Even if the hapless jogger miraculously sidesteps this abomination, he then has to negotiate an impossible minefield of fresh dog stools.

 L to R: Ancient Greek jogger, Cerberus & Ancient Dog Owner.

Exempt Stautus – these owners arrogantly ignore signs like "Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times" designed to prevent the weekly occurrence of dogs tearing the faces off toddlers, and mutilating endangered wildlife. They think nothing of taking their ill-disciplined mutts to crowded outdoor cafes where they are oblivious to their dog climbing onto other patrons tables and snatching food with its slobbering jowls.

Tough Guy – living life vicariously through his dog, Tough Guy opts for the macho dog option, ill treating and brutalising it from birth so it attacks anything that moves. Tough Guy and has a smug look of satisfaction on his dim-witted face as lesser canine foes are vanquished and children hurriedly ushered to safety. The worst of all bad dog owners, and possibly, all humanity.

"Master, may I have my toy rubber bone please?"

The Accessorisor – On the other spectrum of ill-treatment of dogs, this perpetrator buys a miniature dog to place in handbag, and pretends to be a celebrity socialite. As this is not a natural life for a dog it becomes frustrated, under stimulated, and (like its owner) can’t stop yapping and annoying the hell out of everybody. Worse, Accessorisor seems to think everyone loves the exercise-deprived dog running rampant around the office, knocking over coffee cups, licking peoples food, dislodging carefully stacked files and ‘watering’ the pot plants. More disturbing is the ‘lovers’ one way dialogue between pet and owner, and the intimate mouth to mouth sharing of delicacies.

"Kill me now."
The ‘Everyone Loves My Dog’ Guy – may love nothing more than being knocked over and pinned to the floor by his over-caffeinated Alsatian; as it alternates between barking fetid breath in his face and using its slimy diseased tongue, (that, mere minutes earlier was greedily feasting on his neighbours rancid garbage) to slather his head in saliva; but I can assure you – I don’t.
As I lie there, making a mental note to stop in for an emergency tetanus shot on the way home, the owner will say one (or all) of the following:
  1. He’s just playing!
  2. Aw, he likes you!
  3. Ha ha ha – the look on your face! Don’t worry, he’s just playing!

A final thought, slightly off-topic, but I blame Hollywood for glorifying the dog as the ultimate pet, whilst vilifying the cat. In movies, dogs are always the good guys: a fearless, loyal, selfless companion - while cats: ever the sinister villain. It's straight up demonification, animal racism... or something. But I’m yet to hear about a cat crapping on the pavement, ripping someones throat out, or keeping the whole neighbourhood awake all night barking.

 How cats really are.

...and as portrayed by Hollywood.

 Coming soon: Cats Vs. Dogs: a fair and impartial statistical analysis

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Rock Star Clichés That Must Die (part 1)

Note: This topic is so immense, I'm going to have to do it in sections. Feel free to add your personal pet peeves in the comments section below, and I can add 'em next time around!

Destroying Your Instruments
When Jimi Hendrix smashed his guitar and then set it on fire while plugged in (and feeding back) at the Monterey Pop Festival - it was completely original, shocking, extreme, and what people talked about for months around the 1967 version of a water cooler.
Pro tip: Fire retardant pants crotch recommended. Also wait until instrument cools to room temp before playing remainder of song.

But for the rest of you, if you don't want it, give it away to some kid who desperately wants (but can't afford) a guitar you douche!

I remember seeing a local band (who shall remain nameless) support an international act at the Auckland Town Hall, and at the end of the set the drummer kicked over and smashed his drum kit in a fit of ‘Wild Rock ‘N’ Roll Abandon (tm)’.

But what was hilarious was when the house lights came on to swap the gear over, the roadie-less drummer sheepishly returned to gather his scattered drums, at one point holding up - and frowning -  at a cracked Paiste cymbal that probably would’ve taken him (at least) another 6 weeks, slaving away at a dreary (and un- rock n roll) day job to replace. Nice going, dumbass!

Self-Righteous Preaching
If there’s one thing that irritates me more than anything, it’s musicians that become obscenely rich and famous by being rebellious and living life ‘by their own rules’ - suddenly become expert sages on topics like world politics, environmental issues, and poverty. 
Then, they sanctimoniously boss everyone around, telling them how they should live - all the while, flying around the world in private jets, owning multiple (empty) mansions, and still charging fans their first-born sons for extravagant live shows that leave a Godzilla-size carbon footprint. (No doubt to cover up the inadequacies of their bland, drug-addled, paint-by-numbers, crappy new album they expect you to shell out for)

"If anyone needs me, I'll be in my Boeing 767 eating Panda steaks."

Finding Sobriety/ Religion... and then telling us all about it
Don't expect us to have watched you party to extreme levels of debauchery for years (and boast about it) ...then expect me to pay for the privilege to hear you repenting and whining about your issues once you've been freed from rehab. Just record some acoustic songs on your guitar and hand the CD to your case worker. At least he's paid to care!

Want to show that you’re a ‘real musician’ and ‘sensitive’? Why not play the same song with the same notes and chords... but on acoustic instruments!
Remember all those MTV unplugged shows? Instead of showering the band with insults/ beer bottles, the elite industry-only $1000 a ticket crowd expresses themselves with polite, reflective, golf clapping.

 No caption necessary.

Hip-Hop Star Bonus Supplement!

Shameless Product Placement
Hip Hop superstars are often shamelessly whoring products like Timberland boots, Cristal Champagne, and Lexus automobiles. I mean – are we seriously to believe that the first choice of a multi-platinum selling artist, with unlimited funds at his disposal for a status-climbing, head-turning ride is a Lexus? Or, a 2-tone Ford Explorer?
Well, I guess they are way cooler than Cadillac’s, Ferrari's, Rolls Royce’s and gold-plated Hummer's after all.

A Lexus. So gangsta.

Repeating Your Own Name Throughout The Song
This has always perplexed me - Can you please clear up that this is to:
  • Remind the listener that the overused clichés tumbling out of your mouth are yours?
  • Reveal your 'God complex' by constantly referring to yourself in the 3rd person?
  • Give us the impression that during sex, you scream out your own name?
Whatever the reason, it's really annoying. Please stop.

Self-Righteous Preaching
After spending years bragging about your notoriety on ‘tha streets’, and visibly accumulating wealth by:
  • Selling drugs to teenagers (Hustlin’),
  • Killing people with an array of automatic weapons (Gangbangin’)
  • Profiting by forcing drug addicted women to degrade themselves and sell their bodies for your financial gain (Pimpin’)
- you suddenly accuse ‘The Man’ of turning your ‘people’ into whores, junkies and murderers?

 Remember kids, it's all about the music!

Tha Club
It's pretty hard to find any Hip Hop/ R&B video not involving going to this place called 'Tha Club' at some point. Surely, just once, someone can come up with a music video that isn’t simply:
  • Getting chauffeured to the club in expensive (but hired) limo
  • Sitting in a VIP area section of said exclusive club
  • Counting piles of money
  • Wearing designer shades
  • Sipping your favourite drink (good opportunity to name drop Chivas Regal, Cristal, Hennessey)
  • Nodding your head slowly - as hundreds of gorgeous, shapely fans models hired by the record company compete for your attention.
Congratulations! You now owe your record company 3.5 million dollars!!Now that's gangsta!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Why I hate going to the movies.

Actually, I love going to the movies, but despite decades of culling the people I go to the movies with down to a select handful who can abide by some basic cinema etiquette, these guys keep turning up:

The Economist – everybody knows that popcorn and soda cost a fraction of a cent to make, and the cost mark up at the snack bar is pure extortion – but that doesn’t stop this same financial watchdog from buying it anyway, and bitching about it (loudly) every time. Plan ahead you moron!

And yes, we can work out that it's cheaper to rent the DVD once it comes out and have everyone watch it at your house and make the popcorn ourselves.

The Hyena – laughs at everything, funny or not, constantly throughout the movie. Have you ever met friends at the cinema, and the film you all intended to see has sold out due to no-one (except you) thinking pre-booking was necessary? Then there are 2 to choose from and it goes to a majority vote. One is a film that’s garnered great reviews, but the others go for the 'lowest common denominator comedy' you know will suck. And, predictably, 30 mins into the 'comedy' nobody has laughed once. Except of course, the Hyena, whose donkey-like bray is a cruel, mocking irony to your private hell.

Johnny Come Lately - irrespective of screening time, genre, location - there will always be some asshole that arrives in the darkened cinema bumping past your knees, interrupting your view; thus negating the extreme measures you’d taken to avoid missing a frame of the film in the first place. Undoubtedly, the alpha schmuck of the group probably said something like this to his pals: “Chill dudes, we have PLENTY of time, they always have commercials at the beginning and junk!” Before laughing heartily and kicking off yet another round of hi-fives.
Naturally, the genius didn’t take into account traffic, parking, the huge queues, and that the only seats left require negotiating noisily through the dark, angering paying patrons who got their collective act together.
Solution: Once the lights dim, the theatre is sealed. You got a problem? Buy a goddamn watch!

NOTE: This actually happened to me at an exclusive premier midnight screening and I missed the intro as a cluster of idiots pushed past, showering me with popcorn, slurring “sorry, sorry”.
 I spent the next 20 minutes of the movie so enraged I had no idea what was happening on screen as I plotted brutal, yet ironic, revenge upon them; while simultaneously trying to figure how the hell one arrives late to a midnight screening that sold out 8 weeks prior anyway? Too much traffic on the roads at this time of night? Not enough notice of the start time?

Talker #1 The 'Long Time No Sees' – Hey it’s great that you guys haven’t seen each other for years, and decided to catch up! But how about meeting in a bar instead - so the other 130 people can enjoy the film, hmmm?
Solution: After second infraction, duct tape forcibly applied to mouth.

Talker #2 'Mr Replay' – feels it necessary to vocalise every plot point as it happens, just in case someone of lower intelligence (unlikely) missed the point, or wasn’t watching: “Whoa – did you see that? They just shot his parents!” This guy also misses out on other story points while he is running his mouth, so he is continually questioning out loud: “So... why did they shoot his parents?”
Solution: After first infraction, duct tape forcibly applied to mouth.

 Shut the hell up and watch the movie.

Talker #3 'Mr. Spoiler' - people who have already seen the film, (usually via illegal downloads) for some reason feel it necessary to remind their friends and everyone within a 15 metre radius of that fact. Usually it will be in the form of a tension dampening/ plot revealing statement like “you GOTTA watch this bit!” or “this bit is scary, brace yourself!” accompanied by vigorous nudging. Like being in a darkened cinema in seats positioned towards a 100m wide screen provides us with a plethora of alternatives.
Punishment: removed from cinema and forced to watch the same episode of Two and a Half Men over and over until the feature is over.

Talker #4 'Mr Cel Phone' –self explanatory, and without a doubt, the most serious offence possible in a cinema. The sheer arrogance of someone sitting there loudly talking to someone who isn't even in the cinema is way beyond the pale for even the most forgiving patron.
Punishment: the movie is paused momentarily as the crowd metes out mob justice. After the bloodied, lifeless corpse (and phone) is removed, the movie resumes.

The Professor - These pompous jerks will often chortle out loud with ‘The Knowing Laugh’.  It’s not because they find something funny, but more of a deliberate, forced, vocal ejection to announce to the rest of the audience that they are privy to appreciating the movie on a higher, more cerebral level than you.
Punishment: being forced to write a thesis on the hidden subtext of ‘Dude Where’s My Car’, and the continuing relevance to society years after its release. 

The Texter - not having the attention span to cope with being off the pulse of what’s happening outside for a full 90 mins, The Texter will distract all with his glowing iPhone several times throughout the movie.
Solution: Phone gleefully destroyed by angry mob.

Dr. Cologne - To impress his date, he immersed himself into a bath of pure cologne. Everyone around him gets a sharp sinus headache and watery eyes.
Solution: High pressure hose ‘prison shower’ in car park prior to admission.

Mr. Fidget – simply can’t sit still for longer than a nanosecond, bumping the back of my chair, resting his feet on my chair, constantly wriggling the hell around.
Solution: Mr Fidget is cling-wrapped to chair.

Mr. Sick – Don’t splutter your phlegm/ bacteria all over the back of my head douchebag!  Go home!
Soluition: No Admission: Quarantined.

The Drink Slurper – if there’s one thing that drives me to pure, undiluted, homicidal bloodlust – its people who noisily slurp drinks during a movie. I once sat next to a patron who had a frozen coke, and I swear it took her 20 minutes to finish the last 10ml. I nearly lost my mind.
Solution:  drink is removed, mouth sealed and IV tube forcibly replaced for duration of film.

The Litterer– thanks to possessing opposable thumbs, we can now deposit our own empty drink bottles into the rubbish receptacle on the way out. Impress litterers lower down the evolutionary scale by employing this technique as their eyes roll back in their sockets; excessive saliva forming a pool in their open, stunned mouths. 
Punishment: Litterers can aid society by removing chewing gum under seats.

That’s all for now. I have a headache, and I can feel my heart beating in my eyelid.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

How to Drive Like an Asshole

So, you’ve just got your driver’s licence. You’ve aced the theory, nailed the practical, so you think you know all there is to know about diving incompetently, selfishly and dangerously on the roads right?
Driving like an asshole takes YEARS of practice to perfect. But since a key prerequisite of Asshole Driving is impatience, these 3 easy steps will help you get there... faster.

Asshole: Beginner

Mirrors are for applying lipstick, fixing your hair and checking to see if you have food between your teeth. That is all. The wing mirrors are ornamental, but can be used as a distance marker when scraping through a drive-thru.

When parking, never walk further than you have to. Just keep the car idling right outside the entrance until someone starts backing out. Let no one past you, and don’t reverse to let the guy out. Better they make a 20 point turn rather than inconvenience you!

Toss your empty drink bottles, cigarette butts and McRubbish out the window. People are paid good money to clean up after you. Give them something to do!

On the motorway, drive at least 40 kmph under the speed limit. During a thunderstorm, naturally speed up to 140 kmph.

The vehicle user manual suggests regular maintenance and servicing. Don't bother, it just costs money. Plus, the black plumes of smoke belching out of your exhaust hardly affect you, so why bother?

With your busy schedule, why not multi-task and save time. You can shave whole minutes off your day by doing other activities whilst you drive! Other motorists and pedestrians can adjust accordingly as you swerve all over the road while texting, playing with your GPS, reaching for another handful of drive-thru fries or reading the sports section of the paper.

When I'm at a gas station, I like to fill up, pay and get the hell out of there as fast as possible. Prevent that from happening by ordering a crappy cappuccino that takes 20 minutes to make from the one person serving behind the counter, as the restless queue grows.

Asshole: Intermediate

Always use the handicapped parks. How many disabled actually drive anyway? Judging by all the empty parks, not many. Hell, why not straddle two in case they scratch your paintwork getting out of their car? They can use the exercise anyway!

Merging (Them) If they wanted to get in front of you, they should’ve left home earlier! When they indicate to merge, speed up and close that gap. Pretend you don’t see them. Don’t make eye contact.

Merging (You) If you see cars are merging into one lane up ahead – here’s a good opportunity to make up for lost time. Bury the accelerator, shoot right to the front of the line and push in!

Speed Limits are merely a guide to be followed by other more inexperienced drivers – not you. You are skilled to drive as fast as you like.  Anyone merely doing the speed limit on the open road is slowing you down! Encourage them to pull over by closing that following distance and tailgate with your nose pressed hard into their rear end. If they brake suddenly, your cat-like reflexes and superior machinery will prevent an accident anyway, right?

 For you, this sign is in miles per hour = 80kmph!

Don't bother indicating. Extending a finger slightly to activate it only slows you down as you whip in and out of lanes in order to secure pole position at the next set of lights. Racing cars don’t have indicators because they have excellent drivers... just like you!
If turning into 2 way rush hour traffic, make sure the queue building behind going the other way can’t get past by hogging both lanes. You have to wait... so why shouldn’t they? Also use the turning lane when you are going straight ahead!

Advanced Masterclass: The SUV

Own and drive a ridiculously large SUV. Let’s ignore any Freudian reasons for needing a vehicle of this size, and concentrate on the benefits!

6 cylinders, 5 seats, 4 wheels and 1 asshole.

Street Parking: Here's where you can make the roads dangerous without even being in the car! Park your colossal testament to western excess close to adjacent streets so drivers pulling out onto a busy road can’t see oncoming traffic until they get broadsided by other cars.

So you can’t drive properly? Well, your problems are over! These clumsy murder wagons are designed to compensate by ploughing through any situation with all the subtlety of a charging rhinoceros in heat, while keeping you completely safe. Unfortunately, impact on regular cars and pedestrians becomes significantly more severe, but if they were concerned about their safety - they should have an SUV like you!

Use your height advantage: while following a car, put your headlights on, so it goes directly into their rear view mirror, thus blinding the driver and filling the interior with your halogen glare. Flash the high beams for added effect. This will encourage them to pull over (or crash) so you can pass!

Cars following behind you cannot see anything but your rear end. Throw in a few surprises like stopping suddenly.

Congratulations, you are now qualified!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Make your very own flawless conspiracy theory!

Do you like conspiracy theories? Well, create your own right now with my handy Conspiracy Theory Generator!
  1. Find news item where something major happens.
  2. Select your most hated politician, businessman or government.
  3. Provide a theory of why #2 would profit from event #1.
Base your theory on the following assumptions, and no matter how farfetched or implausible your theory is, you can’t go wrong!
  • People generally distrust those with power and wealth
  • People generally dislike those with power and wealth
  • There is a large high-tech room 30 stories under the Earth’s surface where leaders of the world gather secretly to decide how to destroy the planet while screwing the average Joe for their own amusement:

Seated L to R: Opus Dei, Illuminati, Oldest Living Vampire,  Head of Suppressed Inventions, Steven from accounts, JFK, Elvis.

Next throw in some catchy indefensible slogans: 
  • "Follow the money: whoever stands to gain the most is clearly guilty!"
  • "Absolute Power corrupts absolutely!"
  • "How convenient!"
  • "I read it online and the guy who posted it has nothing to gain except exposing the truth!"
    Now for some evidence. This is surprisingly easy! You don’t actually need conclusive evidence for a start: throw enough shoddy dubious ‘facts’ into the mix and now you have something that “raises more questions than it answers!"

    Cue ominous music.
    Even though pretty much every government is too bumbling and stupid to organise a keg party in a brewery - they will be able to mobilise hundreds of highly trained agents, scientists, engineers and support staff to flawlessly pull off major feats and cover up the nefarious deed with ruthless precision and absolute secrecy.


    Yet, in spite of the callous disregard for hundreds, even thousands of civilian lives, they won’t bother silencing the ‘experts’ and ‘insiders’, who are going to blow the whistle and bring the whole thing down. “How convenient!”

    "For the last time: where did you bury Jimmy Hoffa?"

    Graphs, pie charts and 3D computer models can do anything – especially turn the average armchair schlub into a discerning expert on complex physics, engineering, flight dynamics and yes... even rocket science!

    I have no idea what this graph is about, but I'm pretty sure it proves humidity is on the rise due to someone owning (and controlling) a weather machine for his/her financial gain.

    However nothing adds credibility to a hastily put together TV special quite like an ‘expert’ or ‘insider’. The fact he was fired by his previous employer due to incompetence, has wild staring eyes, a bad sweater, a tin-foil hat and is dismissed as a charlatan by several universities/ real experts etc is only more proof how deep the conspiracy runs. Eyewitness accounts will vary wildly. Out of say 500 people, you only need to get 3 on camera that vaguely support your theory. That’s less than 1%! (I did the math on my calculator, so now I’m an expert on statistics lol!)

    The Tin Man: worlds first example of using a tin hat device to deflect mind control waves, sent from a shadowy organisation. In this case, NASA.

    Finally the best part: the burden of proof in a conspiracy theory always lies with the accused to clear their own name. This will always reinforce the conspiracy theory - because denying involvement in the said conspiracy is exactly what a guilty party would be expected to say! It kind of has the same logic as the Salem Witch trials.

    "So... if I admit to being a 400 year old shape-shifter from another dimension... you'll put the fire out, right guys? Guys?"

    Now go to it - write your own before 'The Man' has you silenced!

    Wednesday, 20 April 2011

    Supermarket shopping is awesome.

    However, I have some suggestions for both the shopper, and the supermarket itself in order that things can go smoother and make it a much more pleasant experience!

    Instead of letting customers free to any aisle they choose, why not force them through a choke hold snake pattern through the produce section; bringing the traffic flow to an absolute standstill?

    Oh, I almost forgot! Place the Lotto shop by the entrance. Compulsive gamblers and desperate householders can get that out of the way early - then they know exactly how much cash is left over to squander on luxuries, like groceries!

    A one in 4,000,000 chance of winning Powerball - well worth the $24 ticket!

    Next, put the bargain sales bin between the produce and seafood sections, causing a further bottleneck so claustrophobic customers choking for oxygen can inhale the delicious aroma of decomposing marine life. Mmmmmm... I’ll be throwing some of that in, - thanks for the reminder!

    Packaging, Deceptive Pricing and Marketing TIPS: well that warrants another full post at least, so I’ll get to that another day.

    In New Zealand, we love our junk food but are the only the 3rd most obese nation in the developed world, but we CAN do better!
    But we'd be more likely to be adding it to the trolley if we had ready access to aisle after aisle, wall upon wall of sugary carbonated drinks, potato chips, crackers, biscuits, confectionery and salty snack foods!

     Get some!
    When we're weakened by starvation and plummeting blood sugar levels, we want to reward ourselves by flooding our kidneys with products high in sugar, fat and sodium levels - so make some room for them, huh? Put those at the front end of the supermarket, so we don't fill up our trolleys with baked beans, cereal and bread etc.

    If you run out of soft drink, energy drink, and reconstituted fruit juice to fill those shelves with, why not throw in a few hundred bottles of filtered tap water?
    Since your hours are 8am -10pm, instead of restocking the shelves at night, why not move those enormous movable staircases around during opening hours, and have staff throw giant boxes across to each other as the customer nervously and hurriedly swerves around between them, narrowly avoiding death by crushing? By blocking the merchandise, it prevents them from accessing it and putting it in their trolleys - thus saving the need to restock in the first place!

    Finally, change the spelling of Pack and Save, to the more economical Pak N Save – so the customer knows damn well that the savings of all that extra lettering will be passed onto the consumer! 

    Just because there are hundreds of other shoppers at the supermarket, remember YOU are the centre of the universe. YOU are the one staff and other shoppers are here to serve. These tips will get you through the experience:

    Pak N Save has thousands of car parks. There is NO NEED walk an unnecessary extra 5 metres to the door when you can park right outside! Just keep the car idling by the first 3-4 rows burning fossil fuels until someone leaves. (TIP: don’t reverse to let them out, someone else might swipe your park!)

    Feel free to give other customers unsolicited advice on their shopping. They love and appreciate hearing constructive criticism of how to best care for your child, and your whispered opinions about pesticides, globalisation, alien abductions etc.

    Shopping lists are for poseurs. Just let the meticulously planned layout, eye-level stocked items, and shiny packaging help inform your decisions. People WAY smarter than you have decided what you want and where to find it, why not relax and go with the flow - what’s the hurry anyway?

    For no reason whatsoever, every once in a while just stop with your trolley parked diagonally across the aisle and just stare blankly into space.

    At the checkouts, remember 12 ITEMS OR LESS is merely a guide and can be interpreted as 12 FOOD GROUPS OR LESS – for example, bread, vegetables, meat , soft drink, stuff in cans, snack food, frozen items, toiletries (regardless of quantity) would be only 8 food groups. While you are holding up the queue – why not quickly nip back out to get the remaining 4!
    Now, here is the part where you pay. Since you can’t remember which EFTPOS card or account has any money on it – systematically try every account from lowest balance to highest. No one else behind you is any particular hurry either. You can always write out a cheque, after all.

    I know from experience that being a checkout operator is one of the most stressful jobs in the world; constantly under siege by wave after wave of pushing, shoving, grumpy customers, all the while watched like a hawk from a middle management employee on a power trip, and under the threat of being replaced by self serve checkouts. However this is no excuse to afford them any respect. They are here to SERVE you after all! 
    When they politely smile, it’s because they like you, not because they are holding back tears - or the urge to fly across the checkout, pinning you to the ground by your neck and stoving in your head with a large can of Kalamata Olives.

    Addendum: When there is a long weekend or other holiday, hold off all shopping until the last possible minute, and FILL those trolleys to the brim!