No Checks Accepted

CUSTOMER buys a pack of gum.

CLERK: Would you like a bag for this?

CUSTOMER: I’m sorry?

CLERK: I certainly hope you are. Though I’m afraid I must inform you that your apologies do little to undo the catastrophic damage your selfish, pleasurebatory mash-up of laziness and mindless consumption has inflicted upon both the Earth and my own fragile ego.

CUSTOMER: (puzzles this) No, no. I mean, why would I want a bag for a pack of gum?

CLERK: You look the type.

CUSTOMER: (considers this) Fair enough.

CLERK: Do you have a rewards card with us?

CUSTOMER: I don’t know.

CLERK: You don’t know?

CUSTOMER: Well, I certainly don’t remember.

CLERK: You don’t remember taking the time to slowly write down or loudly shout your deeply personal, highly valuable information at this very public counter while I or one of my many interchangeable, easily replaceable coworkers repeated it back to you for all to hear?

CUSTOMER: Can’t say that I do.

CLERK: Do you often sign over personal information and data to businesses without taking into consideration the immediate or long-running ramifications of your actions?

CUSTOMER: I suppose when you put it that way, it does sound rather troubling.

CLERK: No trouble at all. If you’d like to regurgitate such information for me right now, I’d be happy to sign you up and save you five-percent on your purchase today.

CUSTOMER: What’s five-percent of a pack of gum these days?

CLERK: Sir and/or Madam, if I knew the truth of such elusive mysteries, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

CUSTOMER: Look. I’m only buying this so I can get some change for my laundry. So can we just get on with it?

MANAGER joins Clerk at the register.

MANAGER: Is there a problem?

CUSTOMER: Yes, I think–

MANAGER: You’re not sure? (to CLERK) Is it always this unsure of things concerning you?

CLERK: (shrugs) They don’t have a rewards account with us.

CUSTOMER: What sort of data are you even collecting?

Manager waves a hand at this.

MANAGER: Nothing you’ll ever miss. Now. Would you like to give us your personal information and data for the sake of saving… (eyes the gum) six-and-seven-eighths cents or so today?

CUSTOMER: Six-and-seven-eighths cents?

MANAGER: (to CLERK) Oh, look. I love it when they get excited like this.

CUSTOMER: You know what? Forget it. Keep the gum.

MANAGER: Sir, you’ve given me little recourse.

CUSTOMER: I’m sorry?

MANAGER: I’m afraid it’s far too late for apologies.

Manager takes Clerk hostage with a spray bottle.

Give me your information and save six-and-seven-eighths cents on your purchase today, or the human capital stock gets it.

CUSTOMER: (considers this) Goodbye.

Customer leaves.

CLERK: (to AUDIENCE) (shakes head) Heartless bastard.