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skinny people take up too much Space

March 3, 2007

working retail grocery, i get to peer at a good cross-section of my world on a daily basis. i mean, everybody needs food, right? so at some point they need to come to me.

and by force of close association, watching these folks has become something of a hobby for me.

being a fat person, i can state with fair certainty that most fat people are very much aware of the space they take up. sometimes painfully so.

skinny guy bumps into skinny girl and you pretty much have the tumble of appologies and spark of interest that riddles most rom-coms of the last decade or three.

fat guy bumps into skinny girl, and he gets *the look* and is generally made to feel (either directly by her or indirectly by his own gnawing insecurities) like a monumental turd oafishly blocking the sidewalk.


skinny people, on the other hand, seem to be oblivious of the space they take up.

i got stuck behind one such obliviate today. she was stepping up to the corner of the salad bar. between that corner and the corner of the nearest display table there is enough room for two people to walk through.

even if one of them is big.

unless the oblivious skinny girl cocks her hip, left arm akimbo, and balances her basket there, elbow jutting, while she decides between romaine and spinach.

i am forced to go around another way (yes, i could have said something, but she’s the customer, blah, blah, blah).

having had it tossed in my face like that and being generally bored because the weather is gorgeous and very few people are shopping with us on this lovely saturday evening, i started watching people.

this time particularly on the lookout for the *skinny-block*

i was surprised how many average/thin people do this. i watched a woman with a full sized cart step up to an open cooler case and actually turn her cart out of her way athwart the entire aisle. there were several people behind her who now had to speak up or wait.

they don’t work here like i do, but they elected to wait.

another woman did something similar, actually turning her cart all the way around, blocking the center of the aisle.

a fat man in a cowboy hat stopped, looked at her oblivious back, looked at her cart, and promptly reached into the meat case and deposited several steaks into her fairly full basket before turning his own cart down a side aisle to go around.

sadly i had no opportunity to see her reaction at the register.

thank you, fat cowboy, wherever you are.

you inspired a blog and lightened my day.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2007 19:27

    That has got to be the funniest thing I have read in a while!

  2. March 4, 2007 14:47

    I’m having a hard time visualizing the “skinny-block”. Are they positioning their cart in such a way that it’s perpendicular to the cooler case or parallel?

    I’m trying to ensure that I’m not a member of the guilty party 🙂 I always just pull up to the cooler and my cart is parallel, but I don’t stick around long because I know what I want.

  3. March 5, 2007 02:15

    the first lady had a hand basket and just set herself athwart the space with her body blocking the right side passage and the basket/elbow combo on her cocked hip blocking the left hand passage.

    the second lady was perpendicular. picture her walking alongside the case to her right, stopping, and turning the cart at a 90 degree angle to the left, like a road block.

    the third lady, the one gifted with steaks, did the same thing but turned the cart around like a car spinning out on the highway to face oncoming traffic, so it was parallel to the case, but now in the middle of the aisle, with the lady blocking the right side and little to no room to squeeze by the cart on the left.

  4. March 5, 2007 16:01

    Well, I’m glad to know that I’m not an offender. I hate crowds and get very claustrophobic in them. If there are alot of people near the refrigerated sections, I’ll put my cart out of the way, dive in, dive out and get back to my cart. That is when it’s handy to shop with the wife. Then I can just hang out out of the way and let her get the stuff or vice versa.

    I bet, if you just observed people in general, you’ll see this kind of behavior elsewhere. I’ve noticed that when when I’m in the airport and trying to walk down those moving sidewalks, it’s the skinniest of people who are the hardest to pass when they are walking slower. They take up so much space with their side-to-side walking. Weaving link a drunk driver.

  5. March 8, 2007 03:37

    That guy is a genius.

    I’m most irritated with the dreaded Mommy Block, whereby several stroller-pushing breeders interlock their strollers at the corners of a farmer’s market or whatever, rendering all four aisles impassable. They totally hate it when you step OVER the strollers like mounting a horse.

  6. March 13, 2007 03:50

    Fat cowboys rule, I tell ya whut (Hank Hill).

    Next time I’m at Kroger with their narrow isles, and a rude person blocks it, I’m loading their cart with meat. Or wait, maybe better yet, fresh fish!

    Call it the fat cowboy rule.

    It reminds me of the bowling pin rule –never take no for an answer.

    Sorry, but I find it difficult to be nice to oblivious people. I’m told I have horrible road rage. I won’t deny it either. Your grocery store rage is my road rage.

    I feel ya brother!

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