In today's Reality Check, Dave Whamond reminds us of why people go to the self-scan.
I'm not heartless, but I like to come into a store, get what I want, and get out again. And a little conversation with the checker is pleasant, if it's a conversation and not a recitation of corporately required solicitations.
She's got to ask me about loyalty cards and try to solicit me to sign up and I appreciate that, so I don't mind helping her keep her job, though I'm not going to sign up. But I honestly avoid some stores because checking out there is like going through an interview.
It seems you can't get "dry goods" without going through the hassle, and those stores usually don't have self-scans. Grocery stores are a little more hit-and-miss, with seasonal solicitations for various charities, but not the laundry list of questions you get at the department and clothing stores.
One of the grocery stores has a little pretend-grocery box you can pick up near the checkouts and "buy" that is a donation to the local food shelf, the others will sometimes have a slip which you can tear off and add to your order like a coupon, and the Co-op has an extraordinarily successful "round up" option that appears on the swipe screen, by which you round up your total to the next dollar and the change is donated to the food bank, homeless shelter and local charities.
And, of course, there's the traditional bin near the exit of a lot of stores where you can drop in a jar of peanut butter or whatever you might have purchased to donate.
Those are all choices you can make without being put on the spot.
I don't mind donating.
I hate being put on the spot.
Juxtaposition of the Day
I liked both of these, though, of course, Donald doesn't know Putin, never met Putin, never even mentioned Putin and doesn't have anything to do with Putin.
They're both touching on a very dangerous situation, except that it's becoming less and less threatening as Trump's campaign craters. Apparently, Putin looked into his eyes, saw a man he could work with and didn't realize the guy would screw it all up.
Anyway, Nick's made me laugh and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to look at poor Melania again without thinking of Putin in drag.
The joke, of course, being that Putin is not the Official Drag Queen of the Trump Campaign.
(which, in turn, wouldn't be half as funny offered as humor by a less repressive political party)
And this isn't at all funny
Nate Beeler comments on the problem of heroin addiction. I salute him for advancing the topic, which I hope is on minds around the country, but I would suggest less bleak imaging next time it comes up.
The opiod crisis is being treated as serious business here in New Hampshire, and is the topic of Kelly Ayotte's most effective commercial:
Being either a cautious voter or a cynical SOB and, in fact, both, I looked to see if she were one of 98 Senators to sponsor the legislation but she really was a lead on this one.
As I've said before, if the GOP had mounted a serious candidate for President, she'd have been one helluva VP candidate. I'm still voting against her because of several other issues, but the positive here is the portrayal of opiod addiction as something that happens to "normal people" and not just in back alleys, and the rejection of an "it can't happen here" attitude, even in rural whitebread New England.
I had some opiods during my summer of surgery, and it reminded me of a time back in 1968 when somebody got hold of some opium tar, which we smoked, and my response, even in the middle of it, was "I must never, ever touch this again," because OMG it was nice.
And I didn't, until it was given to me in the hospital and I had the same response as nearly a half-century ago. I thought it was awfully pleasant stuff. I haven't had the urge to do recreational drugs in several decades, but I discovered I still like opium way too much.
Doctors are becoming more aware of the issue, and they sent me home with some pills so weak I wondered if they were placebos, and, while they didn't help any more than the Tylenol, I'm kind of glad they weren't more impactful.
So I have great sympathy for people who don't -- can't -- walk away from it, whether they encountered it medically or recreationally. Cartoonists should consider keeping the topic in the drawer where they go when no immediate issue dictates their next piece.
But normalize the crisis, because it's sadly normal.
Which reminds me
Netflix doesn't promote it much, but you can stream "The Panic in Needle Park" there and not only is it a good flick, but it's a chance to see Al Pacino back when he worked for a living, before he slipped into the frozen Al Pacino personna he now drags out for all his films.
The movie was released in 1971 but is still depressingly relevant.